FA Cup

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Stamp fallout: Rojo could face ban for stamp on Hazard

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Manchester United is building a book of stamps, and this time the Red Devils are the oppressor.

A week after Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings was banned five matches for his stamp on United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it looks certain a Red Devil will be on the receiving end of a suspension for a similar incident.

United’s tactic of fouling the ever-loving heck out of Eden Hazard cost them the use of Ander Herrera during the match, and will likely help Marcos Rojo to the sideline for at least three matches.

[ MORE: Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd | 3 things from JPW ]

Hazard hits the deck after contact from Rojo outside the 18, and Rojo plants his right foot into the Chelsea player’s ribs.

Perhaps better put:

While Mings almost certainly stamped Ibrahimovic on purpose, the Bournemouth man at least had plausible deniability due to the fact that he did his best to conceal his intentions. Rojo may as well have just conducted an audacious gesticulation before applying this wrestling finishing move to Hazard’s ribs.

I’ve already read several “anti-Man Utd bias” Tweets this morning regarding this incident, which is about as funny as it gets. Prepare for some time off, Marcos.

Draw decided, which FA Cup final carries most allure?

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Fun little exercise to close down the night.

For the first time in a half decade, the FA Cup semifinalists are Premier League powers; Manchester City joins London trio Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur in the final four.

The semis provide four possible permutations for the FA Cup final, which will come our way one week after the Premier League closes up shop until August.

[ MORE: Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd | 3 things from JPW ]

With Spurs facing Chelsea and Man City drawing Arsenal, which final carries the widest appeal?

4. Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur — How fortunate is the FA that Spurs and City would be the least interesting of our hypotheses? We wouldn’t mind a grudge match following the 2-2 draw at the Etihad on Jan. 22, and Pep Guardiola has yet to outfox Mauricio Pochettino. Spurs needed a replay to beat City in the 1981 final.

3. Chelsea vs. Manchester City — City will have spent the last many weeks staring up at Chelsea — barring a Blues collapse in the PL — and the Guardiola-Antonio Conte tactical battle would hit stage three. Chelsea beat City at the Etihad in December, and there will be one more before this hypothetical final.

2. Arsenal vs. Chelsea — The Blues will likely have clinched the Premier League one week earlier, and Antonio Conte will be going for the double. Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger could very well be hoping to see off his Arsenal career with one last bit of hardware. Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 in the 2002 final, Wenger’s second of six titles.

1. Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal — A North London Derby to (probably) close off Arsene Wenger’s tenure as Gunners’ boss? There hasn’t been one yet. Easy No. 1, a win that could inspire a song just as memorable as, “We won the league at White Hart Lane”.

Agree? Disagree? How would you rank them? Hit the comments section.

Mourinho wished referee Oliver “many congratulations” after loss

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Jose Mourinho didn’t want to speak about the red card earned by Ander Herrera for a pair of first half fouls on Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.

But he was happy to talk about the man who made those calls.

Manchester United’s boss ripped into referee Michael Oliver after Chelsea eliminated the Red Devils from the FA Cup at the quarterfinals with a 1-0 decision at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

[ MORE: Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd | 3 things from JPW ]

From the BBC:

“We can compare the decisions of the two yellow cards, in this case with others which were not given.

“I don’t want to go in that direction. Michael Oliver is a referee with fantastic potential but in four matches he has given three penalties and a red card. I cannot change that.

“I shook his hand and said many congratulations.”

That’s fire from Mourinho, and certainly boils over to reach his lesser moments in self-control. It’s one thing to criticize a call, or a referee, but insinuating bias is prime “Mourinho off the rails” country.

That said, we certainly understand why he was fired up.

FA Cup semifinal draw: Gunners get Man City; Spurs-Chelsea

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Chelsea’s 1-0 win over 10-man Manchester United completed the field for the FA Cup semifinals, a quartet of Premier League monsters.

Manchester City joins London sides Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea, and the semifinal draw came soon after the final whistle at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd | 3 things from JPW ]

Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal vs. Manchester City

The matches will be played on the weekend of April 22-23 at Wembley Stadium, with the final a little over one month later (May 27).

Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd: Herrera red dooms visitors, match

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  • Herrera shown 2 yellows by 35′
  • Kante opens scoring, 51′
  • Mourinho, Conte clash

N'Golo Kante‘s second half goal was the lone marker in a match with little to like, as a 10-man Manchester United couldn’t muster much against Chelsea in a 1-0 FA Cup semifinal at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

That means the FA Cup semis will be 75 percent London, as Chelsea will meet Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal tangles with Manchester City.

An early pair of yellows to Ander Herrera and United’s already-thin options in attack took a lot of the life from the encounter.

In fact, perhaps the most notable moment aside from the dismissal and goal was a heated argument between managers Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte shortly after the sending-off.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Tight-marking and patient play was the hallmark of the first 14 minutes, before Eden HazardDiego Costa, and Willian helped open up an N’Golo Kante shot that was blocked by United.

Hazard then turned an electric dribble into an opportunity, hitting a deflected far post query that was neither met by a back post run nor tight enough to sneak inside the post. David De Gea made a terrific stop on the ensuing corner, which gave way to another offering and spell of possession.

Michael Oliver sent off Ander Herrera in the 35th minute for a second yellow card, both of which came for iffy fouls on Eden Hazard that involved a bit of embellishment. Alas, the second came right after a warning from Oliver to United’s staff.

Jose Mourinho inserted Marouane Fellaini into the heart of the midfield.

Kante blazed a shot over the net from inside the 18, but the eyes were on Mourinho and Antonio Conte. The managers needed to be separated by the fourth official.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Chelsea broke through thanks to a moment’s hesitance or inactivity from Paul Pogba, as Kante took a touch to set himself up for a nice 20-yard shot past De Gea.

Marcus Rashford had a rare United chance as the match hit the hour mark, but Chelsea came right back on the counter. Nemanja Matic waited too long to spot Willian, with the chance cleared for a corner. Diego Costa just missed burying a header on the set piece.

With United missing suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well as injured Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial, the Red Devils just didn’t have options to inject attack while down a man. A late chance from Pogba, who was off all day, bounded wide of the frame.

De Gea made a stoppage time parry of Cesc Fabregas in what was essentially the match’s final action.