Chelsea ended Manchester City’s hopes of winning an historic quadruple as they shone in the closely-fought FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
The four big trophies are the Champions League, the Premier League, the FA Cup and the League Cup.
City and Chelsea had both secured their places in the last four of the Champions League this week – but Pep Guardiola’s side had their sights set on a unique haul of four trophies as they close in on the Premier League title and also face Tottenham here in the League Cup final on 25 April.
Chelsea had other ideas, however, and they deserved the victory given to them when Hakim Ziyech slid home Timo Werner’s pass in the 55th minute to set up an FA Cup final against either Leicester City or Southampton.
Ziyech had a goal ruled out for offside before he scored but that was enough to beat a lethargic City, who made eight changes from their Champions League win against Borussia Dortmund and now have the added worry of the sight of Kevin De Bruyne limping off injured in the second half.
Chelsea had a very late scare as keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga clawed away Rodri’s injury-time header but manager Thomas Tuchel can now reflect on a hugely satisfying week as his impressive start at Stamford Bridge gathers momentum.
Chelsea finish a huge week in style
Thomas Tuchel faced a huge week as his fine start to life at Chelsea would be further shaped by the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Porto before this FA Cup semi-final meeting with a Manchester City side in hot pursuit of all four major trophies.
And it was no wonder Chelsea’s German manager was sporting a beaming smile at the final whistle as this part of his mission was accomplished in excellent fashion.
City were seen off after Porto were beaten over two legs to leave Chelsea moving towards the climax of their season contemplating a Champions League semi-final against Liverpool’s conquerors Real Madrid and an FA Cup final.
Ziyech’s pace and finishing power troubled City from the start and it was fitting the man of the match slid in the winner from Werner’s pass, the latter getting his reward for tireless work.
Tuchel, Guardiola Speak
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, spoke to BBC Sport, “It was a very, very strong performance. I’m very happy and proud.
“We played an excellent 35 minutes in the first half. We had to suffer for 10 minutes. We then played another 30 minutes so strong and got the lead and could have got another. It was a very strong performance and I am very proud of my team. Very happy they performed to this level today. I am happy. Everybody who is on the pitch needs to perform.
“A good defence is also having the ball and ball possession. It is a very good clean sheet. We were not lucky to escape with a clean sheet, we worked hard for it.
“The guys are ready to cover for each other if anyone loses a duel. We wanted to be brave today with the ball and against the ball and we did it.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, spoke to BBC Sport, “We played a good last 15 minutes. We had struggled to find our place in the pockets but congratulations to Chelsea in a tight game.
“We arrived sometimes in that position but after that we didn’t create. We conceded the goal but after we reacted well, especially after Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan came on.
“The team that defends with eight players in the final third it is not easy. This type of game the margin is so tight. In general we controlled well. We didn’t create many clear-cut chances but we arrived more than them.”