Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: Ticket booked

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Chelsea’s Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta (L) vies with Manchester City’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus (R) during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on April 17, 2021. (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea has pulled off the improbable. The Blues are through to the FA Cup final for a second consecutive season after defeating Manchester City 1-0. Thomas Tuchel’s men were brilliant from the beginning, not even giving the Citizens much of a chance at all in this match. Pep Guardiola’s side looked exhausted and far less threatening than normal as its hopes of a quadruple went out with a whimper. Hakim Ziyech had two or three huge chances on the night in front of goal, but he just needed one in the end to separate the two sides. No match recap is complete, however, without mentioning the stubborn display put on by the defense.

The Blues put on a clinic—one that may have Paris Saint-Germain scratching their heads at the decision to sack Tuchel—en route to booking a place in the FA Cup finale next month. Man City has been England’s, and perhaps Europe’s, best team from start to finish this season. Nevertheless, Guardiola’s men were second best on the day, playing on a pitch that has become known as Chelsea’s playground.

Here is how each individual performed throughout the contest:

Kepa Arrizabalaga (Goalkeeper): 8/10

Kepa Arrizabalaga did not have much to do, but when he was called upon, he made some good stops. The biggest talking point leading up to this clash was about who Tuchel would trust between the sticks. In the end, he stuck with the Spanish shot-stopper. Arrizabalaga rewarded his manager by dispatching the ghosts of his Wembley past and keeping a clean sheet against one of the world’s most lethal attacking squads.

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Cesar Azpilicueta (Centerback): 9.5/10

No breakdown of Cesar Azpilicueta’s game would be complete without mentioning the milestones.  The skipper joined an elite group during his 420th Chelsea appearance, going 10th in the club’s all-time appearances list. He put in a Man of the Match display, looking solid at the back throughout the entire game. Azpilicueta bailed the Blues out a few times and even picked up a yellow card for his cheeky fouls on Phil Foden—redemption for Mason Mount.

Thiago Silva (Centerback): 9/10

Thiago Silva was replaced by Kurt Zouma in the 88′, but that only tells half of the story from this game. The Brazilian put his body on the line repeatedly—seems to be a recurring theme this season—for the badge. That in and of itself is enough to earn him a high score. However, he did so much more. Silva led the team in clearances, completed 100 percent of his passes and was unbeaten in the air. Without the veteran, a clean sheet may not have been possible. Silva is another player who is deserving of the Man of the Match award in a side that had so many exceptional individual showings.

Antonio Rudiger (Centerback): 8/10

Antonio Rudiger has quickly become one of the most beloved figures at Chelsea again and it’s easy to understand why. His no-nonsense defending and antics are top class. It was much of the same from the German centerback again as his strong positioning shut down the Man City forwards.

Kurt Zouma (Centerback): N/A

Zouma came on in the 88′ to replace Silva. During his time on the pitch, he got roughed up a bit, as well, as he helped secure the result. Zouma had a couple of notable clearances, but didn’t play long enough to earn a proper rating.

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