Chelsea secured their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Boro edged out Manchester United and Tottenham to reach the knockout stages, but Thomas Tuchel’s Premier League side didn’t struggle so much at the Riverside Stadium.
Romelu Lukaku needed just 15 minutes to open the scoring before Hakim Ziyech netted twice in the first half, while Boro managed just one shot on target, which came in the 85th minute , in response.
Chelsea will now wait to learn the identities of their semi-final opponents in Sunday’s quarter-final draw, with games scheduled for April 16 and 17 at Wembley Stadium.
Mason Mount’s opening cross escaped Christian Pulisic’s desperate dive at the far post, but Chelsea were ahead soon after.
A hard start from the defense gave space on the right to Mount, who passed it to Lukaku to finish.
Ziyech doubled the lead 16 minutes later when he finished in the bottom left corner from outside the box after a deflection from Mount.
Mount’s second assist of the game took him to 50 goals for Chelsea in all competitions, while Anfernee Dijksteel cleared Lukaku’s line before half-time.
Folarin Balogun made an unnecessary turn and Duncan Watmore also missed the target, while Chris Wilder’s side increased the intensity early in the second half.
Joe Lumley then denied a Timo Werner header from Mount’s free-kick and Edouard Mendy deflected Watmore away as Chelsea eased the win.
What does that mean? The Blues keep a double hope
The Premier League title seems like a distant dream for Chelsea, who sit third in the league after Manchester City and Liverpool turned the race into a two-team affair.
But Tuchel’s reigning European champions remain in contention to defend their Champions League title – facing Real Madrid in the quarter-finals – and are still in pursuit of the FA Cup, having progressed from the round of 16 to the 16th time in the last 20 years. bedrooms. – last attempts.
Lukaku has now had a direct hand on four goals against Boro in all competitions (three goals, one assist).
His first-half goal was also his 16th FA Cup result since making his debut in January 2012 – only Sergio Aguero (20) to score more times in the competition in that span.
Barren Boro against the Blues
Since winning back-to-back Premier League wins over Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2006, Boro has lost all nine games to the Blues in all competitions.
Chelsea have scored 21 goals during that nine-game winning streak, with Boro failing to break through the Blues defense once in response.
Key Opta Facts
Chelsea have advanced in 16 of their last 20 FA Cup quarter-final clashes, with only Manchester United and Arsenal (both 30) having reached the final four more times than the Blues in competition history (26 times – tied with Everton).
Mount has scored or assisted 29 goals under Tuchel (14 goals, 15 assists), nine more than any other Blues player.
Since making his FA Cup debut in January 2013, Cesar Azpilicueta has made more appearances in the competition than any other player (36), while only Olivier Giroud (28 wins) has won more FA Cup games this season. period than the Spaniard (25). win).
Middlesbrough have lost for the first time in their last 10 home games in all competitions (9 wins) since a 2-1 league defeat to Preston North End in November.
What is the next?
Chelsea return to the Premier League after the international break at home to Brentford on April 2, while Middlesbrough travel to Peterborough in the Championship on the same day.