MOTD- Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

Demba Ba has given Chelsea a good win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in their FA Cup Quarterfinal replay, with The Blues heading to Wembley to play Manchester City in the semifinals.  Chelsea started the match by keeping possession and pinging the ball around in United’s half, with United barely seeing the ball in the opening five minutes.  In the fourth minute John Obi Mikel hit a curling shot from thirty-yards out that forced United goalkeeper David De Gea into a good save, but United were doing a good job of not allowing Chelsea much room inside and around their box.

Chelsea kept on top, and the match sprang into life in the thirtieth minute when Eden Hazard ran into space just outside the United penalty area.  Hazard slipped the ball to Demba Ba on the right side of the United box, and the forward hit a first-time shot towards the near post.  De Gea was slightly out of position, but managed to kick the shot wide.

Despite having a slow start to the match, United also came alive, with Nani hitting a venomous shot from thirty-yards out.  The shot flew towards goal, and whizzed just wide of the upright.  Seconds later Chelsea almost opened the scoring when Hazard played a neat one-two with Oscar to give him space in the United box.  The Belgian curled a shot inches above the top crossbar, with United being let off the hook.   In the thirty-ninth minute United came close to scoring when De Gea punted the ball up to Javier Hernandez.  Hernandez was not closed down by Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand, so he hit a viciously swerving shot from forty yards out.  The shot looked like an easy save for Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, but at the last minute it completely changed direction, forcing Cech to kick it away mid-dive.  Neither side could break the deadlock before halftime though, and after a minute of injury time the first half ended 0-0.
Amazingly, it took Chelsea only three minutes into the second half to open the scoring when Juan Mata received the ball in the center of the United half.  The Spaniard international beautifully chipped the ball above the Untied defense to Demba Ba, who, at full stretch, managed to volley the ball into the top left corner of the net with his first touch.   As always, United responded, and The Red Devils were incredibly denied a goal through a stunning Petr Cech save.  Antonio Valencia broke free down the left, and cut the ball back for Danny Welbeck to cross.  Welbeck’s cross found Hernandez at the back post, and the Mexican headed an effort that seemed in with Cech diving the wrong way, but the goalkeeper amazingly changed direction in mid-air and palmed the header away.

Chelsea slowly started to work their way back into the match, with Mata forcing a good save from De Gea in the sixty-fourth minute from a shot from the left side of the box.  Seconds later Hazard came close to doubling Chelsea’s lead when he pounced on a stray Michael Carrick pass.  He broke into the United box, and hit a low shot inches wide of the post.  United almost took the match into extra-time in the eighty-seventh minute when Patrice Evra ran down the left flank and cut the ball back to Robin van Persie in the center of the box, only for the Dutchman to sky his effort over the bar.  In the second minute of injury time Van Persie had another chance to equalize, with Ashley Young sending an inch-perfect cross into the box, with Van Persie heading the ball just over the bar.  But United could not force the match into extra time, and after three minutes of injury time the match ended 1-0 with Chelsea set to face Manchester City in the semifinals.

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