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Many Blues fans would have been expecting a walkover against the Tykes at the Oakwell Stadium, but Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael had something else in mind.
The home side made life very difficult for Chelsea, and it had to take a 64th minute strike from Tammy Abraham to seal the victory. A late on the line headed clearance from the same player ensured that the game didn’t go into extra time.
Speaking after the game, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admitted he was relieved after the final whistle.
“I have to be honest, yes, I am relieved,” said Tuchel, “but we can stop the analysis. It is already done. Chelsea through to the quarter-finals – full-stop!
“We can clearly play better, it was not our best performance,’ he continued. ‘To cope with the difficulties today was hard for us.
“To cope with the pressure, to escape the pressure in our own half we made some changes at half-time, then we played better in the second half, in a different structure to help the team.
“We played it very well until we scored a very nice goal but after that, the opponent again took a lot of risks and played very aggressively. We had trouble to cope with the first challenges, trouble to cope with the second balls and so in the end it was way too deep for too many minutes.”