Chelsea reach FA Cup final amid club’s prolonged sale

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Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek, right, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday, April 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

access point

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

It has not yet been determined who will represent the club in the royal box at Wembley Stadium on May 14.

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

Ownership contenders are being weighed, in part, on how much they will have to spend on recruiting players. The victory over Palace was produced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount, Chelsea academy graduates who benefited from Abramovich’s generous investment.

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

The 26-year-old midfielder’s career was also stalled when his Achilles tendon ruptured in May 2019 and he had not scored for the club since that month until breaking the tie against Palace in the 65th minute.

It was Tyrick Mitchell being dispossessed that created the opening for Chelsea that ended with a Kai Havertz pass attempt deflected by Marc Guehi on the edge of the penalty area where Loftus-Cheek finished into the top corner.

Mount’s 76th-minute goal came after scoring a brace with Timo Werner before he had time and space to get past Jack Butland.

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

The Blues will return to Wembley on May 14 to face Liverpool, who beat them at the national stadium in the League Cup final in February.

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

FIRST LEAGUE

There were two Premier League games on Sunday that impacted the fight to avoid relegation.

Newcastle look certain to survive after Bruno Guimarães completed a comeback by scoring his second goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time to secure a 2-1 victory over Leicester. The Northeast side moved 12 points above the drop zone with six games remaining.

Burnley’s first game since Sean Dyche’s sacking on Friday ended in a 1-1 draw at West Ham. Burnley moved three points behind Everton, who are in 17th place and have just climbed out of the relegation zone with one game remaining.

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