Chelsea 4-2 Leicester: Player ratings as Blues survive scare to reach FA Cup semi-finals

FROM STAMFORD BRIDGE – Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a nervy 4-2 win at home to Championship leaders Leicester City.

The Blues surrendered a two-goal lead before the Foxes received a red card and were unable to keep out their hosts down the final stretch of the game.

An unhappy Stamford Bridge crowd made their unhappy feelings known throughout but come full-time were relieved just to have booked a place at Wembley.

How the game unfolded

Chelsea went ahead with their first attack of note. Cole Palmer slipped in Nicolas Jackson down the right channel, and held off the advances of Jannik Vestergaard before rolling the ball on a plate for Marc Cucurella to tap in at the far post.

The hosts spurned a great chance to double their lead moments later when Leicester were caught napping at the back again, but were let off the hook when Mykhailo Mudryk’s strike was blocked by teammate Raheem Sterling.

Down the other end, Chelsea were starting to look a bit nervy at the back. A deep cross from Abdul Fatawu reached Patson Daka, whose header floated narrowly wide.

Straight from the resulting goal kick, Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Fatawu went through the back of Sterling when trying to pinch the ball off his toes. Sterling stepped up but his poor penalty down the middle was kept out by goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk.

Sterling’s tough first half continued when he was set through one on one with Stolarczyk just before the break, but this time fired wide to the ire of the Stamford Bridge crowd.

But with one last attack prior to half-time, Sterling turned provider for Chelsea’s second goal, racing away between Vestergaard and Wout Faes down the left before cutting back for Palmer to slot home.

On the other side of the interval, Leicester pulled one back in incredible circumstances. Daka closed down Axel Disasi just inside Chelsea’s half and the Frenchman tried to play it back to Robert Sanchez, but he didn’t realise his goalkeeper was way off his line and the ball sailed into his own net.

Chelsea caved under this renewed pressure and Leicester soon had their leveller. Stephy Mavididi cut inside from the left wing past Malo Gusto and curled the ball into the top corner way out of Sanchez’s reach.

As Leicester pushed forward in search of a go-ahead goal, they were undone on the counter and conceded another penalty – Jackson turned away from Vestergaard and was then clipped by Callum Doyle when through on goal. However, a VAR check revealed the foul was outside the box, and double-jeopardy ruling meant Doyle’s yellow card was changed to a red.

The hosts nearly found a winner when a low cross was fizzed in by Gusto and knocked towards goal by Noni Madueke, but his effort bounced away off of Stolarczyk. Seconds later, Jackson fired over from point-blank range.

At the beginning of eight minutes of stoppage time, Chelsea did grab that decisive goal. Carney Chukwuemeka played a lovely give-and-go with Palmer, which ended with the latter playing in the former with a neat flick and then slotting beyond Stolarczyk.

With one final attack, Madueke rounded off the scoring with a fine goal not too dissimilar to Mavididi’s, whipping his strike from distance into the far corner and sending Chelsea to Wembley.

Chelsea player ratings (4-2-3-1)

Cucurella put Chelsea in front / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

GK: Robert Sanchez – 4/10 – A bag of nerves from the off, even when Leicester weren’t getting shots away. Not the main guilty party for Disasi’s own goal but probably could have given him a shout.

RB: Malo Gusto – 7/10 – Endured a fascinating battle with Mavididi that the Frenchman was winning until the Leicester winger put one in the top corner. Troubled the visitors with his pace on the counter.

CB: Axel Disasi – 3/10 – What a bizarre own goal. Lost all composure after this striking loss of confidence, with Leicester fans urging him to shoot whenever he was in possession afterwards.

CB: Trevoh Chalobah – 6/10 – Didn’t out much of a foot wrong though did seem a little concerned by Daka’s spring and aerial prowess.

LB: Marc Cucurella – 8/10 – Arguably his best game for Chelsea. Shut down Fatawu and came up with several crucial clearances in his own half, while he also kicked off the scoring.

CM: Moises Caicedo – 6/10 – Growing in confidence as a ball winner but still not providing enough when in possession, particularly when Chelsea were under the cosh.

CM: Conor Gallagher – 6/10 – Never shied away from the challenge though lacked that extra bit of quality Chelsea needed to propel away from Leicester.

RM: Cole Palmer – 8/10 – You can always count on Palmer to make the difference by way of an assist or goal. Once again, he provided both.

AM: Raheem Sterling – 4/10 – It’s a hard ask to get an assist and still only score this low, but Sterling gave it his all. Missed some wonderful chances and fired a free-kick from 20 yards into the upper tier. Booed by home fans throughout and jeered off the pitch when substituted.

LM: Mykhailo Mudryk – 6/10 – Brought Stamford Bridge to its feet with his searing pace. He and Sterling sometimes got in each other’s way and fans were disappointed to see the Ukrainian get hooked.

CF: Nicolas Jackson – 7/10 – Made the first goal with some brilliant hold-up and link-up play. Found it harder to get involved too much when Leicester sat back late on but still came up with some chances.


SUB: Carney Chukwuemeka (78′ for Mudryk) – 8/10

SUB: Noni Madueke (86′ for Sterling) – 8/10

SUB: Ben Chilwell (90′ for Cucurella) – 6/10

Subs not used: Djordje Petrovic (GK), Benoit Badiashile, Thiago Silva, Josh Acheampong, Ollie Harrison, Noni Madueke, Deivid Washington


Mauricio Pochettino – 6/10 – Chelsea made hard work of it but they got the job done. His substitutions, though belated, paid off in the end.

Leicester City player ratings (4-3-3)

Mavididi brought Leicester level / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

GK: Jakub Stolarczyk – 6/10 – Produced some fine saves, including one from Sterling’s penalty, and did all he could to keep Chelsea out.

RB: Hamza Choudhury – 5/10 – Tucked into midfield when in possession., which left Leicester vulnerable on the break. A tricky afternoon trying to keep up with Mudryk and Sterling.

CB: Wout Faes – 5/10 – Caught on the ball a couple of times and lacked the requisite recovery pace to go stride for stride with Chelsea’s attackers.

CB: Jannik Vestergaard – 4/10 – Absolutely rinsed by Jackson leading up to the opening goal. Never looked comfortable.

LB: Callum Doyle – 4/10 – Actually Leicester’s strongest defender for the most part until his red card. Unlocked Chelsea with some clever passing down the left flank.

CM: Harry Winks – 6/10 – Kept play ticking and never lost his composure even when Leicester were battling just to try and stay in the tie.

CM: Wilfred Ndidi – 6/10 – Made useful runs forward from midfield and wasn’t afraid to get stuck in.

CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall – 7/10 – Leicester’s most consistent bright spark, dancing away from trailing legs in midfield. Looked knackered by the closing stages when Chelsea took back control of the tie.

RW: Abdul Fatawu – 4/10 – Predictable when cutting inside onto his left foot and gave away a daft penalty. Not a great day.

CF: Patson Daka – 5/10 – Got up well to win some tough headers against much taller defenders in Chalobah and Disasi but that was about as much use as Leicester got out of the Zambian.

LW: Stephy Mavididi – 8/10 – Fired Leicester level with an unbelievable strike from the edge of the area. Sacrificed for another defender after his side were reduced to ten men.


SUB: Yunus Akgun (63′ for Fatawu) – 5/10

SUB: James Justin (74′ for Mavididi) – 5/10

SUB: Conor Coady (78′ for Ndidi) – 4/10

Subs not used: Danny Ward (GK), Ben Nelson, Marc Albrighton, Thomas Cannon, Wanya Marcal, Kelechi Iheanacho


Enzo Maresca – 5/10 – Leicester tried to play their game, to their credit. The quality ultimately told in the end.

Player of the match – Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

Source: 90mins

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