FA Cup Semi-Finals: Chelsea edge out Tottenham, Sanchez winner helps Arsenal see off Man City

Premier League leaders Chelsea kept their hopes of a league and cup double alive, as they edged out title rivals Tottenham 4-2 in a thrilling FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Tottenham started off the game strongly but Mauricio Pochettino’s side found themselves behind after just five minutes, when Willian struck a fine free kick over the wall and into the bottom corner to give the Blues a flying start.

Nemanja Matic’s superb strike gave Chelsea a 4-2 win over Tottenham
image: rte.ie

Spurs got themselves back on level terms on 18 minutes, when Harry Kane’s improvised header found its way past Thibaut Courtois and in at the far post from Christian Eriksen’s cross.

That goal gave Tottenham the boost they went in search of taking this lead and they went close on 35 minutes, when Eric Dier sent a header just inches wide from Jan Vertonghen’s swinging cross

However, Chelsea would retake the lead just minutes before half-time against the run of play, after Victor Moses went down under the challenge of Son Heung-min inside the box.

Brazilian winger Willian made no mistake from the penalty spot, as he coolly slotted the ball into the back of the net past Hugo Lloris for his second goal of the game to put the Blues back in front.

Tottenham once again came from behind to equalise seven minutes into the second-half, when Dele Alli struck the ball home from close range from Eriksen’s superb cross.

Eden Hazard and Diego Costa were introduced off the bench after Conte left them out of the starting line-up and it was the Belgian Hazard who made an impact, as he struck the ball low into the far corner from the edge of the area to put Chelsea 3-2 up with 15 minutes remaining.

Spurs now needed to come from behind for the third time in the match, but that task became harder when Chelsea doubled their lead on 80 minutes when Nemanja Matic’s brilliant left-footed drive found the top corner.

Spurs kept fighting to the final whistle as Eriksen drifted a shot wide in injury time, while Harry Kane saw his free-kick cleared off the line by Courtois after the goalkeeper nearly let the ball slip through his hands.

Defeat for Tottenham means their wait for a first FA Cup since 1991 goes on, as Chelsea kept hopes of an eighth FA Cup alive and laid down a marker in the race for the Premier League title.

It will be a London derby in the FA Cup final, as Alexis Sanchez scored an extra time winner to help Arsenal dump out Man City 2-1 to remain on course for a record 13th FA Cup.

The Gunners had to come from behind to book their spot in a third final in four years, after Sergio Aguero gave City the lead just after the hour mark, when he lifted the ball over Petr Cech and into the far corner from Yaya Toure’s long ball.

However, Man City’s lead lasted just nine minutes when Nacho Monreal scored his first Arsenal goal in two years to make it 1-1, when he fired the ball into the far corner from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s brilliant cross.

Man City looked to retake the lead to keep hopes of a first FA Cup since 2011 alive, but Yaya Toure’s long-range effort was tipped onto the post by Cech and Fernandinho headed against the crossbar from a Kevin De Bruyne corner kick.

Locked at a goal a piece after 90 minutes, the game headed to extra time and it was Arsenal who almost grabbed an early winner, when defender Rob Holding headed just over from a corner kick.

However, the Gunners did take the lead on 101 minutes as Alexis Sanchez fired Arsenal into the FA Cup final, when he bundled the ball home at the near post after City’s defence failed to deal with a Mesut Ozil corner kick.

Alexis Sanchez netted an extra time winner for Arsenal
image: sport.bt.com

Danny Welbeck went close to make it 3-1 as he headed wide from Ozil’s cross, before Fabian Delph missed the chance to grab an equaliser for Man City when he hit the side netting.

Kevin de Bruyne also saw a late chance drift wide from a tight angle as Man City’s FA Cup hopes went up in smoke, meaning Pep Guardiola will finish a season without a trophy for the first time in his managerial career.

Under pressure Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is now just one win away from his seventh FA Cup, when they face London rivals Chelsea in the final on 27 May.

Saturday 22 Apr

Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham (Willian 5, pen 43, Hazard 75, Matic 80 | Kane 18, Alli 52)

Sunday 23 Apr

Arsenal 2-1 Man City (Monreal 71, Sanchez 101 | Aguero 62)

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