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Football Reporting


Thomas Tuchel unhappy as Chelsea “lose control” during FA Cup win over Sheffield United

Thomas Tuchel reckons his Chelsea team let Sheffield United off the FA Cup hook – because they were tired.

Oliver Norwood turned Ben Chilwell’s cross past his own keeper after 24 minutes. Substitute Hakim Ziyech then hit an injury-time second to send the club into the semi-finals.

But Tuchel believes the win should have been more emphatic.

He said: “It sounds excellent to say we’re through to the semi-finals. We had a good first half where we controlled everything.

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“We lost control in the second half, we were clearly tired. After 14 consecutive matches I could feel we were tired and we made many little faults.

“We were lucky to keep the clean sheet in the second half but I think it’s the first time in the 14 games we have looked tired.

Chelsea's German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures on the touchline
Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures on the touchline

“It’s important to go through in the cup and that was the target and we reached it.”

The win extended the Blues’ unbeaten run to 14 games and their run of clean sheets to seven games.

Sheffield United have now been beaten in six of their last seven matches in all competitions. Their best chance came with 25 minutes left when an unmarked David McGoldrick sent a free header wide from six yards.

Interim boss Paul Heckingbottom said: “It’s a sickener but there are a lot of pleasing things. We more than deserved extra time.

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“We want to look forward and take the positives. We’ll never get a better chance, I don’t think we started in the first half but we had a go second half and I was pleased with the response.

“I’m encouraged, it’s been another week of turmoil and adversity, the boys we have put out today were in makeshift positions at times but they showed a fight and willingness.”

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