Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said his side had not shown “enough spirit” in their narrow FA Cup victory over Barnsley.
Tammy Abraham scored the winning goal in her team’s only attempt to secure a quarterfinal at home against Sheffield United.
Abraham had to parry a header on the goal line just before the end to prevent Barnsley substitute Michael Sollbauer from equalizing.
“We scored and I felt they increased the risk, but we gave small decisions,” added Tuchel, who made 10 changes to his side.
“There was a lack of bite and it was too deep for a long, long time. Of course we can play better, so yes, I expected more, but not in the sense of disappointed.
“We can do better, but I don’t want to be too hard on the players.”
Barnsley were the better team in the first half. Kepa Arrizabalaga blocked Callum Britten’s effort from close range.
The organizers said Abraham was offside for his own goal, but the English striker came in just to make sure he was in an offside position and volleyed from close range.
Chelsea are now unbeaten in five games since Tuchel took over in January and host Sheffield United in the sixth round on the weekend of March 20-21.
Chelsea players gave the new boss a chance to impress.
Chelsea were ninth in the Premier League when Tuchel took over, but are now one point clear of the top four and are two wins away from their fourth FA Cup final in five years.
It was a chance for Tuchel to take a hard look at his players, but they struggled to impress – not a single goal attempt in a scattered first half.
Kepa, relegated from his predecessor Frank Lampard to Edward Mendy, kept his team in the game except for a penalty against Brittan, who should have scored after Alex Mowatt’s cross was deflected into his path.
Kepa was joined by Emerson Palmieri, Kurt Zouma and 19-year-old midfielder Billy Gilmour for their first appearances under Tuchel, while Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante made their first appearances since the German’s arrival.
Chelsea’s only notable attack in the first half ended with Pulisic sending in a cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi outside the sixteen.
The winning goal was the result of a nice action with Gilmour in the center. The ball eventually got to James, who scored Abraham’s 12th goal of the season.
Even then, Chelsea had to endure a nervous end to the match against an impressive and energetic Barnsley squad.
Sollbauer came close to the equalizer but Abraham saved the ball off the line and Chelsea lived dangerously.
“Proud of this achievement,” he said.
Valerien Ismael, Barnsley boss: “It was exactly the game we wanted, we put in a great performance. We saw how far we can go with our principles when Chelsea make mistakes. In the first half we did well, but we needed to score.
“In the second half it was like a switch, Chelsea changed shape and had more control. We were punished at one point, which is a pity. But we fought to the end, we are proud of the performance.
Chelsea boss Tuchel, who faces Sheffield United in the quarter-finals: “It will be difficult. They are a very physical team and they put us under a lot of pressure. They are well organized, but I am happy with the home game. That’s what we wanted.
Chelsea is the team that has won the most FA Cups in this century.
- Chelsea have reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup more times than any other team since 2000. The victory over Barnsley provided their 15th win in that time.
- Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham has scored nine goals in her last seven FA Cup appearances (6 goals, 3 assists).
- Since the start of last season, Abraham has scored 30 goals for Chelsea in all competitions, at least 11 more than any other player at the club.
- Neither side has scored in 450 playing minutes for Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel, and the Blues’ only goal against Germany was an own goal against Sheffield United.
What is the next step?
Barnsley return to Brentford on Sunday (13:00 GMT), while Chelsea host Newcastle United in the Premier League on Monday (20:00).
The player of the game
- Team number 27Player nameMowatt
- Team number 7Player nameBrittaina
- Team number9Woodrow Players name
- Team number4Player nameStyle
- Team number8Players nameKane
- Team number6 Player nameAndersen
- Team number30Player nameHelik
- Team number11Player name Chaplin
- Team number20Player nameSibbic
- Team number29Victor Adeboyejo nickname player
- Team number26Players nameSollbauer
- Team number21Palmer Name of player
- Team number 2Player name Williams
- Team number 40Player nameCollins
- Team number28Player nameFreezer
- Team number 10Player name
- Team number23Player name Gilmore
- Team number9 Player nameAbraham
- Team number 20PseudoHudson-Odoi
- Team number24James
- Team number 7Players nameplate
- Back number 1Player nameArrizabalaga
- Team number 15Player nameZouma
- Team number55Player nameAngerina
- Team number 2Player nameRudiger
- Team number4Player nameChristensen
- Team number 10PseudoPulisic
- Team number3Players nameAlonso
- Team number33PseudoEmerson
- Team number 17Player nameKovacic
- Team number 22The name of each player
- 40 Collins.
- 20SibbicReplaced for Zolbauerbei 76’min
- 7BrittainSubstitute for Williams at 73 minutes
- 8KaneSubstitution of Palmerin in the 73rd minute
- 27 MW
- 29AdeboyejoReplaced by Dikeat 59’min
- 9Wooden head
- 11ChaplinReplaced for Frizerat 59’min
- 1 Walton.
- 2 Williams
- 34 Moon
- 4ChristensenReplaced byRüdigeron 45’minute
- 3James substitute on 45 minutes
- 22ZeachReplace for Anjorinat 69’min
- 10PulisicSubstituted with Kovacicin 80 minutes
- 24 James
- 54 Bats
- Game over, Barnsley 0, Chelsea 1.
- End of second half, Barnsley 0, Chelsea 1.
- Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) hits a free kick on the opponent’s half.
- Michal Helik (Barnsley) is penalized after committing a foul.
- Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) is penalized after committing a foul.
- Alex Mowatt (Barnsley) is awarded a free kick on the opponent’s half.
- Offside line, Chelsea. Kepa Arrizabalaga plays a pass forward, but the referee sees Tammy Abraham is offside.
- Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) takes a free kick in the middle of the box.
- Michal Helik (Barnsley) is penalized after committing a foul.
- Corner, Barnsley. Set up by Tammy Abraham.
- Offside, Barnsley. Michael Sollbauer tries a deep pass, but Daryl Dyke is offside.
- Attempt blocked. Cowley Woodrow (Barnsley)’s right footed shot from the edge of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daryl Dyke.
- Attempt blocked. Daryl Dyke (Barnsley)’s shot with the right foot is blocked on the edge of the box.
- Attempted save. Cowley Woodrow (Barnsley) tries a header from the center of the box, which is stopped in the center of the goal. Prepared by Alex Mowatt with a cross.
- Billy Gilmour (Chelsea) is penalized after committing a foul.
- Alex Mowatt (Barnsley) hits his free-kick on the left wing.
- Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) is penalized after committing a foul.
- Romal Palmer (Barnsley) is awarded a free kick on the opponent’s half.
- Reece James (Chelsea) is penalized after committing a foul.
- Cowley Woodrow (Barnsley) takes a free kick on the left wing.