Red Devils knock out Cup holders Chelsea
Written By: Robert Halter
In a repeat of last season’s FA Cup Final, Chelsea and Manchester United were drawn in the fifth round, as the Red Devils looked for their first win at Stamford Bridge since October 2012. In the opening minute, Romelu Lukaku’s delivery was cut out from David Luiz. Three minutes later, through an assist by Paul Pogba, the ball was ballooned over by Lukaku. The Blues responded in the fifth minute, following a ball through by N’Golo Kante, as Pedro’s low cross on the right was smothered by Sergio Romero. On the ninth minute, from Nemanja Matic’s ball in, a cushioned header by Chris Smalling was caught from Kepa Arrizabalaga. A rash challenge by Ander Herrera on Mateo Kovacic, gave the opportunity for Luiz to bend the free kick over the wall, as Romero leapt to push the ball out to Pedro, before making another stop at the bottom right corner, in the eleventh minute. Within a minute, Eden Hazard combined with Marcos Alonso, before his strike drifted wide of the right post. During the fourteenth minute, Juan Mata supplied Herrera, whose long range strike was kept out at full stretch by Arrizabalaga, towards the top right corner. In the sixteenth minute, from an over the top ball by Jorginho, a strike from Gonzalo Higuain, landed on the roof of the net. Then in the next sixty seconds, Higuain went close again as he headed the ball narrowly past the right post, following a cross by Cesar Azpilicueta. After Antonio Rudiger pulled down Rashford, the Red Devils striker drove the free kick into Arrizabalaga, during the nineteenth minute. Midway through the first half, Hazard’s low cross on the right was latched upon by Romero. Then from Azpilicueta’s back pass, Arrizabalaga lost his footing while under pressure from Rashford, before Luiz headed the ball clear, in the twenty fifth minute. But it was the Red Devils that struck the first blow in the thirty first minute, when Pogba’s looping cross was headed down by Herrera, into the left side of the net. Four minutes later, from Luiz’s pass forward, a bending delivery by Pedro, flew over Romero’s hand, and past the far left corner of the crossbar. In the thirty eighth minute, as the ball deflected off Luke Shaw for Higuain, he in turn found Hazard, whose delicate chip went over the upright. It got worse for the Blues, just before the half time break, as Pogba started the move, before getting on the end of a Rashford cross, to head the ball past the flimsy hand of Arrizabalaga, into the bottom left corner. In the fifty fifth minute, from Kante’s ball through, Shaw slid into his own kepper Romero while fending away Pedro, who was soon replaced with Willian. In the sixty fourth minute, after collecting the ball from Azpilicueta, a bursting run into the box by Hazard, ended with a deflection off Herrera, which edged the ball over the bar. After Mata appended Hazard, a free kick by Willian, rose high and wide to the left, in the seventy first minute. The Blues soon brought on Ross Barkley for Kovacic before the Red Devils switched Lukaku with Alexis Sanchez, followed by a further change as Andreas Pereira replaced Mata. The Blues later took off Azpilicueta for Davide Zappacosta. In stoppage time, Scott McTominay appeared briefly for Rashford, as Manchester United progressed to the FA Cup quarter finals following a 2-0 victory over Chelsea.