Why Kepa & Jorginho missed Chelsea's clash with Middlesbrough


Explanations for the respective absences of Jorginho and Kepa Arrizabalaga for Chelsea's meeting with Middlesbrough have been provided on Saturday evening.

For those not aware, both midfielder Jorginho and shot-stopper Kepa were surprise last-minute scratches from Thomas Tuchel's latest matchday squad at the Riverside Stadium.

The latter in particular had been viewed as a near certainty to start, having long been usurped as Chelsea's first-choice option between the posts by Edouard Mendy.

In turn, speaking to the media on the back of the full-time whistle this evening, Thomas Tuchel was inevitably drawn on Kepa's situation.

And the German went on to reveal that his no.2's omission came owing to a bout of illness:

Turning attentions towards Jorginho, the midfield metronome was not risked versus 'Boro as a direct favour to Italy, ahead of the Azzurri's crunch World Cup playoff meetings with North Macedonia and, potentially, Portugal:

Lukaku amongst the goals

Despite the absences of a pair of important members of their squad, Chelsea, though, ultimately booked their spot in the FA Cup's final four on Saturday evening in confident fashion.

First, with a quarter of an hour on the clock, Romelu Lukaku opened the evening's scoring from close range, getting on the end of a pinpoint delivery from Mason Mount:

And this was followed by the game's killer goal fifteen minutes later, as Hakim Ziyech cut inside from his berth on the right flank, before picking out the far bottom corner of the hosts' net in style:

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Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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