Chelsea staged a second Wembley meeting with Liverpool this season as they overcame stubborn resistance from Crystal Palace to reach the FA Cup final.
Liverpool won the Carabao Cup final on penalties in February, but Chelsea will have a chance to get revenge, as second-half goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount underlined their supremacy.
Unlike in the first semi-final between Liverpool and Manchester City, chances were slim until substitute Loftus-Cheek, in place of the injured Mateo Kovacic, opened the scoring with a deflected shot in the 65th minute.
Palace had their chances, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy saving Cheikhou Kouyate well in the first half, but they were unable to recover after Mount slid a low shot past Jack Butland with 14 minutes remaining.
Third lucky time for Chelsea?
Chelsea have deservedly reached their third successive FA Cup final and are now hoping to reverse recent history after losing the previous two to Arsenal and Leicester City.
Manager Thomas Tuchel has a remarkable record of reaching domestic and European finals since his appointment and Chelsea will be a formidable opponent for Liverpool, who are in search of a historic quadruple.
Chelsea had to work for their victory but they showed patience, organization and then quality to take control after the break.
In the end, Chelsea were in complete control and only slightly generous in the face of a goal from substitute Romelu Lukaku, who hit the post when it looked easier to score, and the excellent Timo Werner avoided a score that would have been tough on Palace.
Chelsea may be surrounded by confusion off the pitch in the middle of the sanctions against owner Roman Abramovich, but a winning mentality persists and the players showed admirable resilience after the disappointment of their Champions League quarter-final exit to Real Madrid.
And if the EFL Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool earlier this season is anything to go by, the FA Cup equivalent will be a hotly contested affair between two top-quality teams.
Palace on the right track
Palace manager Patrick Vieira and his players were understandably devastated at the final whistle, but the Eagles’ performance here, and throughout the season, is cause for optimism.
Vieira have a side that boasts a number of young emerging talents who play attractive football, although they were asked to show a more pragmatic side here, as they held off Chelsea well until their former loanee Loftus-Cheek struck with an effort that went wide. slightly.
Palace had no turning back after that but, backed by some truly magnificent support, they give the impression of being a well-run club on the right lines under a canny manager with an excellent structure around him.
Dangerous man Wilfried Zaha was too isolated to make an impression, but the key missing component was the cunning, quality and exuberance of England midfielder Conor Gallagher, who was unable to play against his parent club.
Defeat will hurt, but Vieira and Palace can nonetheless be delighted with the progress the club are making.
- 4ChristensenReplaced forThiago Silvain 82′minutes
- 5GeorgeReplaced forkantein 77′minutes
- 8KovacicReplaced forLoftus-Cheekin 26′minutes
- 19MountReplaced forZiechin 77′minutes
- 29HavertzReserved at 38 minutesReplaced forLukakuin 77′minutes
- 6Thiago Silva
- 8KouyateReplaced forMilivojevicin 85′minutes
- 18McArthurReplaced forOlisein 72′minutes
- fifteenSlideReplaced forBentekein 72′minutes
- 14MatetaReplaced forJ Ayewin 55′minutes
- 9J Ayew
- 3. 4Kelly
- anthony taylor
Match ends, Chelsea 2, Crystal Palace 0.
Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Crystal Palace 0.
Failed attempt. Timo Werner (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box goes high and wide to the right. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.
Corner, Chelsea. Corner committed by Marc Guéhi.
Attempt blocked. Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Hakim Ziyech.
Corner, Chelsea. Corner committed by Tyrick Mitchell.
Attempt blocked. Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) right footed shot from the center of the box.
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea) hits the right post with a right footed shot from very close range. Assisted by Timo Werner.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) has been fouled in the defensive end.
Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) has been fouled on the left wing.
Foul by Michael Olise (Crystal Palace).
Replacement, Crystal Palace. Luka Milivojevic replaces Cheikhou Kouyaté.
Change, Chelsea. Thiago Silva replaces Andreas Christensen.
Attempt blocked. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Tyrick Mitchell.
Saved attempt. Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Timo Werner.
Failed attempt. Joachim Andersen’s (Crystal Palace) header from very close range goes too high. Assisted by Jordan Ayew following a corner kick.
Failed attempt. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) header from the right side misses to the left. Assisted by Michael Olise with a cross into the area after a corner kick.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Corner committed by Reece James.
Foul by Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea).