Chelsea End Man City’s Quadruple Quest To Reach FA Cup Final

Chelsea's Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech (R) celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on April 17, 2021. Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech (R) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on April 17, 2021. Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea ended Manchester City’s quest for a historic quadruple of trophies as Hakim Ziyech’s goal earned a 1-0 win to take the Blues into the FA Cup final on Saturday.

A damaging day for City also saw them lose Kevin De Bruyne to an ankle injury just over a week away from the League Cup final, where they face Tottenham, and the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Chelsea were good value for another impressive win under Thomas Tuchel and will be favourites for the German’s first silverware in English football when they face Leicester or Southampton May 15.

Tuchel could land an even bigger prize in the Champions League just months after replacing the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

His side showed they can get the better of City in what could be a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final should the English clubs see off PSG and Real Madrid in the last four.

The physical demands of City’s bid for a clean sweep of trophies was shown as Pep Guardiola made eight changes from the side that beat Borussia Dortmund in midweek with goalscorers Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez among those rotated.

Tuchel made just three changes and Chelsea looked the far less disjointed side in a bright start.

Chelsea's Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech shoots to score the opening goal of the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on April 17, 2021. Adam Davy / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s Moroccan midfielder Hakim Ziyech shoots to score the opening goal of the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on April 17, 2021.
Adam Davy / POOL / AFP

 

Timo Werner’s cross was swept home by Ziyech after just six minutes, but the goal was ruled out for offside against the German international.

That proved to be the only shot on target of a cagey first 45 minutes that did little to whet the appetite of a potential reunion in Istanbul for European club football’s greatest prize on May 29.

Despite the number of changes, the ease with which Chelsea were able to spring quick counter-attacks will be of concern to Guardiola with the fearsome duo of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Neymar to come.

From one slick break, Chelsea’s wing-backs combined but Ben Chilwell could only slice Reece James’s cross wide.

City got to half-time without any damage on the scoreline, but suffered a potentially huge blow to their hopes of still clinching a treble of trophies early in the second-half.

Just 11 days before the first leg of the PSG tie, De Bruyne appeared to roll his ankle in a challenge with N’Golo Kante and was replaced by Foden.

City were still reeling from the loss of the Belgium attacker when they were finally caught out by the Chelsea counter-attack.

Guardiola’s decision to retain Zack Steffen in goal for domestic cup competitions backfired as the American was caught in no man’s land when Werner raced in behind and once again squared for Ziyech to roll into an empty net.

Steffen made some measure of amends moments later to deny Ziyech a second when the Moroccan was clean through.

City took until the final 20 minutes to get going, but their best chance of sending the game to extra-time came from a corner as Ruben Dias headed over from close range.

Instead, it was Chelsea who found the net again through Christian Pulisic in stoppage time only for the offside flag to again come to City’s rescue.

But there was no saving a bid for history for Guardiola’s men as they cannot now better Manchester United’s treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup from 1998/99.

AFP

Man Utd Crashed Out Of FA Cup Due To Fatigue – Solskjaer

 

Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures on the touchline during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 21, 2021. Leicester won the game 3-1. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP
Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures on the touchline during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on March 21, 2021. Leicester won the game 3-1.
Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended his decision to field a weakened team as Manchester United crashed out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 quarter-final defeat at Leicester on Sunday.

Solskjaer made five changes from the United side that beat AC Milan in the Europa League last-16 second leg on Thursday.

Paul Pogba was back in the starting line-up but Bruno Fernandes was left on the bench until the second half, while Marcus Rashford was missing from the squad.

United responded to the switches with a lethargic display as they were beaten for the first time in 30 domestic away games.

READ ALSO: Leicester Advance To FA Cup Semis As Iheanacho’s Double Send United Out

Mason Greenwood cancelled out Kelechi Iheanacho’s opener, but second-half goals from Youri Tielemans and Iheanacho killed off United.

It leaves Solskjaer with only the Europa League left as a realistic opportunity to win the first silverware of his reign as United boss.

Insisting he had no regrets about his selection, Solskjaer said: “I would have started the same team again. Every team selection has reasons behind it.

“On Thursday Bruno broke all his records physically and the boy is not inhuman.

“He has played a game every three or four days. It was a chance to start both Donny (Van de Beek) and Paul (Pogba) but the accumulation of games maybe caught up with us.

“We knew we had substitutes who could come on and make a difference. Everyone could see we weren’t as sharp as we have been.”

Without a major trophy since 2017, United are 14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and face Spanish side Granada in the Europa League quarter-finals in April.

“You are always disappointed, especially when it’s the end of the line of a cup run. We couldn’t find the normal spark, brightness and energy,” Solskjaer said.

“Maybe all the games caught up with us. Thursday was a big night and today we didn’t have the zip.”

Brendan Rodgers urged Leicester to create history after his team reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1982.

Leicester have made four final appearances but have never won the competition.

“We are in the semi-final and we have a chance to get to the final and create history,” said Rodgers, whose side will face Southampton in the last four at Wembley in April.

“When it comes we will fight and give everything we can to achieve that.

“For the club to get to the final and win the trophy would be really special. It’s a trophy in their history they haven’t won. I would be so happy for the owners.

“There are lots of teams ahead of us in terms of budget or whatever else, maybe history, but the ambition is there to win titles and be competitive.”

 

AFP

FA Cup: Manchester United To Face Liverpool

Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes celebrates with teammates after he takes a penalty and scores his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP) 

 

Manchester United will face Liverpool in the blockbuster tie of the FA Cup fourth round, while League Two Cheltenham host Manchester City.

Liverpool and United will clash for two consecutive weekends with the top two also facing off in the Premier League on Sunday.

National League North side Chorley’s reward for their victory over a depleted Derby was a home tie with Premier League Wolves.

Chorley manager Jamie Vermiglio told BBC Sport: “That’s what we really wanted, Premier League opposition, great.

“And there’s a bit of history because in 1986, Chorley played against Wolves at home and beat them 3-0, so we just need to do that again.”

Should Chorley pull off another upset, they could face holders Arsenal in the fifth round.

League Two Crawley, who thrashed Leeds 3-0 in the third round, travel to Bournemouth.

The fourth round ties will be played across the weekend of January 22 to 25 with the fifth round taking place between February 9 to 11.

FA Cup fourth round draw:

Manchester United v Liverpool

Cheltenham v Manchester City

Bournemouth v Crawley

Swansea v Nottingham Forest

Southampton or Shrewsbury v Arsenal

Barnsley v Norwich

Chorley v Wolves

Millwall v Bristol City

Brighton v Blackpool

Wycombe v Tottenham

Fulham v Burnley

Sheffield United v Plymouth

Chelsea v Luton

Stockport or West Ham v Doncaster

Brentford v Leicester

Everton v Sheffield Wednesday

Fifth round draw:

Manchester United or Liverpool v Stockport/West Ham/Doncaster

Fulham or Burnley v Bournemouth or Crawley

Sheffied United or Plymouth v Millwall or Bristol City

Chorley or Wolves v Southampton/Shrewsbury/Arsenal

Barnsley or Norwich v Chelsea or Luton

Everton or Sheffield Wednesday v Wycombe or Tottenham

Swansea or Nottingham Forest v Cheltenham or Manchester City

Brentford or Leicester v Brighton or Blackpool

AFP

Man Utd Beat Wolves To Reach FA Cup Fourth Round

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Mexican striker Raul Jimenez (L) headers the ball but fails to score during the English FA Cup third round-replay football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 15, 2020. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Man Utd Beat Wolves To Reach FA Cup Fourth Round.

FA Cup: Man. United In Striker Crisis Ahead Of Chelsea Clash

Courtesy: http://www.manutd.com
Courtesy: http://www.manutd.com

Manchester United is expected to face Chelsea in tonight’s English FA Cup quarter-final tie without a recognised senior striker.

Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are out of visit to Chelsea through injury, as the Red Devils face a striker crisis.

Rooney, is believed to have been involved in an accidental training ground collision with defender, Phil Jones.

Martial will also miss the match with Chelsea through injury, while Rashford, who has scored three goals in two FA Cup appearances this season, is absent through illness.

Mourinho Ready For Manchester United Tasks

Jose Mourinho, Manchester UnitedThe newly signed Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has expressed readiness to help the Red Devils overcome their recent setbacks.

The Portuguese, who was speaking during an interview told the club’s website the he feels great and thinks he is in the right moment of his career.

“I could say I am happy, I am proud, I am honoured, I am everything but the reality is what I love is to work and I cannot wait for 7th of July to go on the pitch,” he said.

He said his ambition for United was to ignore the club’s performance in the last three years and focus on the giant club he has in his hands.

“I want to focus on the history of this giant club and give what I have and what I don’t have.

“So I will give absolutely everything to try to go in the direction we all want,” he promised.

Mourinho was appointed Manchester United manager on Thursday after signing his contract at a central London hotel.

He was Chelsea’s coach between 2004 – 2007 before he left for Inter Milan and Real Madrid and subsequently returned to coach the Blues between 2013 – 2015.

The 53-year-old is regarded by a number of players and other football stakeholders as one of the most successful managers in the world.

He was named the best Portuguese Coach of the Century by the Portuguese Football Federation in 2015.

Jose Mourinho Becomes Manchester United’s Manager

Jose Mourinho, Manchester UnitedJose Mourinho has been appointed as Manchester United’s new manager after signing his contract at a central London hotel.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss met United’s Executive Vice-Chairman, Ed Woodward, on Thursday afternoon to conclude talks to take charge at Old Trafford.

Mourinho, who has been out of work since being sacked by Chelsea in December, replaces Louis van Gaal, who was himself sacked two days after winning the English FA Cup.

The Dutchman, who was appointed in summer 2014 after leading Holland to the World Cup semi-finals, struggled to win the hearts of United supporters with his methods and failure to guide the club into next season’s Champions League.

Mourinho is expected to be presented to the media on Friday.


EPL: Chelsea Set For Norwich, Leicester Loses Kante

EPLChelsea manager, Guus Hiddink, has confirmed Brazilian Alexandre Pato could make his debut soon for his side but that there is competition among the strikers.

The English Premier League champions signed Pato from Corinthians in January on loan until the end of the season but the 26-year-old has lacked match fitness.

Chelsea will face Norwich City in Tuesday night’s EPL clash and Hiddink says he is pleased with the progress of his squad since he took over in December.

Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri, says midfielder, N’golo Kante, will miss the night’s English Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion with a hamstring injury.

Coach Ranieri said that the defensive midfielder would also miss the trip to Watford on Saturday.

Leicester lead second-placed Tottenham Hotspur by two points with 11 games left and Coach Ranieri admits his side still has a lot to play for.

Chelsea, Others Advance In FA Cup

Chelsea 1Chelsea will face Everton in the quarter-final of the English FA Cup after thrashing Manchester City 5-1 at Stamford Bridge.

The EPL defending champions punished Manuel Pellegrini’s controversial decision to field a remarkably inexperienced team as Eden hazard inspired a 5-1 demolition of Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round.

Chelsea beat Everton in the FA Cup final in 2009 when Guus Hiddink was in charge of the Blues.

Westham United also advanced to the quarterfinals of the FA with a whooping 5-1 win over second-tier Blackburn Rovers

Crystal palace eased past Tottenham 1-nil at White Hart Lane.

Wigan Athletic In Greatest FA Cup Upset As City Succumbs

Wigan Athletic has pulled off one of the greatest FA Cup final upset in the history of the competition when a 90th minute header from substitute Ben Watson gave them a 1-0 win over highly-fancied Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on this evening.

Wigan, still threatened with relegation from the Premier League, played the better football throughout and deserved to win the match in what was their first FA Cup final in their 81-year history.

The Latics’ win was the biggest upset since Wimbledon beat Liverpool in the 1988 final and represented a personal triumph for their chairman Dave Whelan who broke his leg playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup final.

City, FA Cup winners in 2011 and Premier League champions last season, were the overwhelming favourites to win the famous trophy for the sixth time but were largely outplayed against the underdogs who put their erratic league form behind them.

Roberto Mancini’s team had their best chance in the 29th minute when Carlos Tevez had a shot from 10 metres which was well saved by Wigan goalkeeper Joel Robles. The Spaniard stuck out a leg to block what seemed a certain goal-bound strike from Tevez and it was just one of a string of saves he made.

Instead of using their width, City attempted to build attacks though the middle and made little progress against Wigan’s back three of Paul Scharner, Antolin Alcaraz and Emmerson Boyce blocking their progress.

Instead, Wigan played the ball wide with the excellent Callum McManaman on the right and Roger Espinoza on the left creating space and opportunities.

Wigan nearly took the lead in the 76th minute when Shaun Maloney’s free kick rebounded off the crossbar and they caused more trouble eight minutes later when a bursting run from the ever-dangerous Callum McManaman forced City defender Pablo Zabaleta into a foul and the Argentine was sent off for a second yellow card.

Wigan won it when Watson, who had only been on the field for nine minutes and had broken his leg earlier this season, powered an unstoppable header past keeper Joe Hart from a Maloney corner.

Roberto Martinez’s team now face two Premier League matches to save themselves from relegation, but will become the first team to win the FA Cup and go down in the same season if they fail to stay up.

Even if they had lost Wigan knew they would play in the Europa League next season because City had already clinched a Champions League spot. But this Cup win could now galvanise them to extend their Premier League status for a ninth season.