Three [3] key lessons learned as Manchester City defeat Chelsea to reach FA Cup final

Three important lessons as Manchester City defeat Chelsea to reach FA Cup final

A late Bernardo Silva goal saw Manchester City reach back-to-back FA Cup finals after a tense clash against Chelsea on Saturday evening.

Defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League mid-week had ended City’s hopes of winning an unprecedented ‘double treble’ but the prospect of a league and cup double is still on.

Both sides lacked a clinical edge at Wembley until the 84th minute when Silva finished from close range but it was a game that could have easily gone in the Blues’ favour, with Cole Palmer yet again in inspired form.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from the match:

Erling Haaland is NOT the problem

After not turning up in the big games over the past few weeks, Wembley would have been the perfect place for Erling Haaland to silence his critics.

But after hobbling off during the defeat to Real Madrid, the prolific striker wasn’t passed fit enough to even be on the bench for this clash.

And in the first-half, City certainly missed their talisman, creating a good number of chances but failing to register a single shot on target.

That duct was broken in the 53rd minute when Phil Foden finally gave Dorde Petrovic something to do, but the Citizens would manage just two more shots on target before the full-time whistle went.

Thankfully one of them was Silva’s goal, but games like this show why the Norwegian superstar is essential to Pep Guardiola’s plans.

Nicolas Jackson can’t finish his dinner

While this may not be news to anyone, this game perfectly summed up everything good and bad about Nicolas Jackson.

The centre-forward’s speed and strength makes him a menace for defenders and his chemistry with Cole Palmer is clear for all to see with the pair linking up to create Chelsea’s best opportunities.

Unfortunately, Jackson’s inability to put the ball in the back of the net has cost his side too many times this season – and today was the latest example.

The Senegalese was thrice denied by Stefan Ortega, but a headed effort from close range should have given the Blues the lead.

Mauricio Pochettino’s exasperated reaction to the misses said it all really.

The title race may not be over…

After Liverpool and Arsenal lost last weekend, City went two points clear at the top of the Premier League, with many now deeming the title race to be over.

After all, the Citizens almost always finish the season in perfect fashion, but their last two games have shown that Guardiola’s men are far, far from perfect.

It should be said that Chelsea are a trickier team than many of City’s remaining league opponents but their performance at Wembley will be somewhat encouraging for Reds and Gunners fans.

If they continue to lack clinicalness and if teams are able to take their chances against them, this run-in might be a lot tighter than predicted.

A trip to Brighton on Thursday night could prove pivotal…

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