Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech explains dressing room mood after Man City FA Cup win
Chelsea v Manchester City: Match in pictures
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Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech has admitted the players in the dressing room were delighted after beating Manchester City on Saturday night. The Blues went into the game aiming to stop Pep Guardiola’s side in their hunt to win a quadruple. And they did just that, with the Morocco international scoring the only goal of the game.
It wasn’t a cup classic at Wembley.
But that won’t matter for Chelsea, who booked their place in the FA Cup final for the second season in a row courtesy of Ziyech’s second half goal.
It means Thomas Tuchel’s side will now face Leicester or Southampton at Wembley next month, with those sides due to do battle later today (6.30pm).
And Ziyech, speaking to club media, revealed players were thrilled after claiming victory.
“Timo did a good run into the space, I made my run, it was a good delivery and I put it in easy,” said the playmaker, who only arrived from Ajax back in the summer.
“You always have to have that feeling before the game that you want to score.
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“It feels good to be in the final. Everybody is happy. We did a good job, especially in the first half.
“The second half was a little bit difficult to close all the spaces, but we scored the one goal that we needed. It was enough.”
Ziyech was subbed off against City, with Tuchel deciding to adopt a defensive approach in the closing stages.
It worked, too, with the Blues able to see out their game and dash Guardiola’s hopes of another cup triumph in the process.
And Ziyech admitted to feeling nervous in the stands, adding: “Those moments are always nervous from the stands.
“I tried to stay calm but sometimes it’s difficult! In the end everybody did well, we killed the game and we kept a clean sheet as well.
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“It was a perfect week and we can enjoy that.
“Now it’s a special end to the season if you see what we are still playing for.
“All the ways are open and everybody is excited about it and we cannot wait to play those games.”
Tuchel, speaking in the aftermath of the contest, called on his Chelsea players to maintain their focus ahead of the final weeks of the season.
“It was a very, very strong performance. Very happy and very proud,” he said.
“We played an excellent 35 minutes in the first half, then we had to suffer 10 minutes of some easy ball losses and, of course, the quality of City.
“Then we played another half an hour so, so strong. Deserved the lead, deserved to win and could even be one goal higher.
“The last 15 minutes we suffered a lot because they played with a lot of risks, many offensive players and we were becoming a bit tired.
“But it was a very, very strong performance and very happy for my team, very proud they performed at this level today.”
He then added: “If you play against Pep [Guardiola], you know you play against the highest level in Europe because everywhere where he was at the sideline – Barcelona, Bayern and now Man City for years – he was the benchmark with his teams and you can see this in the Premier League.
“Our target was to close the gap for the 90 minutes because it’s possible in football and if you arrive in a good momentum you can make this happen.
“We played with a lot of courage and were very self-confident, very brave with the ball and against the ball.
“We deserved the win against one of the best teams with the best manager so that is a huge boost for our progression and development.
“We arrived with a young team and young players so it’s important to have this experience.”
Chelsea are next in action against Brighton on Tuesday night (8pm).
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