Chelsea beats 10-man Manchester United 1-0 in fiery FA Cup quarter-final
Chelsea's dominant season continues, with the Premier League leaders beating Manchester United 1-0 to reach the FA Cup last four.
14 March 2017
Chelsea has knocked last year's FA Cup champions, Manchester United, out of this year's competition with a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge to reach the last four.
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There was as much aggro on the sidelines as on the pitch, as rival managers Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho clashed.
But there was only one winner. The last time a club managed to win the Premier League and the FA Cup in the same season was Chelsea, then with Mourinho in charge, in 2009-10.
It was the club that is quickly emerging as the dominant force in English football, facing United, led by the man Chelsea sacked last year after winning the Premier League title.
There was tangible tension in the air at Stamford Bridge as the quarter-final got under way, and it quickly boiled over.
United came out with a very physical mindset, determined to deliver crunching tackles on Chelsea's attacking stars.
That approach backfired, however, with United reduced to 10 men after midfielder Ander Herrera was booked in the 20th and 35th minute for fouls.
Conte's patience quickly ran out at the treatment meted out to his star midfielder Eden Hazard, and he angrily charged down the touchline, shouting and pointing at Mourinho.
Officials had to stand between the pair, until the confrontation fizzled out.
With United reduced to packing the defence and parking the bus in true Mourinho fashion, the visitors held out until half-time, but six minutes after the break the pressure told.
He may not be a top goal scorer, but it was fitting that the goal, when it came, was from N'golo Kante.
With United's defence standing off, Kante struck the ball from the edge of the box, and it curled past the despairing dive of goalkeeper David De Gea.
The midfielder was the key to Leicester's fairytale league title last year, and he has gone to another level this season, driving Chelsea towards a possible double.
From there, only one result was likely.
Chelsea's dominance was plain, with the Blues having 20 shots on goal compared to just four for United.
Even so, the Red Devils could have equalised in the 59th minute, when Marcus Rashford was put through on goal, only for Thibaut Courtois to save with his feet to protect the home side's lead.
The Blues were rarely threatened for the rest of the game, although United did raise their game in the final minutes, without success.
Now Chelsea — already 10 points clear in the Premier League — sits two wins away from an FA Cup trophy as well.