Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea: 3 Blues Talking Points

Manchester City v Chelsea - Emirates FA Cup Semi Final
Manchester City v Chelsea - Emirates FA Cup Semi Final / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Chelsea had all the right ingredients to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal on Saturday. The Blues were feeling confident after their 6-0 win against Everton last week and Man City had just three days to recover from their extra-time loss to Real Madrid. However, a lack of fluent play and a struggle to finish chances led to a Chelsea defeat at Wembley. Talking points to follow. 

City looked tired throughout most of the game but Chelsea could not capitalize in the first half. Nicolas Jackson had two big chances in the first half but couldn’t finish on either. A sloppy first half ended 0-0 with it looking like the Blues might have found City in a vulnerable position. The second half, though, didn’t go Chelsea's way. Jackson had another missed opportunity, a potential handball in the box wasn’t called, and eventually Bernardo Silva won it for the Manchester club.

Midfield Unbalance

The three usual midfielders started for the Blues on Saturday, so naturally expectations were high. After all, Enzo Fernández and Moised Caicedo were bought for over £100m. Yet, the midfield struggled to take advantage of a weakened Man City side and never took over the game. 

Enzo, one of our better ball-handling midfielders, only had 35 touches in 88 minutes played. Often Caicedo and Enzo found themselves within a few yards of each other. They seemed to both be playing the same role almost taking one out of the play. Despite each being a special player individually, they must learn to play through each other if Chelsea wishes to improve. 

Take the Everton match as an example. Fernádez did not play and Palmer slotted into the midfield. With just Caicedo in the pivot, the midfield took over the game and Palmer went on to score four goals in a 6-0 victory. Caicedo also played one of his best games for Chelsea clearly appreciating the added space. 

Missed Chances

For all the money spent over the past few years, the Blues still don’t have a clinical finisher in the number nine role. Jackson’s through play and Palmer’s scoring has covered this up at times, but it was glaringly clear on Saturday. 

In the first half alone Jackson found himself one-on-one in the City box twice. Then in the second half, he missed another chance in a similar position. It was not just him, though, Palmer, and Chilwell had their slip-ups too. It felt like Chelsea was beating Chelsea more than City was beating Chelsea. 

The Blues will no doubt go searching for a striker this summer. Especially after todays performance.


With so many new and young faces in the starting lineup, the culture of Chelsea seems to have gone missing. This was a must-win game for a place in a final yet there was no intensity about the team. 

A picture that sticks out is the veteran Thiago Silva in tears after the final whistle and Noni Madueke right behind him laughing. It is up to some of the younger guys like Palmer or Gallagher to set the tone. The intensity should be high week in and week out no matter the opponent or the competition. 

Not only do the Blues have to fill some positions off the field in the transfer window, but it is also important to get help off the field. There are plenty of older players that could come in on free transfers to help the young teams professionalism.