Tag Archives: Southampton

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.

West Ham United to increase security ahead of Southampton game

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There will be police standing guard at the London Stadium for West Ham’s game on Saturday and more stewards as the club attempts to prevent the disorder that marred the previous game there.

Details of the additional security measures for Southampton’s visit were released on Thursday and will cost around £60,000, but the fee will be covered by the taxpayer under the deal agreed with West Ham before they moved to the stadium in 2016.

The stewards will be in the stands and at pitch-side following a series of pitch invasions during West Ham’s home defeat by Burnley this month.

Additionally, free flow around the stadium will be reduced in response to events at that game, which included supporters gathering below the directors’ box to protest and, in some cases, throwing missiles.

The Hammers has also announced their intentions to place a security barrier near the directors’ box to stop fans from getting too close, after David Sullivan was struck on his glasses by a coin and he and his co-owner David Gold left their seats early for their own safety.

The security plan reinforcements were agreed by the Safety Advisory Group, which features West Ham, the Metropolitan police, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the stadium operators, LS185.

Almost 20 West Ham fans have been issued with lifetime bans for invading the pitch or throwing missiles during the match against Burnley.

West Ham United captain Mark Noble has also appealed to supporters for unity on Saturday at a game of paramount importance in the battle to stay in the Premier League. West Ham are one place, and three points, above the relegation zone and Southampton are the team immediately below them.

West Ham captain Mark Noble urges unity amongst club fans

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West Ham’s Mark Noble has written an open letter to fans pleading for unity after disturbances at their last home match against Burnley.

Angry fans invaded the pitch and congregated below the directors’ box to protest against the club’s owners David Gold and David Sullivan, with the latter reportedly being struck by a coin.

Noble, 30, confronted a supporter who went on to the pitch during the 3-0 loss at London Stadium on 10 March. “We need everyone to be together,” he wrote in a letter published on the club’s website.

The Hammers captain added that the scenes in the match against Burnley was “one of my toughest days in nearly 20 years at West Ham, and I never want to see scenes like that again”.

Further protests has been planned outside the ground before Saturday’s match, but Noble urged fans to get behind the team during the game or face the prospect of dropping into the Championship.

“We need you all, full-stop, and we cannot perform to our best and win the matches we need to win without you. When you are on song, there really are no supporters better at inspiring their team than West Ham supporters,” he said.

“I can understand the frustrations some of you are feeling. This season has not gone how we’d all hoped it would, but I would ask you to channel your passion to get behind the team, help us get through the season with our Premier League status intact, and we can sit down and reassess things in the summer.”

“We need the London Stadium to be buzzing for our five remaining home games, so please unite behind the lads and give us the best possible chance to deliver the results we need to stay up.”

West Ham are 17th in the Premier League, one place and two points above Southampton and the relegation zone, with eight games remaining.

Their next Premier League home match, against Southampton this Saturday will be the first since that defeat, after 20 fans were given life bans by the club.

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