Barkley: Celebrating against Leicester City

Ross Barkley continued his fine goalscoring form in this season’s FA Cup.

The England international came off the bench to fire Chelsea into the semi-finals.

Leicester came into the game with a very impressive record, they had not conceded a goal in the FA Cup this season and boasted the second-best defensive record in the Premier League.

It, however, explained Chelsea’s struggle in the first half but Frank Lampard could once again be pleased with the impact of his in-game changes.

He introduced Ross Barkley as part of a triple substitution at half-time.

Barkley and Coach Lampard after the game

The 26-yeat-old, however, repaid his managers’ faith by making the decisive contribution, steering in a cross from Willian to settle a cup tie that had been evenly matched up to that point.

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Even after 148 years of the FA Cup, there are still firsts for the world’s oldest cup competition and this quarter-final played behind closed doors was certainly one of those for eight-time winners Chelsea.

Leicester City came racing out of the traps on an unseasonably chilly June afternoon in the East Midlands, wrestling early control of the midfield battleground and exerting pressure on the changed Blues defence.

Willy Caballero was forced into shaking the dust from his gloves inside a few minutes as he clawed away a dangerous delivery from the right and was then grateful when Wilfred Ndidi steered a free header right at him after 15 minutes.

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The Blues, all in white for this away cup tie, had struggled to get started and Lampard urged more focus from his players from the touchline.

There was an improvement in possession from Chelsea and the game soon opened up as a result.

Down the other end, Youri Tielemans forced a save down low to the left from Caballero before Ben Chilwell’s teasing tee-up seemed perfect for Jonny Evans but his fellow defender couldn’t quite stretch enough to make sufficient aerial contact.

However, Ross Barkley’s 63-rd minute goal ensured Chelsea take their place in the last four, which will be played at Wembley on the weekend of 18/19 July.