Chelsea moves into the quarter-finals, but they haven’t strolled there.
This was a tough, gruelling test that could have turned out otherwise had Barnsley been a bit more clinical in the first half. Chelsea did improve in the second half and found a way.
Tuchel’s side came under pressure at times against their hosts from the Championship, but Abraham tapped in the only goal of the game, in the second half, from what would prove to be their only shot on target.
The England striker then headed clear from his goal line to deny Barnsley substitute Michael Sollbauer a late equaliser and seal a quarter-final at home against Sheffield United for last season’s runners-up.
Tammy Abraham’s close-range finish was enough to see off the Tykes, who was frightening and full of energy but just didn’t quite have enough to beat this team of international and experienced stars. They can hold their heads high.
‘Speaking after the game I am relieved, to be honest,’ said Tuchel, a domestic cup winner in Germany and France.
We can play better, it was not our best performance.
We were lucky twice. In the first half, when Kepa saved us and when Tammy saved us with the header on the line.
‘We have to admit we tried to adapt but in the Cup sometimes it is like this and I can’t be too harsh.
‘The conditions were not easy and we went through.
‘We can stop all the analysis. Chelsea is through to the quarter-final, that’s the most important thing.’
Kepa Arrizabalaga was recalled in goal for the first time under the new boss and, if there were any courage for him, they were soothed by a stunning save made to deny Callum Brittain from point-blank range, early in the game.
Chelsea will face league relegation zone team Sheffield United at home in the sixth round – a favourable tie you would say and a very good chance of making the semis. Onwards and upwards for Tuchel, who wins his fifth game in charge.