Chelsea ended Manchester City’s quest for a historic quadruple of trophies as Hakim Ziyech’s goal earned a 1-0 win to take the Blues into the FA Cup final on Saturday.
A damaging day for City also saw them lose Kevin De Bruyne to an ankle injury just over a week away from the League Cup final, where they face Tottenham, and the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain.
Chelsea were good value for another impressive win under Thomas Tuchel and will be favourites for the German’s first silverware in English football when they face Leicester or Southampton 15 May.
Tuchel could land an even bigger prize in the Champions League just months after replacing the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
His side showed they can get the better of City in what could be a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final should the English clubs see off PSG and Real Madrid in the last four.
The physical demands of City’s bid for a clean sweep of trophies was shown as Pep Guardiola made eight changes from the side that beat Borussia Dortmund in midweek with goalscorers Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez among those rotated.
Tuchel made just three changes and Chelsea looked the far less disjointed side in a bright start.
Timo Werner’s cross was swept home by Ziyech after just six minutes, but the goal was ruled out for offside against the German international.
That proved to be the only shot on target of a cagey first 45 minutes that did little to whet the appetite of a potential reunion in Istanbul for European club football’s greatest prize on 29 May.
Despite the number of changes, the ease with which Chelsea were able to spring quick counter-attacks will be of concern to Guardiola with the fearsome duo of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Neymar to come. (AFP)