It is not often you see a striker celebrate a clearance more than a goal but that was certainly the case for Tammy Abraham at Oakwell last night!
The striker’s second-half strike secured a 1-0 FA Cup victory over Barnsley for Chelsea to set up a quarter-final clash with Sheffield United, with the forward tapping home a pinpoint cross from Reece James.
The Blues were made to work for our victory, which was played out in sub-zero temperatures in South Yorkshire, and it took an incredible goal-line clearance from our No.9 to keep the Tykes out and ensure we earned the win.
While it may have been a surprise to see Tammy back in our own box defending our lines, the striker admits he has been in similar positions before thanks to his days as a youth player featuring in defence.
‘I grew up being a defender,’ explained Abraham. ‘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.’
The Blues were pushed all the way by the Tykes and our match-winner had plenty of praise for the Championship side but he was by no means surprised by their efforts.
‘Coming here is never easy,’ added Abraham. ‘I’ve experienced that myself from my time in the Championship.
‘Credit to Barnsley, they made it difficult but we knew the chances would come for us eventually. I just had to make sure I was in the right place at the right time and thankfully I was.’
The striker had two claims for a Chelsea spot-kick waved away and our goalscorer gave us his views on those two incidents when speaking post-match.
‘I think the first one was a good tackle from the defender, to be fair,’ Tammy gracefully admitted. ‘I tried to get my body in the way but he’s got the ball and it was a fair challenge.
‘With the second one, I think there was more of a chance there. I think some referees give it, some don’t and it’s just one of those things. It didn’t matter in the end and like I said, I just needed to stay patient and thankfully a chance came my way and I took it.’