Emirates FA Cup
Wembley Stadium, London, England
43′ Willian (P)
Chelsea booked their place in the Emirates FA Cup Final after defeating Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 in a thrilling Semi-final at Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham came from behind twice through Harry Kane and Dele Alli, to level the scores after Willian had given Chelsea the lead on two separate occasions. However with 15 minutes left, substitute Eden Hazard put the Blues ahead before Nemanja Matić’s thunderous piledriver, ensured Chelsea progressed into the Final as Spurs bowed out at the Semi-final stage for the seventh consecutive season.
Antonio Conte caused quite a commotion among the Chelsea faithful in his decision to drop regular starters, Diego Costa and Hazard to the bench but his decision ultimately paid off as Hazard’s replacement, Willian curled a home a terrific freekick over the wall and past Hugo Lloris, to put the Blues ahead.
In the 18th minute Spurs drew level when a teasing delivery from Christian Eriksen was flicked-home by Kane with an improvised-header, following a corner.
Tottenham went close to taking the lead in the 35th minute when a Jan Vertonghen cross was headed inches wide by Eric Dier, following a corner.
Four minutes later Spurs went close again when a misplaced pass from César Azpilicueta fell to Eriksen, who curled an effort at-goal from-range but Thibaut Courtois made a straightforward save.
Four minutes before the break, the Blues were given a golden chance to take the lead from the penalty-spot after the referee penalised Heung-min Son, who dived in needlessly to catch Moses in the area. Willian stepped up to tuck the resulting-penalty home, sending Lloris the wrong way.
Tottenham started the second-half in the ascendancy and drew level in the 53rd minute when Alli managed to get ahead of David Luiz and latch onto a terrific cross-field pass from Eriksen and volley home on the slide.
In the 75th minute the Blues went ahead when a Chelsea corner fell to Hazard, who fired the loose ball home into the bottom-corner.
Five minutes later Chelsea sealed the victory when Hazard teed up Matić, who drove an unstoppable strike in off the underside of the bar from-range.
Five minutes later the Blues had a good chance to extend their lead when substitute Cesc Fàbregas’ fine cross was met by fello substitute Costa, but he headed the ball wide when he should have at least hit the target.
In the third of four additional minutes, Tottenham went close to pulling a goal back when Kane’s ferocious freekick was fumbled by Courtois, but the keeper reacted quickly to gather it at the second-attempt on the goal-line.
The result meant that Chelsea booked their place in the FA Cup Final while Tottenham Hotspur bowed out of the competition at the same stage for the seventh consecutive season.