Sunday’s FA Cup Semifinal at Wembley Stadium matched up Chelsea against Manchester City. The FA Cup Result includes video highlights for U.S. based readers on Sunday, April, 14, 2013.
Which of these two EPL clubs will be heading to the FA Cup final? Surprisingly Joe Hart was left out of the Manchester City goal with Costel Pantilimon starting in his place. City are without Silva, but do start with Tevez and Aguero pairing up front. Meanwhile Chelsea leave Terry and Lampard on the bench along with Torres, allowing Ba to start up front on his own.
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand, Mikel, Hazard, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Ba
Bench: Turnbull, Torres, Moses, Benayoun, Lampard, Ake, Terry
Manchester City: Pantilimon, Clichy, Kompany, Nastasic, Zabaleta, Toure Y, Barry, Milner, Nasri, Tevez, Aguero
Bench: Hart, Lescott, Kolarov, Dzeko, Sinclair, Garcia, Toure K
Chelsea 1 – 2 Manchester City: Manchester City started the match as the better side, creating several early chances while Chelsea relied on a counter attack to push forward in numbers. Eventually City’s dominance paid off with Samir Nasri scoring in the 35th minute. This really forced Chelsea to push up more and their attack became a bit more intense. In the final minute of the first half, just before the whistle, Manchester City really should have scored. James Milner lead a five on two breakaway that ended with him selfishly shooting from an acute angle instead of passing early. The ball was parried to Vincent Kompany, but he put the ball well wide. The first half ended with Manchester City dominating the stats: 58% possession leading to 11 shots, but only three on goal. Their 290 passes were completed 88% of the time. This compared to Chelsea who had 42% possession and only two shots (one on target). They had only 80% passing completion for their 218 passes.
Manchester City started the second half right where they left off with Sergio Aguero scoring their second in the 47th minute. Chelsea did begin to get a few more looks at goal following this, but the City defense held strong. The breakthrough finally came within seconds of Fernando Torres being brought in alongside Demba Ba. With Torres flying forward on the break the ball bounced up for Ba to acrobatically kick the ball into the City goal. It was an incredible goal similar to the one he scored against Manchester United in the quarterfinals.
After getting a goal Chelsea looked resurgent and put the pressure on City. This led to Mancini making several defensive substitutions with Javi Garcia coming on for Carlos Tevez and later Joleon Lescott on for goal scorer Samir Nasri. Fernando Torres got a break in on goal, but was clearly held back by Kompany. If there were any video replay technology this would certainly have been a penalty.
The match ended with Chelsea pushing to get the equalizing goal, but coming up short. The final score was very close to my predicted 3-1 City win. Manchester City go on to face Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup Final taking place at Wembley on Saturday, May 11, 2013
FA Cup Video Highlights:
Nasri opens the scoring
Aguero header makes it 2-0 for City
Ba pulls a goal back for Chelsea
Full FA Cup Semifinal Video Highlights