A goal from N’Golo Kante helped Chelsea to a victory in the FA Cup quarter-final over the 10 men of a determined Man United team.
Chelsea dominated the match and could’ve been in front early on if it wasn’t for David de Gea. He made fantastic saves to deny Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard. He makes so many saves in a lot of matches and is United’s saviour so many times. Then came the controversy.
With Jose Mourinho being fired-up with his team it was inevitable he was going to clash with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who is also passionate in his team’s games. The touchline clash came when Ander Herrera was sent off 10 minutes before half time.
United players had been fouling Hazard a lot during the first half, with Conte saying after the match that they were targeting him. But, after having a yellow card in the 20th minute, he got a second fifteen minutes later for a foul which was not deserving of a yellow card. It seemed like the referee gave it for all the fouls by the team which is stupid. Mourinho was furious by the decision.
The two managers had to be kept apart moments later after Marcos Alonso fell after being brought down. He felt Alonso had dived and that caused Conte to join him in a head-to-head bout. This led to them both being sent to their corners by referee Michael Oliver.
In the second half, it only took 6 minutes for Chelsea to take the lead through Kante. He got the ball about 20 yards out, took a touch before drilling the ball low beyond the reach of de Gea, who for once could not stop this effort.
Chelsea did dominate the second half, but United did have a very good chance. A long ball went past David Luiz, leaving Marcus Rashford to run towards Cahill, went past Cahill, but had his shot well saved by Thibaut Courtois. It was the only good chance United had all game. Rashford wasn’t meant to play because of illness, but he came off his sick bed to play, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended, and Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney injured.
The feud continued in the second half, with Conte reacting angrily when Mourinho kicked the ball too close to him for his liking. There was also some strong challenges on the pitch, with a Marcos Rojo stamp on Hazard possibly leading to further action. In the end Chelsea won the game comfortably and didn’t face many troubles at all, but Paul Pogba did drag a shot wide with his left foot from just outside the box.
Even though Mourinho led Chelsea to three Premier League titles, and he got sacked, so he didn’t want to leave, the Chelsea fans still chanted “Judas”. He responded through showing three fingers, symbolising the three League titles he won at Stamford Bridge.
As United got hammered 4-0 in Mourinho’a first return to Stamford Bridge as a United boss, he was intent on putting things right in this game. This time he will feel a sense of injustice at Herrera’s red card which changed the game severely. He will also feel frustration at the fact that talisman Ibrahimovic was suspended.
In the absence of Ibrahimovic, the other main player in Pogba had a chance to prove his worth in this game, but he was quiet in a game where he was mainly chasing the ball rather than having the ball at his feet. Kante had a much bigger impact on the game, breaking up play and starting attacks.
Chelsea face Tottenham in the semi-final, with the other semi-final being contested between Man City and Arsenal. Chelsea are firmly on course for a domestic double. Next up for United, they are at home to FC Rostov in the second leg of the last 16 of the Europa League. The aggregate score is 1-1 after the first leg. Hopefully they can win the game comfortably and progress in the tournament.