- 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.
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Tight-marking and patient play was the hallmark of the first 14 minutes, before Eden Hazard, Diego 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.
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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.