Chelsea seek Wembley revenge against Liverpool after reaching FA Cup final

A week that featured a Champions League quarterfinal elimination at Real Madrid ended on a high for Chelsea


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Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek (right) celebrates after scoring. (AP)
Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek (right) celebrates after scoring. (AP)

Published: Mon 18 Apr 2022, 12:49 AM

Complete the sale of Chelsea inside four weeks and the new ownership will have an FA Cup final to attend.

Who will be representing the club in the royal box at Wembley Stadium on May 14 is still to be determined.

As the three remaining bidders wait to discover if they are chosen to buy out sanctioned Russian owner Roman Abramovich, the west London club beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in the semifinals of world football’s oldest competition on Sunday.

The ownership contenders are, in part, being assessed on how much they will have to invest on player recruitment. The victory over Palace was produced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount — graduates of the Chelsea academy that benefited from Abramovich’s lavish investment.

Such is the challenge to break into the first team, both had to gain playing experience on loan elsewhere, including Loftus-Cheek at Palace.

The 26-year-old midfielder’s career was also stalled by rupturing his Achilles tendon in May 2019 and he hadn’t scored for the club since that month until breaking the deadlock against Palace in the 65th minute.

It was Tyrick Mitchell being dispossessed that created the opening for Chelsea which ended with Kai Havertz’s attempted pass deflecting off Marc Guehi to the edge of the penalty area where Loftus-Cheek struck into the top corner.

Mount’s goal in the 76th minute came after playing a one-two with Timo Werner before having the time and space to shoot past Jack Butland.

A week that featured a Champions League quarterfinal elimination at Real Madrid ended on a high for Chelsea.

The Blues will be back at Wembley on May 14 to face Liverpool which beat them at the national stadium in the League Cup final in February.

It will be the first time since 1992-93 season that the same two teams have competed in the League Cup final and the FA Cup final.

On that occasion, Arsenal twice beat Sheffield Wednesday and Loftus-Cheek is determined to avoid history repeating itself with a second Liverpool triumph.

Loftus-Cheek said Chelsea have their sights set on revenge over Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the FA Cup final.

“We want to get them back, simple as that. It was a fantastic game in the League Cup final and could have gone either way,” Loftus-Cheek said.

Loftus-Cheek’s role in Chelsea’s semifinal win against Palace at Wembley was a cathartic moment for the midfielder.

The 26-year-old spent the 2017-18 season on loan at Palace and has struggled to hold down a regular place at Chelsea.

Even this season he has been in and out of Thomas Tuchel’s side, but the England international is finally showing signs of fulfilling his potential.

“It has been a tough road with injuries and going on loan to find my form again,” Loftus-Cheek said.

“I always wanted to play for Chelsea. I have played quite a lot this season.

“The reason I am still here is my mentality through all the injuries. I still believed in myself and I said for many years my time will come.”

Chelsea will also be contesting the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley the following day, on May 15, after Emma Hayes’ side beat Arsenal 2-0 on Sunday to set up a meeting with Manchester City.

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