A goal from Tammy Abraham was enough to take Chelsea into the quarter finals of the FA Cup, as they beat Barnsley 1-0 at Oakwell. Chelsea will now play at home to Sheffield United.
Barnsley played really well in the first half, creating two big chances – both of them to Callum Brittain, who had one saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga and the other deflected wide by his team-mate, Victor Adeboyejo.
After the break Chelsea improved just enough, gradually exerting control with Thomas Tuchel bawling on the touchline and Callum Hudson-Odi to the fore. Then, on 64 minutes, Reece James teed-up Abraham for what proved to be the winner, and they did enough to see it out.
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Chelsea will play better than they did against Barnsley - they will have to - but after drawing with Wolves in Tuchel’s first game, they have now won four in a row. Something might just be brewing.

TALKING POINT

It makes sense for Tuchel to rotate as he gets to know his players, and with games coming so quickly. But he doesn’t have enough good players or good enough players to change 10 men, and Chelsea’s performance illustrated that.

The problem Tuchel has is that he has lots of players of similar standard and function, depth but no breadth. He also has no reliable goalscorer, no elite-level defender and very good rather than brilliant midfielders.

Ultimately, he needs to raid the transfer market but finding, attracting and affording those is not easy to achieve. But Tuchel is renowned for innovation, so it will be interesting to see how he emphasises his squad's strengths while hiding its weaknesses, how much he can improve individuals, and how far that can take him.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) Scored the winner, made a brilliant goalline clearance.

PLAYER RATINGS

Barnsley: Collins 6, Sibbick 7, Helik 6, Andersen 6, Kane 7, Mowatt 8, Styles 6, Adeboyejo 5, Woodrow 7, Chaplin 6. Subs: Frieser 6, Dike 6, Plamer 6, Williams 6, Sollbauer 6.
Chelsea: Kepa 6, Christensen 6, Zomua 7, Emerson 6, Hudson-Odoi 7, Gilmour 7, Kante 6, Ziyech 5, Alonso 6, Pulisic 5, Abraham 8. Subs: Rudiger 6, James 7, Anjorin 6, Kovacic 6.

KEY STAT

Tammy Abraham has six goals and three assists in his last seven FA Cup starts for Chelsea.

KEY MOMENTS


10’ - Chance for Barnsley! Mowatt nips down the left and crosses nicely, Woodrow flicks on and Brittain arrives onto it! He makes just about alright enough contact, but Kepa makes a decent save - who ever thought they'd type that? - and none of the various Barnsley legs seeking the loose ball can make contact with it.

19’ - Chelsea are just starting to assert themselves and Gilmour slides Abraham into the box. But just when he thinks he's about to score, Sibbick burrows in from the side and makes the challenge. Abraham wants a penalty but I'm sure he got the ball ... or did he? It really looked that way in real time, but looking again that was probably a foul. No VAR tonight.

45’ - Oh gosh! Mowatt's corner goes short to the near post, where Chaplin makes a run, in order to lay it back to Brittain. He sweeps low towards the far corner but doesn't make a great connection, and the ball flicks wide off Adeboyejo. another great chance gone for Barnsley.

58’ - Look at that! Hudson-Odoi pulls a ball out of the air on the move in one movement - beautiful. He feints down the line and cuts inside Helik, zooms past Sibbick, and drives a decent shot just wide of the far post.

64’ - GOAL! Barnsley 0-1 Chelsea (Abraham) As I was saying. Gilmour sticks it out to James, who scythes in from the right, squares, and Abraham, who'd legged it from way back, taps home.

78’ - HAVE A LOOK! Barnsley win a free-kick down the right and Mowatt swings it in ... Solbauer is there! He raises a leg to flick it goalwards, hard ... and Abraham does superbly to head over his own bar!
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