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5 talking points as Silva strike downs Chelsea and Man City reach FA Cup final

MIRROR 

Bernado Silva scored a late winner as Manchester City booked their place in the FA Cup semi-final with a hard-fought win over Chelsea at Wembley.

Chelsea had the better chances, but Nicolas Jackson could not take them and Mauricio Pochettino’s side were stung at Wembley for the second time in two months. Silva tucked away at the back post, via a touch off Marc Cucurella, in the 84th minute from Kevin De Bruyne’s deflected cross to send City into the final to face the winner of Manchester United vs Coventry.

Chelsea had the better of the first half, but Jackson elected not to shoot having been clean through and Stefan Ortega made a good save from Cole Palmer’s low shot. Phil Foden went around Djordje Petrovic at the other end, but also couldn’t fashion an attempt on target.

Jackson’s frustrations continued in the second half when Ortega saved twice inside a few seconds from the Chelsea striker’s low shot and header. Petrovic pushed out Foden’s effort before Chelsea had a penalty appeal waved away for a handball by Jack Grealish in the wall from Palmer’s free-kick. City grew into the game and, after Jeremy Doku came off the bench, began to grind down their opponents and were rewarded late on. Here are the talking points.

Familiar frustrations with Jackson

Jackson has lots of good attributes. He’s quick, athletic, reads the game well and has the physicality to run in behind or hold the ball up. But he is also young, inexperienced and guilty of poor decision making far too often.

Chelsea knew all of these things when they signed him for £30million from Villarreal in the summer. They bought into the clear potential of a 22-year-old striker. The problem is that he has become their first-choice striker in his debut season at the club, rather than a second or third choice player who can be rotated in and out.

Coming into this game, he had 13 goals and five assists in 36 games – some might say respectable numbers for a young forward still learning his trade in his first season at a big club. But those people probably weren’t thinking with such reasoning when Jackson sprinted clear of the City defence in the 29th minute, went around Ortega and still managed not to score. Jackson has shown flashes of quality, but he is far from the finished product. His lack of cutting edge cost Chelsea the lead they perhaps deserved from the first half – and reared its head five minutes into the second period. As Jermaine Jenas said on commentary for the BBC: “He’s missed three sitters.”

Blunt City

Phil Foden couldn’t beat Djordje Petrovic in City’s best first-half chance (Image:GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Don’t Miss

Seven of City’s side also started the draining Champions League quarter-final defeat against Real Madrid on Wednesday and it seemed to show. With no Erling Haaland, they fielded Julian Alvarez up front and the Argentina international struggled to get involved.

They fashioned one excellent chance to score, with Kevin De Bruyne sending Phil Foden through on goal with a trademark defence-splitting through ball, but that was almost the extent of their chances in the first half. In fact, City failed to have a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, despite having 17 touches in the box.

Haaland’s presence was an obvious miss, but Guardiola’s use of Manuel Akanji in central midfield also seemed to hinder City in the build-up. The former Borussia Dortmund man has performed the role impressively this season, but his lack of creativity on the ball stood out, with City being funnelled into the middle of the pitch by Chelsea’s defence.

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