Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea: Dominant Blues ease into last four

By Sports Desk March 19, 2022

Chelsea secured their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Boro overcame Manchester United and Tottenham to reach the last eight, but Thomas Tuchel's Premier League side did not have such difficulties at the Riverside Stadium.

Romelu Lukaku needed just 15 minutes to open the scoring before Hakim Ziyech added a second in the first half, while Boro managed only one shot on target, which came in the 85th minute, in response.

Chelsea will now wait to find out the identity of their semi-final opponent in Sunday's last-four draw, with the ties set to take place across April 16 and 17 at Wembley Stadium.

 

Mason Mount's early cross just escaped the despairing dive of Christian Pulisic at the back post, but Chelsea were ahead shortly after.

A sweeping move out from defence offered space down the right for Mount, who whipped across for Lukaku to tap-in.

Ziyech doubled the lead 16 minutes later when he finished into the bottom-left corner from outside the area following an offload from Mount.

Mount's second assist of the game took him to 50 goal involvements for Chelsea across all competitions, while Anfernee Dijksteel cleared off the line from Lukaku before the break.

Folarin Balogun wastefully curled over and Duncan Watmore missed the target in similar fashion as Chris Wilder's side ramped up the intensity early in the second half.

Joe Lumley then denied a flicked Timo Werner header from Mount's inswinging free-kick and Edouard Mendy turned away from Watmore as Chelsea eased to victory.

What does it mean? Blues keep double hopes alive

The Premier League title appears a distant dream for Chelsea, who are 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 the hunt for the FA Cup, after progressing from the last eight for the 16th time in their last 20 quarter-final attempts.

Lovely Lukaku

Lukaku has now had a direct hand in four goals against Boro across all competitions (three goals, one assist).

His first-half strike was also his 16th FA Cup finish since his debut in January 2012 – with only Sergio Aguero (20) finding the net more times in the competition during that period.

Barren Boro run against Blues

Since recording consecutive Premier League wins over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in 2006, Boro have lost all nine of their meetings against the Blues in all competitions.

Chelsea have recorded 21 goals during that nine-game winning run, with Boro not managing to breach the Blues' defence once in response.

What's next?

Chelsea return to Premier League action after the international break at home to Brentford on April 2, while Middlesbrough visit Peterborough in the Championship on the same day.

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