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Chelsea’s route to the FA Cup final

Ruben Loftus-Cheek put Chelsea ahead in the FA Cup semi-final (Nick Potts/PA)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek put Chelsea ahead in the FA Cup semi-final (Nick Potts/PA)

Chelsea have reached their third FA Cup final in a row and will take on Liverpool in the final on Saturday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the Blues’ route to another Wembley showdown.

Chelsea 5 Chesterfield 1 (third round, Jan 8)

Chelsea cruised through their opening encounter, with Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku and Andreas Christensen all on target in the first half. Hakim Ziyech added a fifth from the penalty spot 10 minutes after the break, with Chesterfield claiming a late consolation through Akwasi Asante.

Chelsea 2 Plymouth 1 (fourth round, Feb 5)

Chelsea v Plymouth Argyle – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – Stamford Bridge
Kepa Arrizabalaga, right, celebrates his vital penalty save against Plymouth (Adam Davy/PA)

Kepa Arrizabalaga was the extra-time hero for Chelsea, saving Ryan Hardie’s spot-kick to sneak the Blues through without the need for a shoot-out. Macaulay Gillesphey stole an early lead for Argyle to shock Thomas Tuchel’s men, before Cesar Azpilicueta levelled with a poacher’s finish just before half-time. Chelsea could not crack the visitors, however, with the game drifting into extra time. Marcos Alonso’s effort had Chelsea edging towards victory, only for that late penalty to add yet more drama. Plymouth hoped to force a shoot-out, but instead Kepa saved Hardie’s spot-kick to send Chelsea through.

Luton 2 Chelsea 3 (fifth round, Mar 2)

Luton Town v Chelsea – Emirates FA Cup – Fifth Round – Kenilworth Road
Thomas Tuchel, pictured, was quizzed about Roman Abramovich putting Chelsea up for sale after the Blues beat Luton (Nick Potts/PA)

Roman Abramovich announced he had put Chelsea up for sale just hours before kick-off. Chelsea managed to shake off any distractions, then also a spirited and threatening Luton. Reece Burke put the hosts ahead just two minutes in, before Saul Niguez levelled midway through the first half. Harry Cornick rocked the Blues again by putting the Hatters 2-1 up, but Chelsea equalised through Werner before Lukaku grabbed the winner.

Middlesbrough 0 Chelsea 2 (quarter-final, Mar 19)

Middlesbrough v Chelsea – Emirates FA Cup – Quarter Final – Riverside Stadium
Romelu Lukaku set the Blues on their way to victory at the Riverside (Richard Sellers/PA)

Lukaku and Ziyech handed Chelsea a stress-free victory on the pitch, amid one of the most hectic times off it. The Blues were unable to sell their full allocation of tickets for the Riverside Stadium clash, after owner Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government. Downing Street froze Abramovich’s UK assets having claimed to have proven his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Government allowed Chelsea to continue trading, but only under strict terms of a temporary licence. The Blues had no real pressure dealing with Middlesbrough, however, and progressed to the last four.

Chelsea 2 Crystal Palace 0 (semi-final, Apr 17)

Chelsea v Crystal Palace – Emirates FA Cup – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium
Mason Mount sealed Chelsea’s semi-final win over Palace (Nick Potts/PA)

A tired-looking Chelsea laboured through a goalless first hour, before Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s powerful drive broke the deadlock. Palace were unable to find another gear, and Mason Mount’s neat finish sealed the Blues’ win.

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