Chelsea crushed Spurs to reach the FA Cup final where they will now play Liverpool on May 5th. Goals from Didier Drogba, Juan Mata, Ramires, a stunning Frank Lampard free-kick and substitute Florent Malouda were simply enough to keep Tottenham out of the finals.
Spurs had pegged Chelsea back to 2-1 with Gareth Bale netting, but controversy will forever surround this fixture, with another howler of a decision from referee Martin Atkinson. The official who said he saw Mario Balotelli’s knee studs up challenge on Alex Song last week but saw no malice in it, again ensured we would be talking about him rather than the football. Atkinson allowed Mata’s goal to stand despite the ball never crossing a congested Spurs’ goal line, which was borne out by the replays. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp was fuming at the final whistle, but was nevertheless generous towards Atkinson, saying that he had made “ an honest mistake,” while again making a plea for goal line technology to come in. Now in their fourth FA Cup final in six years.
“He must have guessed,” the Tottenham boss said. “He can’t have been sure. He’s just made a mistake, unfortunately. A big mistake. -Harry Redknapp
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Two minutes before the break, Chelsea took the lead. Drogba held off William Gallas’ challenge and then struck with power and venom with a stunning left foot shot which went beyond the reach of Carlo Cuducini. The warning signs were still there on 48 minutes, when Drogba played in Mata, but Cudicini saved well for a corner. Then came the controversy. Lampard took the resulting corner, which saw Luiz’s header blocked. Under pressure from Terry, the Spurs’ defence couldn’t clear, with Mata following up with a shot that did not cross the line, but nevertheless a goal was awarded. Spurs rallied and continued their pressing game. Scott Parker’s pass found Emmanuel Adebayor in front of Cech, he rounded the Chelsea keeper, only to be bundled over as Bale netted the rebound. Luiz suffered a hamstring injury in the build up and had to be stretchered off and replaced by Gary Cahill. Chelsea got their third on 77th minutes, Mata finding Ramires with the Brazil player chipping over Cudicini having got the right side of last defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Nine minutes before time, Lampard got Chelsea’ 4th goal. Gallas brought down Drogba for a free kick, and from all of 30 yards, up stepped the England midfielder to thump beyond Cuducini. Was definitely a stunning shot and a long time! Later, the 4th minute of the five for added time, Chelsea got their final goal with Malouda slipping past Cudicini from Mata’s pass to seal another Blues Wembley FA Cup final.
With a Cup final booked, Chelsea now face a massive week as they take on Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final before a Premier League clash with Arsenal next weekend.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS (IN HD):
3 Major Things Learned from the Blues’ Win:
1. Drogba can still provide Chelsea with his super goals
2. David Luiz’s injury will be costly
3. Chelsea can do something against Barcelona
.Chelsea’s David Luiz a doubt for Champions League clash
Chelsea defender David Luiz is to undergo a scan on his hamstring later today as Roberto Di Matteo nervously ponders a potential defensive injury crisis ahead of their Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona.
- Di Matteo: Chelsea’s performance against Tottenham was great (goal.com)
- Chelsea rolls by Tottenham to reach FA Cup final (usatoday.com)
- Chelsea secures berth in FA Cup final (theglobeandmail.com)
- Spurs 1-5 Chelsea (soccernet.espn.go.com)
- Chelsea Brush Aside Spurs To Reach FA Cup Final: (forzager.wordpress.com)