Chelsea make hard work of Barnsley but reach FA Cup quarter-finals

Reece James, Billy Gilmour, Tammy Abraham, Chelsea

Chelsea had to be patient to break down Barnsley as Tammy Abraham scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 FA Cup fifth-round win.

Overwhelming favourites going into the game, Chelsea took their time to get into the game, but eventually edged out their Championship opponents.

Thomas Tuchel made a host of changes to his lineup, with only Andreas Christensen keeping his place.

That meant first appearances under the new coach for Billy Gilmour, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Emerson Palmieri and Kurt Zouma.

It was Barnsley who had the first chance of the game, when Callum Brittain got on the end of a flick-on but was kept out by Kepa.

Chelsea had appeals for a penalty when Abraham was brought down by Toby Sibbick in the box. However, with no VAR at Oakwell, there was no changing the referee’s decision not to award a spot kick.

As half-time approached, Barnsley almost caught Chelsea out with a clever corner routine. Unfortunately for the hosts, their attackers were unable to get a final touch which could have diverted the ball in.

There was no additional time at the end of the first half, showing how quiet it had been overall. Chelsea had not even registered a shot on target.

Chelsea step up in second half

Their first genuine chance came early in the second half, when Callum Hudson-Odoi did well to bring the ball down. After driving into the box, though, he fired wide.

They finally broke the deadlock in the 64th minute. Billy Gilmour picked out Reece James, who slid the ball across the face of goal, putting it on a plate for Abraham to tap in.

It appeared Abraham may have been a fraction offside, but once again, the lack of VAR meant the original decision had to stand.

Abraham made an important intervention at the other end shortly after, too. With Kepa caught off his line after a free kick, the striker headed the ball over the bar to prevent Michael Sollbauer’s effort going in.

Overall, Barnsley had more shots than their Premier League visitors. In fact, Chelsea’s goal was their only shot on target.

The Blues dominated possession, though, and crucially, came out on top with the only statistic that mattered – the final scoreline.

They will face Sheffield United at home in the quarter-finals.