Ian Wright claims that Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek was pivotal in his side’s victory in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.
Thomas Tuchel’s Blues booked their spot in another domestic final by beating Crystal Palace 2-0 at Wembley Stadium, scoring two goals in a much improved second half.
Loftus-Cheek, 26, ended his goal drought by scoring the opener 20 minutes into the second half. It was a powerful half-volley from the box-to-box midfielder, which was his first goal for Chelsea since May 2019.
Mason Mount continued his great form by getting on the scoresheet, too.
Wright, who was working as a pundit on ITV Sport, singled out Loftus-Cheek for praise after his display against Palace. In particular, he was a big fan of his emphatic “quality” goal.
“He’s come through the academy, and he’s still there, still trying to make his way at Chelsea. He’s come on today and changed the game,” Wright said on ITV 1 (6:29pm, 17 April).
“He got on the ball and was very progressive. He wanted to get forward, go past people, trying to make something happen that wasn’t happening in the first half… This is quality (his goal). Just get a clean strike and hit the target.”
In addition, Mount weighed in with big praise for Chelsea teammate Loftus-Cheek for Sunday’s performance.
Loftus-Cheek’s shown his versatility in the last couple of games by filling in at right wing-back, but he returned to his preferred role as a central midfielder at Wembley.
His introduction came midway through the first half when Mateo Kovacic was injured, which is never easy when you’re thrown into the action unexpectedly.
He showed glimpses of why he’s such a talent, driving forward with the ball at his feet into spaces.
It’s very difficult for opponents when he’s on top of his game and offering a real physical presence.
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