Thomas Tuchel praises FA Cup hero Loftus-Cheek's big impact off the bench
Thomas Tuchel praises FA Cup hero Loftus-Cheek's big impact off the bench

Thomas Tuchel praises FA Cup hero Loftus-Cheek’s big impact off the bench

Thomas Tuchel has praised Loftus-Cheek’s performance after coming off the bench in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Wembley.

Chelsea struggled to break down stubborn Crystal palace in the first half but it was Chiekhou Kouyate who came closest, with his attempt forcing a superb save from Edouard Mendy.

However, Chelsea responded well in the second half as goals from Mount and Loftus-Cheek were enough to earn the Blues their third consecutive FA Cup finals in a row.

The Blues will now face Liverpool in the Finals of the FA Cup at Wembley on May 14th, a repeat of the Carabao Cup in February where Liverpool won.

What did Tuchel say?

Speaking to the media after the game, Tuchel said: “It was not easy because we played three games in three different competitions.

“It is not always easy, very challenging physically, we are the team with the most minutes in Europe I think, and it is also challenging mentally.

“I thought the performance was very controlled and very serious, we took care of their counterattacks. It was hard, the opponent changed the system twice, and you cannot lose focus for a minute.

“He [Ruben Loftus-Cheek] was very, very strong in matches against Southampton and Real Madrid, he would have deserved to start but we expected a back four. We knew Ruben would have a big impact off the bench. I am very happy.

“He hid his talent and potential for a long time in his career. He is capable of producing performances that everyone sees on the pitch. For him, it is step by step that he continues to grow in his confidence.”

The clash with Liverpool will be Chelsea’s third FA Cup final in a row and Tuchel is delighted to be back again.

“I am happy to be part of it again, I cannot be more excited and more proud because it is a huge competition. We will be ready.”

 Loftus-Cheek admitted he is happy with how his season is going but is aiming to get revenge on Liverpool, who beat them in the Carabao Cup final come May 14th at Wembley.

“Way overdue [the goal]! It has been a tough road with injuries and going on loan to find my form again but I always believed in myself and I always wanted to play for Chelsea. I have played quite a lot this season, and I am happy.

“I was just thinking hit it, I think it took a little deflection but I’ll take it! I had to be ready to step in. It looked a bit slow in the first half so I just wanted to bring some energy.

“The reason I am still here is my mentality through all the injuries. I still believed in myself and I said for many years my time will come.

“We want to get them back, simple as that. It was a fantastic game in the League Cup final and could have gone either way.”

Loftus-Cheek game Stat

Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s game by numbers vs. Crystal Palace:

100% take-on success

100% shot accuracy

44 touches

5 duels won

2 take-ons

2 fouls won

1 tackle

1 shot

1 goal