The FA Cup - Sixth Round
MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough0ChelseaChelsea2

Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea: Blues beat Championship side to reach FA Cup semi-finals

By Gary RoseBBC Sport at Riverside Stadium

Romelu Lukaku scored his 12th goal of the season as Chelsea beat Championship side Middlesbrough to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

Middlesbrough had knocked out Manchester United and Tottenham on their way to the quarter-finals but their hopes of claiming another Premier League victim were dealt an early blow when Lukaku tapped in from Mason Mount's cross after a quick Chelsea counter.

Hakim Ziyech made it 2-0 midway through the first half with a superb dipping effort from the edge of the box before Lukaku was denied a second when Anfernee Dijksteel cleared off the line.

Middlesbrough showed plenty of endeavour in the second half as they looked to mount an unlikely comeback, with Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun shooting wide after a promising counter, while Duncan Watmore also sent an effort over the bar from a good position.

However, Chelsea could have grabbed a late third when substitute Timo Werner met a free-kick but Middlesbrough goalkeeper Joe Lumley did well to palm away.

Chelsea will find out who they will play in the semi-finals, which will be played at Wembley on 16 and 17 April, when the draw is made before Sunday's quarter-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool (18:00 GMT).

Chelsea's run continues despite uncertainty

There had been a bit of needle before this game with Chelsea having had to make an awkward U-turn over their request for the game to be played behind closed doors for "sporting integrity".

The club were unable to sell their entire 4,500 ticket allocation for the fixture because of sanctions that have been imposed by the government on Russian owner Roman Abramovich because of his connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It meant they were backed by around 700 supporters who had got their tickets before the sanctions were brought in, while Middlesbrough were cheered on by a sell-out crowd at the 34,000 capacity Riverside Stadium.

Chelsea players have responded well amid the uncertainty surrounding the club off the pitch. They had been unsure if they would have a 10-hour round trip by coach to get to Middlesbrough just hours after returning from a Champions League tie in Lille because of financial constraints.

Since Abramovich had his assets frozen on 10 March as part of sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Chelsea have won all three games they have played and this was an ultimately routine victory against a side who have performed well against Premier League opponents in this year's FA Cup.

Lukaku has endured a difficult campaign in which he has not looked completely happy at Chelsea but he was handed a start in this game.

And he made a key contribution, opening the scoring for a third FA Cup goal in four games, making an important clearance from a Marcus Tavernier free-kick with the score 1-0, and was denied a second only by a goalline clearance.

The Belgian's celebration of his goal was muted, doing little to quash speculation about his long-term future, but he did what he was asked to do as Chelsea kept alive their hopes of a ninth FA Cup title.

Boro switch focus to Premier League return

It has been an excellent run in the FA Cup by Middlesbrough, who have been rejuvenated since Chris Wilder took charge on 7 November.

They started this game well and were not afraid to press high against a side who had won seven of their last eight games.

Ultimately, that bold start proved costly as they were caught on the counter for the opener but their run in the competition and their performances against Premier League opposition will give them confidence as they now switch focus to joining their recent FA Cup opposition in the top flight next season.

Middlesbrough are eighth in the Championship, two points off sixth but with two games in hand over most of those above them.

Player of the match

MountMason Mount

with an average of 8.41

Middlesbrough

  1. Squad number37Player nameCoburn
    Average rating

    6.03

  2. Squad number22Player nameBamba
    Average rating

    5.77

  3. Squad number18Player nameWatmore
    Average rating

    5.56

  4. Squad number7Player nameTavernier
    Average rating

    5.52

  5. Squad number2Player nameDijksteel
    Average rating

    5.52

  6. Squad number35Player nameJones
    Average rating

    5.43

  7. Squad number27Player nameBola
    Average rating

    5.32

  8. Squad number25Player nameCrooks
    Average rating

    5.27

  9. Squad number16Player nameHowson
    Average rating

    5.14

  10. Squad number14Player namePeltier
    Average rating

    5.13

  11. Squad number6Player nameFry
    Average rating

    5.07

  12. Squad number1Player nameLumley
    Average rating

    4.99

  13. Squad number17Player nameMcNair
    Average rating

    4.98

  14. Squad number47Player nameBalogun
    Average rating

    4.97

  15. Squad number26Player nameConnolly
    Average rating

    4.87

  16. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    4.81

Chelsea

  1. Squad number19Player nameMount
    Average rating

    8.41

  2. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva
    Average rating

    8.13

  3. Squad number22Player nameZiyech
    Average rating

    8.00

  4. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger
    Average rating

    7.67

  5. Squad number16Player nameMendy
    Average rating

    7.49

  6. Squad number10Player namePulisic
    Average rating

    7.41

  7. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta
    Average rating

    7.39

  8. Squad number8Player nameKovacic
    Average rating

    7.29

  9. Squad number7Player nameKanté
    Average rating

    7.24

  10. Squad number9Player nameLukaku
    Average rating

    7.20

  11. Squad number12Player nameLoftus-Cheek
    Average rating

    7.17

  12. Squad number31Player nameSarr
    Average rating

    6.90

  13. Squad number68Player nameVale
    Average rating

    6.26

  14. Squad number23Player nameKenedy
    Average rating

    6.15

  15. Squad number11Player nameWerner
    Average rating

    6.12

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Lumley
  • 2Dijksteel
  • 6FrySubstituted forBambaat 45'minutes
  • 17McNairSubstituted forPeltierat 53'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 35Jones
  • 25Crooks
  • 16HowsonBooked at 87mins
  • 7Tavernier
  • 3TaylorSubstituted forBolaat 58'minutes
  • 47BalogunSubstituted forCoburnat 74'minutes
  • 26ConnollySubstituted forWatmoreat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Hall
  • 13Olusanya
  • 14Peltier
  • 18Watmore
  • 22Bamba
  • 27Bola
  • 28Daniels
  • 37Coburn
  • 50Boyd-Munce

Chelsea

Formation 4-3-3

  • 16Mendy
  • 28Azpilicueta Tanco
  • 6Thiago Silva
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 31Sarr
  • 19Mount
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 8KovacicSubstituted forKantéat 69'minutes
  • 22ZiyechSubstituted forKenedyat 81'minutes
  • 9LukakuSubstituted forValeat 84'minutes
  • 10PulisicSubstituted forWernerat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Alonso Mendoza
  • 7Kanté
  • 11Werner
  • 13Bettinelli
  • 14Chalobah
  • 18Barkley
  • 23Kenedy
  • 29Havertz
  • 68Vale
Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
31,422

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home5
Away11
Shots on Target
Home0
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Chelsea 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Chelsea 2.

  3. Post update

    Harvey Vale (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Sol Bamba (Middlesbrough).

  5. Post update

    Offside, Chelsea. César Azpilicueta tries a through ball, but Harvey Vale is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Kenedy (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Lee Peltier (Middlesbrough).

  8. Booking

    Lee Peltier (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Mason Mount (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Lee Peltier (Middlesbrough).

  11. Booking

    Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Harvey Vale replaces Romelu Lukaku.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea).

  16. Post update

    Duncan Watmore (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Kenedy replaces Hakim Ziyech.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Timo Werner (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  20. Post update

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 19th March 2022

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