Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea: Blues dominate to set up Arsenal final

Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea: Frank Lampard’s men book all-London FA Cup final clash with Arsenal after Wembley drubbing of United as Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud net before Harry Maguire own goal seals the victory

  • Chelsea have set up an FA Cup final date with London rivals Arsenal after beating Manchester United 
  • Olivier Giroud opened the scoring after 11 minutes of first-half injury time, caused by Eric Bailly’s head injury 
  • Mason Mount doubled the lead just a minute after the restart, catching a sleeping David de Gea off-guard 
  • United couldn’t grab a foothold in the second-half, as Harry Maguire deflected in an own-goal for 3-0 
  • Bruno Fernandes earned a consolation for United after Anthony Martial was fouled by Callum Hudson-Odoi 

The only consolation for David De Gea was that Roy Keane does not work for the BBC.

Heavens, there would have been some snarling had he been in the studio. Chelsea are in the FA Cup final, and deservedly so, but the talking point here was the role in their progression played by Manchester United’s floundering goalkeeper.

He was weak for their first, but wasn’t alone in that because it was poor defending all round from Manchester United. Yet while there was also a serious error in the build up to the second, De Gea’s involvement was little short of calamitous. As for the third, well by then it really wasn’t his day; beaten at the near post again, but this time by the outstretched boot of his captain, Harry Maguire. De Gea had a stinker; but he wasn’t alone. 

Chelsea will face Arsenal in the FA Cup final after beating Manchester United with a dominant display on Sunday evening 

Blues striker Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with a flicked effort as Chelsea controlled their rivals in the semi-final 

David de Gea suffered another howler, with the out-of-form keeper being caught out by Mason Mount’s long-range effort 

What a day for Frank Lampard and Chelsea, though. Now one victory away now from a trophy in his first year as Chelsea manager, and playing an Arsenal team that have served him four out of six points this season. And while domestic cup glory may not be the kind that keeps employees in jobs with Roman Abramovich, this is still an impressive start for a young manager given the restrictions around Lampard’s first season, and the progress he had made with a young team.

In the circumstances, then, this was an outstanding performance in a game Chelsea were not expected to win. Manchester United are Project Restart’s form team and before this weekend, the expectation was of the first Manchester derby FA Cup final. So much for that.

Chelsea were on top from the start and ahead after 55 minutes. That we were still watching the first-half at this time shows the havoc wreaked by a succession of head injuries, poor Eric Bailly’s the most disturbing. So it was late in the day when Chelsea got what their performance deserved, and when De Gea’s horrors began. Willian found Cesar Azpilicueta on the right and he whipped in a low cross which Olivier Giroud converted at the near post, having got in front of Victor Lindelof in his trademark style. De Gea got a hand to it, but could not keep the ball out. Should he have done better? Undoubtedly – but the same could most certainly be said of Lindelof. It is not a secret, Giroud’s modus operandi. 

Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty after Anthony Martial was fouled by Callum Hudson-Odoi, but it proved a consolation 

Antonio Rudiger celebrated but Chelsea’s third was given as an own-goal after Harry Maguire had deflected the ball in 

Equally, Brandon Williams was greatly at fault for the sloppy pass that let Mason Mount in for number two after 47 minutes. What happened next, though, was a calamity purely of Dea Gea’s creation. Mount’s shot, 25 yards out, was relatively tame. It was low, but not particularly fierce or potentially troublesome to a goalkeeper of De Gea’s historic calibre. And he let it through. Soft, soft, soft. It is not the first time this season, as Keane has been pointing out, but may it be the last? Manchester United have Dean Henderson waiting in the wings for the next campaign, and surely cannot afford to leave him at Sheffield United another year.

Who knows what has befallen De Gea since the years when he was every Manchester United man’s pick for Player of the Season? Certainly, there is a crisis of confidence. He looks an accident waiting to happen these days, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s insistence he remains the best in the world appears increasingly misguided. Almost as misguided as a United starting line up that found no room for Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood or Paul Pogba. It is hard to argue United didn’t get what they deserved from this. They were done after the second, even with more than 40 minutes remaining, having achieved nothing to that point that suggested a comeback was possible.

Sure enough, it got worse. In the 74th minute, Marcos Alonso broke down the left, hit a low cross very similar to Azpilicueta’s for the first goal, and Maguire, panicked by the looming presence of Antonio Rudiger on his shoulder, turned it into his own net. As if life wasn’t hard enough for De Gea, even his own side were conspiring against him.

A rash tackle by Callum Hudson-Odoi on Martial – particularly foolish given what his manager had said about the ease with which Manchester United collect penalties – brought brief hope of red revival. Bruno Fernandes converted it, sending Willy Caballero the wrong way, but United offered little more. The bad news didn’t stop with the result, either, given a sickening injury to Manchester United defender Bailly that saw him taken from the field on a stretcher, having tried to leave unaided, before collapsing. 

Giroud has won the FA Cup four times and put in another superb display, set to face his old club Arsenal in the Wembley final 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been made to wait for his first Manchester United trophy after being knocked-out of the cup 

Sports in which head trauma is an occupational hazard have learned from tragic experience that the greatest danger is the so-called double concussion. A player receives a blow to the head, carries on, and receives another. This is what happened to Bailly. The hits may not have been in exactly the same place, but the cumulative effect looked obvious. By the time Bailly was carried away his need for serious medical attention was concerning.

In the 39th minute, he bumped heads with Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma, challenging for an aerial ball. Both men received treatment, and carried on. Then three minutes later, Bailly went for another header, but his team-mate Maguire had the same instinct. The pair clashed, Maguire needing treatment with a bloody bandage, Bailly coming away without visible gore, but in no fit state for play. He tried to stand, then lay stretched out on the pitch. After substantial treatment he got to his feet again, his carers dabbing the top of his head, presumably to stem bleeding. By this time Martial was already on the touchline about to make his appearance, as Solskjaer reworked Manchester United’s system.

Bailly left the field and then dropped to his knees. Play was delayed for longer, as medics worked to make him comfortable in a stretcher. He left, immobilised, and if concussed will be unable to play in United’s remaining league games. He has had little luck with injuries since arriving at Old Trafford. 

Eric Bailly was forced to leave the pitch on a stretcher after a dramatic clash of heads with captain Harry Maguire 

United were frustrated by the relentless pressure of Chelsea, finding they can’t convert their superb league form to the cup

Strangely, though, the enforced change gave United a brief fillip and moments later they had one of their best chances of the match. The arrival of Martial, one of the most consistent players in the country right now, seemingly unsettled Chelsea, whose centre-halves got into a muddle dealing a with a routine ball. 

Zouma ended up kicking Martial’s foot as he tried to clear – a complete accident and one not even deemed worthy of a VAR replay. Yet to many eyes, it looked like a foul, albeit a freakish one.

Certainly, United needed something. Until that point, a lone free-kick from Bruno Fernandes, tipped over by Caballero had been their only chance. For a team that has been so prolific upfront since the restart, it was a huge disappointment. 

Reece James enjoyed an excellent games as he earned a start in Frank Lampard’s side, shining among the young Blues XI 

Matteo Kovacic ran the show in midfield, with the Croatian having thrived under Lampard since the Blues legend’s arrival

David de Gea will face more criticism after his mistake, having come under pressure from pundits for several recent errors 

Frank Lampard has an excellent shot at his first silverware as manager after returning after his legendary playing career 

United’s thriving forwards versus Chelsea’s vulnerable defensive, was supposed to be the narrative here. Solskjaer’s selection spurned that opportunity and, from the start, Chelsea were on top. 

They controlled possession, spent long periods in United’s half and had two good early chances, through a Reece James shot and an Alonso header.

Lampard will now try to succeed where Antonio Conte failed in 2017, meeting Arsenal in a FA Cup final. First, though, he needs one more win to secure Champions League football. Do that and by the night of August 1, for a comparative novice, he may have enjoyed a very good year indeed.


Host commentator

Host commentator

Chelsea book their place in the FA Cup final to play Arsenal with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Manchester United. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring just before the half-time whistle as a David de Gea howler from Mason Mount’s effort and a Harry Maguire own goal made it a forgettable evening for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at Wembley.
Bruno Fernandes was able to score from the penalty spot, with a goal that proved to just be a consolation.
The Blues worked harder, were tactically more sound and were great value for their win in this semi-final.

Olivier Giroud is announced as the man of the match over the tannoy at the empty Wembley Stadium. Hard to disagree. The front man was creative and at the heart of Chelsea’s attacks that proved pivotal to the scoreline. 

Six added minutes at Wembley. Pedro comes on for Mason Mount.

Bruno Fernandes tries to put Odion Ighalo through but his ball is slightly too long and Willy Caballero collects. 

Matteo Kovacic comes off for Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 

GOAL! Bruno Fernandes scores the penalty. Surely it is too little, too late?

PENALTY TO MANCHESTER UNITED! Callum Hudson-Odoi brings down Anthony Martial.

Aaron Wan Bissaka and Marcus Rashford make way for Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Odion Ighalo in a double change for United.

Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi come on for goalscorer Olivier Giroud and Willian.

A day to forget for David de Gea and Manchester United.

GOAL! Game over as Chelsea score a third goal that appears to be a Harry Maguire own goal. Marcos Alonso flashes a ball into the six-yard box and the United defender can only turn it past De Gea.

Manchester United again cut a frustrated figure after giving the ball away in the final third again. Just doesn’t seem to be flowing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. Meanwhile, Chelsea are looking very comfortable in their system. 

Paul Pogba goes into the book after a dangerous tackle on Matteo Kovacic.

Time for a drinks break. Manchester United don’t have much time left to pull this back. We look on our way to an all-London tie in the FA Cup final.

CHANCE! United’s corner looked to be claimed by Willy Caballero, but the goalkeeper missed the ball and Maguire can’t guide his header into the empty net.

More unsavoury scenes as another clash of heads holds up play. Mason Greenwood and Antonio Rudiger look okay to play on. Free-kick to United.

This could be the pivotal moment that books Chelsea’s place in the FA Cup final with Arsenal. Just under half an hour left to play at Wembley. 

CHANCE! Two great chances for Chelsea again. Reece James puts a dangerous ball across the goalmouth that can’t be met by an attacker. The ball then comes back into the box and Olivier Giroud is denied after a great save from David De Gea.

CHANCE! Mason Mount fires the ball over the bar after a cutback from Willian, A warning sign for United after a great Chelsea move.

Fred is coming off, Paul Pogba is coming on for him and Mason Greenwood is coming on for Dan James. Now or never for United.

One feels on top of the clouds, whilst the other wants to be swallowed up by the ground. 

CHANCE! Marcus Rashford gets in behind the Chelsea defence and he has a shot from a tight angle as it skims past the post. 

GOAL! What a start to the second half for Chelsea. Mason Mount scores from range, but De Gea MUST do better, again. 

Back underway for the second half. 

Olivier Giroud popped up for Frank Lampard’s side with a very characteristically clever touch to put the ball past David De Gea. This moment changed both team talks in the 57th minute of the first half (no, that’s not a typo).

Finally, half-time is here and how the picture so quickly changes. Olivier Giroud scored in the 12th minute of stoppage time after Eric Bailly’s nasty head injury meant the first 45 minutes were extended to an hour-long first half at Wembley Stadium. 

GOAL! Olivier Giroud, who else? King of the FA Cup. The striker gets on the end of a cross as he gets away from Lindelof and strokes the ball towards goal. David Dea Gea has to do better.

Now the Frenchman is down after that challenge. He only just came on for the injured Eric Bailly. He limps to the side of the pitch holding his back. 

Back underway now but who knows how many minutes will be played until the half-time whistle? Immediately United have a penalty shout as Martial is caught by Zouma inside the box. VAR check concludes no foul. 

Bailly is now in a neck brace and is being put on the stretcher on the side of the pitch as play remains to be held up. He is back on the ground as it seems to have got worse since he stood up. This is a real shame for Bailly, who has a history of bad injuries, as he is stretchered down the tunnel. 

Best wishes to the defender who took a nasty blow to the head and well done to the medics and officials for not rushing whilst dealing with the situation. 

Eric Bailly is finally up on his feet, which is great given the severity of the incident. He does seem to be bleeding from his head and will not continue. Martial comes on for him in a change of system. Maguire has been bandaged up and will continue.

Maguire is now sitting up and being patched up whilst Bailly is still needing plenty of attention. Not a good sign for Bailly. Meanwhile, plenty of United players are warming up. 

Harry Maguire  is now down after clashing heads with team-mate Eric Bailly. Both United defenders are still down and look worse for wear. Worrying signs for Solskjaer.  

Chelsea form an attack of their own and win a corner. Turning into quite the end-to-end match as Chelsea’s corner leads to a chance for Kurt Zouma, who heads wide. 

Bruno Fernandes is swiped down by Matteo Kovacic in another dangerous area for United. The resulting free-kick comes to nothing. 

CHANCE! After a misplaced pass, Mason Mount has a shot from outside the box but does not test De Gea in the United goal. 

CLOSE! Bruno Fernandes tries his luck from the free-kick and wins a corner. 

Positive signs for United. They have their first attack in a while after Dan James was let loose from Fernandes. After some play around the Chelsea box, Fred wins a free-kick in a dangerous area. 

Olivier Giroud wins a free-kick after another duel with Harry Maguire. Mason Mount’s delivery is slightly too long for Kurt Zouma. 

Some first-half snaps..

Bruno Fernandes is down again. The midfielder was caught after clearing the ball as Chelsea continued to press against the United defence. Drinks break.

The Blues are really piling the pressure on. Mason Mount fires a shot towards goal but it is deflected and out for the first corner of the match. 

Olivier Giroud is deemed to have fouled Harry Maguire during another Chelsea attack. That battle could be key today. Meanwhile, Fernandes seems to have recovered. 

Look away Man United fans! Bruno Fernandes is limping around, trying to shake off something. Meanwhile, Chelsea are starting to dominate possession with their high press proving difficult to deal with. 

CHANCE! Marcos Alonso has a header from just a few yards out that sails over the bar. A great ball into the box and the left-back should have done much better. 

CHANCE! Reece James unleashes a rocket towards David De Gea, who punches the effort away. Mike Dean got in the way of Nemanja Matic in the build-up, much to the annoyance of the United camp. 

Victor Lindelof makes a surging run from defence for United and a good move finds Dan James on the edge of the box but he can’t fashion a pass or shot. 

Eric Bailly is down after a challenge by Mason Mount that took the United defender’s boot off his foot! He looks okay to play on. 

United are enjoying the early possession and look comfortable passing the ball around the back. Chelsea keeping their shape as both teams feeling out the opening moments under the arch. 

We are underway in this FA Cup semi-final. A place in the final against Arsenal is at stake. 

Both sides are out at Wembley ahead of this semi-final tie. Whilst there is no crowd in the stands, there is a palpable tension in the air. Kick-off is moments away.

Here’s a look back at the last time these two sides met in an FA Cup semi-final… little disclosure, it didn’t pass without its fair share of drama!

If that game is anything to go by, then we’re in for a treat tonight.

Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are the two notable omissions.

Welcome all to today’s live blog of Manchester United vs Chelsea.

This is a mammoth occasion with a huge prize at stake and I for one ca’t wait for this to get started.

We are still over half hour away from the game so first, lets bring you some team news

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