“He changed the game for Chelsea” – Ian Wright praises Chelsea midfielder’s performance in FA Cup semi-final win against Crystal Palace

Ian Wright was all praise for Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek for his performance in their 2-0 FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace.

Having come off the bench in the first half for the injured Mateo Kovacic, he fired the Blues in front shortly after the hour mark before Mason Mount consolidated their win with a second goal.

The 26-year-old has become an estranged figure at the club, having started just nine Premier League appearances this season.

But his performance at Wembley on Sunday demonstrated how useful he can be when given the chance to shine.

Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace FT: Possession: 67%-33%Shots: 12-6Shots on target: 4-2Fouls: 16-6Corners: 5-2#EmiratesFACup

Wright was certainly impressed with the Englishman and feels Loftus-Cheek deserves a place in Chelsea’s XI.

Speaking on ITV Sport after the final whistle, he said:

“If he can get a run in the team… you’ve got World Cup winners, a lot of experience and winners in there [at Chelsea FC].

“He came through the academy and he’s still there, still trying to make his way at Chelsea. He’s come on today and he changed the game for Chelsea. That’s what he’s capable of doing. Saying that, Palace had some chances.”

Loftus-Cheek, who scored his first goal in all competitions this season, felt it was long overdue after admitting to having endured a tough run.

He told ITV Sport:

“It has been a tough road with injuries and going on loan to find my form again but I always believed in myself and I always wanted to play for Chelsea. I have played quite a lot this season, I am happy.

“The reason I am still here is my mentality through all the injuries. I still believed in myself and I said for many years my time will come.”

Chelsea face Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on May 14.

Chelsea looking to get third time lucky in FA Cup

For the third consecutive year, Chelsea have reached the FA Cup final and will be hoping to finally win it again at the third time of asking, having lost the previous two.

The Blues were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal in the 2020 final, followed by a shock 1-0 loss to Leicester City last year.

Against Liverpool, they won’t have it any easier, but will be gunning for revenge, having already lost the Carabao Cup final to the Reds in February.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar

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