Chelsea have secured a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and they have Tammy Abraham to thank for that. The 23-year-old striker scored the only goal of the game as the Blues secured victory against Barnsley on Thursday.
Thomas Tuchel has made an incredible start to life as Chelsea boss, with the club yet to lose under him. Even more impressive is the fact that they have racked up several clean sheets.
In five games, the Blues have won four games and drawn once. They have also conceded just a single goal in that period – an own goal scored by Antonio Rudiger against Sheffield United last week.
Chelsea were not at their best on Thursday and laboured to break down Barnsley’s defence. It took until the 64th minute for the Blues to register their first shot on target, which eventually turned out to be Tammy Abraham’s goal.
Tammy Abraham bails Chelsea out against Barnsley
While Tuchel assembled a strong team, especially in attack, it was Tammy Abraham who spared his manager's blushes by scoring the winner.
The German manager named an adventurous attack comprising of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Abraham.
However, for all the attacking talent on the pitch, Chelsea rarely troubled Barnsley. It was Abraham who scored and then pulled off another goal-line clearance to bail his team out.
The striker said after the game, as quoted by Chelseafc.com:
“I grew up being a defender. So it was just an instinctive reaction really! It was just a case of being in the right place at the right time and getting my head on the ball. I saw the ball coming towards the goal and I just knew I had to do something and like I said, it was just instinctive. I think I celebrated the clearance more than the goal!
“It was a good night in the end. We got the win to get through to the quarter-final, we kept a clean sheet and on a personal level, it was great to score the winning goal.”
Abraham was rightly voted Man of the Match following his match-winning exploits against Barnsley.
Tammy Abraham working his way into Thomas Tuchel’s plans
When Thomas Tuchel arrived, there were a number of players who were expected to be out of favour. One of those was Tammy Abraham.
However, the 23-year-old is already outshining Chelsea's big-money signings and is the club’s top scorer this season. Tuchel’s clean slate approach means that every player has been given a chance to stake a claim in the starting XI. So far, Abraham has taken his chance and is playing very well.
Although Timo Werner may be Tuchel’s intended first-choice striker, the former RB Leipzig forward is currently struggling to find his form. This has opened the door for Abraham to make his own name, and he is gradually working his way into Tuchel’s plans.
While there is still a lot that he has to improve to become a world-class striker, Tammy Abraham has never shied away from challenges and is embracing the competition at Chelsea.