Chelsea – Manchester United: Chelsea is going to the FA Cup Final for the third time in four seasons after dispatching Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Olivier Giroud and Mason Mount got goals off of David De Gea howlers as Frank Lampard moved within a win of his first trophy as Chelsea manager.
A Harry Maguire own goal made it 3-0 before Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty to give the Red Devils a marker.
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Chelsea will meet London rivals Arsenal at Wembley for the FA Cup Final on Aug. 1, as it was London 2-0 Manchester in the semifinals.
The Blues and Gunners have combined to appear in 33 FA Cup Finals with 21 wins between the two (Arsenal’s 13 are the most in FA Cup history). Arsenal beat Chelsea in the 2002 and 2017 FA Cup Finals.
Three things we learned
1. Bailly suffers scary head injury: Ivorian center back Eric Bailly has had his fair share of injuries at Old Trafford, but the one that felled him Sunday was scary for other reasons. Bailly went head-to-head with teammate Harry Maguire and both needed medical attention. While Maguire deemed fit to return with a bandage, a bleeding Bailly was able to walk off the pitch but then laid back on the turf outside the touch line for more care. Bailly was then given oxygen and put in a neck brace before being wheeled off the field on a stretcher.
2. Paging Mr. Henderson: David De Gea developed from his early mediocre days at United to become one of the best goalkeepers in the world but he’s made a series of miserable errors this year. His inability to stop Giroud’s opener can be explained away by an ardent DDG supporter but his error on Mount’s long-range shot was putrid. He did well to deny Giroud with a slap in the 59th, but the damage was done. Cries for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to give current Sheffield United loan man Dean Henderson a chance to claim the starter’s spot next season will only grow after De Gea’s Sunday at Wembley.
3. Lampard out-wits Solskjaer: Both managers knew they entered the day two wins from silverware but also in control of their Champions League destinies through the Premier League route. Both teams have Wednesday matches, so there was going to be some rotation. Chelsea didn’t have N’Golo Kante and couldn’t start Christian Pulisic due to a minor injury (though the American was shown warming up during the match).
Lampard went for it, arguably starting his best available XI. Solskjaer switched things up and used Daniel James up top despite the youngster having just one goal, against LASK, in 2020. Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial were on the bench,
Yes, Ole’s in this match for the duration if De Gea’s anywhere near his usual self. Maybe that should weigh a bit more on our analysis but United looked like a team with little concern for hardware.
Man of the Match
Mount — You’ve gotta shoot to score and Mount was willing to do that. He hasn’t had a strong second half of the season compared to his start to the campaign at Chelsea, but Mount was dangerous on the dribble and could’ve scored two. He also made a terrific steal to set up his drive past De Gea. Honorable mention: Cesar Azpilicueta, who has been the Blues rock for weeks (and probably much longer).
Manchester United – Chelsea recap
The first half was relatively sleepy for 30 minutes aside from an adventurous Reece James shot that troubled David De Gea.
It began to open up when a Marcus Rashford-won free kick added some excitement. Wily Caballero had to poke Bruno Fernandes’ arrow over the bar.
At the other end, Mason Mount rolled a tepid 20-yard effort to David De Gea.
United had already seen Eric Bailly suffer an injury and attempt to stay on when Harry Maguire clashed heads with the Ivorian center back. Bailly was removed from the game and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose offense in deploying Anthony Martial in his place.
Chelsea scored deep in stoppage but De Gea and Victor Lindelof will both be upset that Giroud’s outside-of-the-boot flick of a Cesar Azpilicueta cross battled its way off the prone keeper’s body and over the line.
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Mount made it 2-0 very early in the second half Mount picked off a miserable pass to the center of the pitch and hit a low shot that De Gea absolutely bungled.
De Gea made the save on Giroud’s deflected shot before the hour mark to keep it 2-0.
Maguire then poked a Marcos Alonso cross to Antonio Rudiger off De Gea to complete the scoring with 16 minutes to play.
Callum Hudson-Odoi cut down Anthony Martial in the box late to set up Fernandes’ finish.