Daily Archives: March 19, 2018

FA Cup: Chelsea enters semi-finals after Pedro’s extra time goal

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Pedro’s extra-time winner for Chelsea earned victory for the Blues at Leicester City and set up an FA Cup semi-final encounter against Southampton at Wembley.

Antonio Conte’s side were digging deep after being widely criticized for their midweek Champions League defeat in FC Barcelona to keep their hopes of silverware alive as they survived an attacking assault from The Foxes.

However, the Blues drew first blood through Alvaro Morata when the Spanish forward took Willian’s pass in his stride to beat Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel in composed fashion to give Chelsea the advantage just before half-time.

Still, the Foxes were able to get their equalizer when Jamie Vardy made amends for a poor headed miss when he pounced in a goalmouth scramble for a 76th minute equaliser.

The decisive moment then came just just before the interval in extra time when Chelsea substitute Pedro beat the onrushing Schmeichel to N’Golo Kante’s cross and headed in the winner.

“t was a tough game but we knew this,” Conte said after the game. “The last game at home [a 0-0 draw in January] we suffered a lot against Leicester.”

“We must be pleased. I saw a good performance and great character from my team. After the game in the Champions League, when we spent a lot of energy, they showed good heart to beat Leicester.”

Chelsea will play Southampton — who reached the last four by beating Wigan earlier on Sunday, while Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, who won their respective quarter-finals on Saturday, will contest the other tie.

FA Cup quarter final results:

Swansea City 0 : 3 Tottenham

Wigan Athletic 0 : 2 Southampton

Man United 2 : 0 Brighton

Leicester City 1 : 2 Chelsea

RB Leipzig beats rare submissive Bayern in Bundesliga

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Bayern Munich’s breeze to the Bundesliga title were delayed after a putting on a rare submissive performance that sealed their defeat against RB Leipzig by 2-1.

Timo Werner’s 56th-minute effort gave his side their first win over Bayern after five encounters between the two sides and left the visitors with more work to do to seal another crown.

Bayern had looked set to consolidate their status at the summit when Sandro Wagner headed in James Rodriguez’s cross for the opener with 12 minutes on the clock.

However, a stirring performance by the home side led to Naby Keita equalising just before half-time, with Konrad Laimer finding Keita with a through ball for the Guinean national to lash past Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich.

Keita then contributed again by finding Werner who shrugged off the attention of Mats Hummels and raced clear to fire in low past Ulreich for the winner.

Still, Bayern did not give up and Hummels, looking to make amends forced a fine save from Leipzig keeper Peter Gulasci and headed over over the bar 10 minutes from time.

However, an equalizer proved elusive, and Bayern’s defeat meant that their 18-game unbeaten streak in all competitions was stopped short.

“We met a Leipzig side today who right from the start were full of strong running, extremely aggressive and displayed good pressing,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. “They also did this in St Petersburg on Thursday [in the Europe League].”

“I warned against this and we didn’t play like we have done in recent weeks. If we had played over the 90 minutes like we did in the last half hour then we would not have lost.”

Ronaldo scores four as forward collects 50th career hat-trick

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Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals to hit a 50th career hat-trick as Los Blancos defeated Girona by 6-3.

Ronaldo would take his league tally to 22 goals for the season in another commanding performance at the Bernabeu, and a total of 17 in the calendar year within 8 games in all competitions.

The Portuguese captain converted Toni Kroos’ pass, but Girona’s Cristhian Stuani’s header made it 1-1.

Real, however, reclaimed the advantage with a powerful strike from Ronaldo before setting up Lucas Vazquez for the hosts’ third and then completing his hat-trick.

Stuani headed in Girona’s second, while Gareth Bale scored Real’s fifth, Juanpe pulled one back but Ronaldo got his fourth and Real’s sixth in injury time.

Their big win at home meant that Real are just four points behind neigbouring rivals Atletico — who lost in a shock 2-1 defeat at Villareal, although remain 15 points behind league leaders FC Barcelona.

Barca had already got their full 3 points with 2-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao, as Lionel Messi scored for the sixth consecutive game with Barcelona tightening their grip in the title race.

The Argentinian made a trademark dribble into the Bilbao box before laying the ball off to Jordi Alba, setting the defender up for a run to the byline before cutting the ball back to Alcacer, who was left with a simple side‑footed finish in the eighth minute of the game.

Messi then scored when Ousmane Dembele found him unmarked at the edge of the area to allow the La Liga top scorer made a clinical finish.