Category Archives: FA Cup

Chelsea beats Southampton to set up FA Cup final with Man United

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Olivier Giroud’s brilliant semi-final goal helped Chelsea beat Southampton by 2-0 as the Blues go on to set up a FA Cup final with Manchester United.

Giroud, 31, received the ball from Eden Hazard and jinked his way past two Southampton players in a crowded area before he stabbed the ball home.

It was a goal which provided the game’s memorable moment as the player showed superb balance, poise and technique to finish as Southampton defenders dropped like dominoes.

The scored stayed the same, before Giroud was replaced by Alvaro Morata with 10 minutes to go and the substitute sealed safe passage with Chelsea’s second when he headed in at the back post from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.

Southampton went close with Nathan Redmon’’s low drive from distance while Charlie Austin hit the post, meaning that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will come up against managerial adversary Jose Mourinho at Wembley on 19 May.

French international Giroud won the FA Cup three times as an Arsenal player and his fondness for the competition continued against the Saints with the crucial first goal.

He now has a hand in 22 goals in 26 appearances in the competition since January 2012, with 15 goals and seven assists — more than any other player in the competition during that period.

He also had scored twice as Southampton squandered a two-goal lead against Chelsea to lose 3-2 in their Premier League fixture at St Mary’s last weekend.

After his strike at Wembley he has now scored eight goals at Southampton’s expense, against no other side has he scored more since he arrived in England.

Pochettino: FA Cup victory would not change Tottenham’s life

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Mauricio Pochettino says that an FA Cup triumph this season would not change Tottenham’s life, as he looked ahead to Saturday’s semi-final against Manchester United.

“It would be fantastic to win the FA Cup,” the Argentinian said.

“But is it going to change our life? I don’t believe so. Every one of the semi‑finalists will fight to win but it’s not about who needs the trophy more.”

Tottenham have lost their previous seven FA Cup semi-finals — the most recent being the one last season against Chelsea. That defeat still hurts Pochettino but he remains consumed by the pursuit of glory in the Premier League or Champions League.

“If we are capable to win the Premier League and the Champions League, it is a moment you say the team has improved and reached the next level,” Pochettino added. “ To win the FA Cup or the League Cup — it will be fantastic for the fans but it is not going to move the club to a different level.”

“That is my opinion. Some people respect it; some people don’t. I want to play to win the Premier League and Champions League. If we can win the FA Cup, then fantastic. But if you are going to change the vision or put the club in a different level, you must compete for and then win the Premier League and Champions League.”

“People in England love to talk about perception and the changing of perceptions. We had a good Champions League group stage this season — beating Dortmund and Real Madrid — and we competed very well against Juventus [in the last 16]. The dimension of the club around the world changes completely [because of that].”

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

Jay Rodriguez double enough to oust Liverpool from FA Cup

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Jay Rodriguez scored twice as West Brom defeated Liverpool by 3-2 and ousted the Reds from the FA Cup in a fourth-round tie dominated by controversial video assistant referee (VAR) decisions.

Referee Craig Pawson ruled out a West Brom goal but gave Liverpool a penalty and delayed awarding the visitors’ third goal because of VAR referrals.

Rodriguez thumped an equaliser seconds after Roberto Firmino chipped an opener, then slotted another for Albion to go 2-1 up.

Poor defending then saw the culmination of Joel Matip’s own goal made it 3-1, before Mohamed Salah managed to pulled one back when he scored from close range from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, but they could not find the vital equalizer they sorely needed in the end.

Liverpool’s first-half penalty, which Firmino missed, was a moment of VAR history — as it was the first time a referee in an English game had referred to a monitor on the touchline to make a final decision.

Almost three minutes passed between the initial incident and Firmino stepping up to take the penalty in which Pawson subsequently ruled — after a significant delay — that Jake Livermore had tugged Salah’s shirt, and pointed to the spot.

It was the second time in a few minutes that West Brom had been on the wrong end of a VAR decision, with Craig Dawson having seen a goal ruled out that would have put them 3-1 up.

VAR assistant Andre Marriner alerted Pawson to the fact that Gareth Barry, standing in front of Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and interfering with play, was offside as Dawson headed in a Chris Brunt corner.

Pawson also seemed to check with Marriner after Salah slotted in Firmino’s lay-off with 12 minutes left, although there was no delay in play and no clear reason as to why the goal might have been in doubt.