Lampard Hails Chelsea’s ‘Character’ After FA Cup Semi-Final Success

Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 19, 2020. Andy Rain / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 19, 2020. Andy Rain / POOL / AFP

 

Frank Lampard saluted Chelsea’s “character and personality” as they powered into the FA Cup final with a 3-1 win over woeful Manchester United on Sunday.

Lampard’s side were gifted their goals by an error-strewn display from United goalkeeper David De Gea, but Chelsea were deserved winners as they dominated the semi-final from start to finish.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring late in the first half and Mason Mount got the second after the interval at Wembley.

Harry Maguire’s own goal killed off United before Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty.

After some shaky performances in recent weeks, including a 3-0 hammering at Sheffield United, Lampard was impressed with the spirited way his players out-classed in-form United at Wembley.

“I can’t ask for any more from my players than that. The work ethic and the level of performance. We were on top and when they changed their system we were even better,” Lampard told the BBC.

“Where we are at, it is going to happen that we have some bad displays like against Sheffield United. But to do that against Manchester United, I’m delighted and very proud.

“There was a lot of work done in the last two days to change the system, and you’re only as good as your players in that situation. They deserve a huge amount of credit.

“They should take confidence from that display. We have leaders, you can’t compare across eras but we have leaders in the team. It was a performance full of character and personality.”

Chelsea’s victory moved Lampard a step closer to silverware in his first season in charge of the club where he earned legendary status as a player.

Before their FA Cup final date with London rivals Arsenal on August 1, Chelsea have to focus on qualifying for the Champions League via a top four finish in the Premier League.

They sit third — one point above Leicester and United — with games against Liverpool and Wolves to finish the league season.

“We have finals ahead. Two in the league and then Arsenal,” Lampard said.

“We want to win things, and at the start of the season we wanted to be up there challenging for the top four.

“A lot of people were tipping against us, but quietly I was always hoping.

“I don’t want to put everything on these three games defining everything we’ve done and the progress we’ve made, but of course we want top four, we want trophies and we’re at the business end, so let’s see.”

Crystal Palace To Face Manchester United In FA Cup Final

FA CupCrystal Palace on Sunday evening set up a repeat of the 1990 English FA Cup final against Manchester United after Yannick Bolasie and Connor Wickham secured a 2-1 victory over Watford at Wembley.

Bolasie headed in Yohan Cabaye’s corner to put Palace in front but after six minutes Troy Deeney sparked the semi-final into life with Watford’s equaliser nine minutes after halftime.

The equaliser, however, only lasted for seven minutes as Wickham popped up with the winning goal on 61 minutes.

Manchester United had defeated Everton 2-0 at Wembley on Saturday to go through into a record-equalling 19th FA Cup final.

Marouane Fellaini gave United a deserved first-half lead from close range and goalkeeper David de Gea also brilliantly saved Romelu Lukaku’s 57th-minute penalty.

An injury-time goal by Anthony Martial ensured Louis van Gaal’s side will face Crystal Palace.

Martial’s Late Goal Puts Manchester United Into FA Cup Final

Anthony-Martial leads Man Utd into FA Cup FinalsAn injury-time goal by Anthony Martial in a game against Everton at Wembley was enough for Manchester United to go through into a record-equalling 19th FA Cup final.

Martial ensured Louis van Gaal’s side will face either Crystal Palace or Watford with a composed finish in the dying seconds of the semi-final.

Marouane Fellaini gave United a deserved first-half lead from close range – but they were then indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea as he brilliantly saved Romelu Lukaku’s 57th-minute penalty, the BBC reports.

After a passive first 45 minutes that saw Everton jeered off at half-time, they drew level with 15 minutes left when Chris Smalling deflected Gerard Deulofeu’s cross into his own net.

As the game looked destined for extra-time, Ander Herrera’s poked pass sent Martial clear and the striker showed great composure to drill a low finish past Everton keeper Joel Robles.

England’s international captain, Wayne Rooney, showed his class in a deep-lying role behind United’s attack.

In the opening half especially, afforded time and space by a timid Everton, Rooney not only showed his full range of passes to create chances and dictate the game, he even showed the energy to get back and clear Lukaku’s early goalbound effort off the line.