Chelsea dispatched a brave Tottenham team who were grieving the loss of their Youth Coach Ugo Ehiogu to reach yet another FA Cup Final. The personnel may be different but since the Semi Finals were moved to Wembley in 2008, Chelsea have won every single all of those they have been involved in. This was Tottenham’s seventh straight semi final loss.
The game had barely got underway when Toby Alderweireld fouled Pedro on the edge of the Spurs area. He was booked and from the resultant free kick Willian curled the ball past Hugo Lloris who was rooted to his spot to give Chelsea the lead.
However they soon settled down and started probing. In the 18th minute Christian Eriksen put a fine cross into the Chelsea area and Harry Kane lost his marker, Nathan Ake, as he got the faintest of touches on the ball with a header to send it past Thibaut Courtois to level the score. That was the first goal Chelsea had conceded in the FA Cup in 325 minutes.
Victor Moses drove into the Spurs area and was brought down by Heung-Min Son and the referee awarded a penalty, which was slotted home by Willian to restore Chelsea’s lead.
Chelsea led 2-1 at the break.
Spurs regrouped and when Eriksen dinked a delightful chip into the area. Dele Alli who managed to get in between David Luiz and Marcos Alonso, guided the ball past Courtois to restore parity for Spurs for the second time.
Antonio Conte made changes as he brought on the heavy mob in Diego Costa and Eden Hazard for Batshuayi and Willian. Shortly after the Blues had a corner and Spurs failed to clear their lines. It fell to Hazard who rifled a low shot which nestled in the bottom left corner of the net to restore Chelsea’s lead for the third time.
With just 13 minutes of the game remaining Chelsea had another corner, which eventually fell to Nemanja Matic on the edge of the area and he lashed a ferocious shot past Lloris to make it 4-2 and effectively extinguish Spurs dream of winning the FA Cup for the first time in 26 years.
Costa should have made it five but his header lacked conviction and was easily cleared by the Spurs defence.
Some said if Spurs win it could give them the momentum required to overhaul the four point lead Chelsea hold over them in the league but it was not meant to be. After this highly entertaining and bruising cup-tie, the focus now shifts back to the Premier League during midweek. Spurs have no time to feel sorry for themselves as they must go to Crystal Palace and keep their run going in the league, as only maximum points will suffice for them.
Mauricio Pochettino said: “ I would like to congratulate Chelsea. We dominated the game though. We were unlucky. They scored from the only corner we conceded. The goal for 4-2 was amazing and there is nothing to say. I am proud of my players. We gave all. It is true we lost but we gave everything. We are out of the FA Cup but we will try again next season. This will have no impact on the league. Tomorrow we will work again. ”