The battle of the two heavyweights in the Emirates FA Cup saw Chelsea run out as victors in a 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspurs at Wembley.
Chelsea was paired to play Spurs in the Semi final one of the 2016/2017 Emirates FA Cup at Wembley and the match lived up to its billing with both clubs’ managers showing their tactical prowess.
Chelsea were missing defender and captain, Gary Cahill due to illness and Antonio Conte altered his starting XI bringing in Nathan Ake for the captain. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa were benched for Willian and Batshuayi against a strong Spurs side whose only change was right back Kierran Trippier coming in for Kyle Walker.
Chelsea started on the front foot and was rewarded with a goal from Willian who repaid his manager faith in him with a thundering freekick at the edge of the box. Pedro was fouled at the edge of the box and the Brazilian who is known for dead ball sent the ball pass the Spurs wall and into the net leaving goalkeeper Hugo Lloris helpless.
Spurs came into the game after and levelled in the 17th minute as a deft swing cross from Christian Eriksen was headed in by Harry Kane. That was the English 26th goal in all competitions and was a beauty.
The game swung in Spurs favour but it was Chelsea who retook the lead after Heung-Min Son was adjudged to have fouled Chelsea wingback, Victor Moses in the box and Willian scored the resulting penalty to send Chelsea 2-1 up at halftime.
Spurs started on a strong note in the second half and were levelling for the 2nd time in the game as an assist of the season from Eriksen was turned in expertly by the rushing Dele Alli to send the game 2-2.
Antonio Conte brought on Eden Hazard and Diego Costa for Willian and Michy Batshuayi with Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino bringing on Kyle Walker for Son.
Conte substitutions paid off as a cross fell into the path of Hazard and the Belgian scored at the edge of the box to give Chelsea the lead for the third time.
Spurs were also pegged back again as Hazard combined with Cesc Fabregas to set up Nemanja Matic on the edge of the box. The Serb blasted a thunderbolt and into the net via the underside of the bar and Chelsea extended their lead to 4-2. It was an absolute beauty and a contender for goal of the season.
It was Matic’s first goal of the season and what a way it was to score your first goal of the season.
Chelsea saw off the game and reached the finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 2012 and will await the winner of Arsenal vs Manchester City on Sunday at Wembley.
It was Spurs 7th consecutive FA Cup Semi final loss, a record in the competition. No club has lost more semi finals than Spurs.
It was Chelsea’s 14th final in the Emirates FA Cup. The Blues have won 7 out of the 13 already played. Manchester United and Arsenal has played more(19) with both winning 12.
It was a great present for David Luiz who was celebrating his 30th birthday and was adjudged the Man of the Match on the happiest day.
Congratulations to Chelsea.