Barnsley hosted Chelsea at the Oakwell Stadium in a battle between two former Bundesliga managers - Thomas Tuchel and Valerien Ismael. The FA Cup tie was set to be an exciting watch with both teams in good form.
The Tykes are known for their pressing in the Championship and they didn't give Chelsea any special treatment. Mirroring the Blues' 3-4-3 formation, Ismael set up his team to be attacking. In the first half, most of the chances landed at the feet of the home side but they couldn't capitalize on them.
Tuchel's team struggled not only to play out from the back but also to create any meaningful opportunities. So much so that for the first time in his short Chelsea career, the German switched it up to a back four in the second half.
Although Chelsea started seeing more of the ball, there was no change in the run of play. Barnsley were still on the front foot but they eventually went behind to a Tammy Abraham goal, who tapped in Reece James' square pass. Abraham also saved his team from the equalizer thanks to a headed goal-line clearance.
The home side kept pushing to get on level terms but the Stamford Bridge outfit held on as they advanced to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they will face Sheffield United.
What does this loss mean for Barnsley?
Barnsley have come a long way from the 6-0 mauling they suffered at the hands of Chelsea in September in the Carabao Cup. With 36 points from 27 games in the Championship, the Tykes have a real shot at ending in the Championship Playoffs spot.
Ismael should take confidence from the fact that his team had more shots on goal than the Blues and for most of the game, they dealt with everything Tuchel's team had to offer. Their organized press was causing chaos in the Chelsea half. Barnsley face top-of-the-table Brentford in a highly anticipated clash on Sunday. There is no reason for the Tykes not to go into the game full of confidence.
What does this win mean for Chelsea?
Chelsea remain unbeaten in all competitions since Thomas Tuchel took over at the club, with the win against Barnsley being their fourth consecutive one. Despite having to dig deep to get a result at the Oakwell Stadium, the away side showed just how resolute they have become defensively since the appointment of their German manager.
With Newcastle United coming up next in the Premier League, Chelsea will be confident of stretching their winning run. The Blues still haven't clicked as an attacking unit, so that's something to work on for Tuchel and his men.