Emirates FA Cup
Stamford Bridge, London, England
34′ Herrera Sent off (Second bookable offence)
Chelsea progressed into the Semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over ten-men Manchester United at Stamford Bridge to set up a mouth-watering London-Derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
N’Golo Kanté’s early second-half strike proved to be the difference against last season’s FA Cup Champions, who had Ander Herrera earlier dismissed after picking-up a second yellow card for a cynical foul on Eden Hazard.
The visitors started well and went close in the 12th minute when Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired an effort just wide from-range.
Three minutes later the Blues went close to taking the lead when Hazard turned past Chris Smalling with ease before beating Marcos Rojo to fire an effort that David De Gea palmed inches wide. Chelsea had a good chance from the resulting-corner, which fell to Gary Cahill, whose effort forced De Gea into a fine save with the keeper palming the ball away.
In the 34th minute the visitors were reduced to ten-men when the already-booked Herrera, received his marching-orders after being shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul on Hazard.
Chelsea started the second-half in the ascendancy and took the lead six minutes into the restart. Kanté was allowed too much room and he took advantage to fire home a curling-effort from-range past De Gea.
Seven minutes later the visitors had a good chance to level the scores when David Luiz misjudged a lofted-pass allowing Marcus Rashford to seize onto the loose ball and beat Cahill before firing an effort that Thibaut Courtois smothered behind fantastically with his feet.
A minute later the Blues should have doubled their lead when a Willian corner was met by Diego Costa with a free-header, but he miscued his effort wide, with the ball coming-off his shoulder.
Two minutes later the Blues went close again when Kanté exchanged passes with Willian, who curled a first-time effort inches over the bar from-range.
In the 72nd minute Chelsea went close to a second goal when Willian tried to catch De Gea out at his near-post but the Spaniard palmed the ball behind.
Nine minutes later Manchester United went close to an equaliser when Paul Pogba fired an effort just wide from-range.
In the first of four additional minutes the Blues went close to sealing the victory when a Chelsea break allowed Hazard to find Costa, who teed up substitute Cesc Fàbregas, who fired an effort that De Gea palmed away.
The result meant that Chelsea will play Tottenham Hotspur in the Semi-finals of the competition whilst last season’s Champions Manchester United bowed out.