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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Chelsea Beat Stubborn Tottenham 4-2 in English FA Cup Semi Final 1 (VIDEO)



Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham: Eden Hazard comes off the bench to fire Antonio Conte's side into FA Cup final and keep alive double quest in a six-goal thriller

  • Willian gave Chelsea the lead in just the fifth minute with a free-kick that sailed into the corner of the goal
  • Harry Kane equalised for Tottenham with an impudent backward-directed header in the 18th minute
  • Chelsea regained the lead through a Willian penalty after a foul by Son Heung-min on Victor Moses
  • Dele Alli brought Spurs level again in the 52nd minute as he latched onto Christian Eriksen's cross
  • Eden Hazard gave Antonio Conte's side the lead for the third time in the match with a low drive into the corner
  • Nemanja Matic confirmed Chelsea's place in the final with a screamer from range 10 minutes before the end 
Here was the contest we had dared to hope for, the two best teams in the country furiously wrestling each other for supremacy in an exhilarating bout at this famous old venue. The only regret? That this was not the final; it would have been one of the greats.
Still, there is now a tradition of Wembley semi-finals and this one will live long in the memory. Perhaps as long as 1991 and that Paul Gascoigne goal, even if it will be less-fondly recalled by Spurs. 
It even had a strike which, if not quite as astounding as that one, was still one of the best moments this stadium has witnessed.  
Nemanja Matic watches his piledriver strike the back of the net via the crossbar to give Chelsea a 4-2 win over Tottenham
Nemanja Matic watches his piledriver strike the back of the net via the crossbar to give Chelsea a 4-2 win over Tottenham
Matic celebrates after his long-range thunderbolt confirmed Chelsea's place in the final of the FA Cup
Matic celebrates after his long-range thunderbolt confirmed Chelsea's place in the final of the FA Cup
David Luiz piles on top his jubilant team-mates after Matic secured victory with his spectacular goal in the 80th minute
David Luiz piles on top his jubilant team-mates after Matic secured victory with his spectacular goal in the 80th minute
A euphoric Antonio Conte dashes down the touchline after Matic's goal sealed a 4-2 win over Spurs at Wembley
A euphoric Antonio Conte dashes down the touchline after Matic's goal sealed a 4-2 win over Spurs at Wembley
Eden Hazard drives low into the bottom corner with his left foot to give Chelsea the lead against Tottenham for the third time
Eden Hazard drives low into the bottom corner with his left foot to give Chelsea the lead against Tottenham for the third time
The Belgian celebrates in front of the Chelsea fans after coming off the bench and inspiring his side into the FA Cup final
The Belgian celebrates in front of the Chelsea fans after coming off the bench and inspiring his side into the FA Cup final
Dele Alli looks despondent on the centre circle after Hazard's goal sent Chelsea 3-2 up just 15 minutes before full-time
Dele Alli looks despondent on the centre circle after Hazard's goal sent Chelsea 3-2 up just 15 minutes before full-time

MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND MATCH ZONE 

Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois 6, Azpilicueta 6, Luiz 6.5, Ake 6, Moses 6.5, Kante 7.5, Matic 7, Alonso 5, Willian 8.5 (Hazard 61, 7), Batshuayi 6.5 (Costa 61, 6), Pedro 7 (Fabregas 74, 6)
Subs not used: Begovic, Zouma, Terry, Chalobah
Goals: Willian 5, 43 (pen), Hazard 75, Matic 80
Booked: Alonso
Manager: Antonio Conte 7.5
Tottenham (3-4-2-1): Lloris 5, Dier 6, Alderweireld 5.5, Vertonghen 6, Trippier 7, Wanyama 6.5 (Nkoudou 80), Dembele 6.5, Son 5.5 (Walker 68, 6), Eriksen 8, Alli 7.5, Kane 7
Subs not used: Janssen, Sissoko, Wimmer, Lopez, Davies
Goals: Kane 18, Alli 52
Booked: Alderweireld, Alli
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino 7 
Referee: Martin Atkinson 7
Attendance: 86,355
Ratings by Adam Shergold
Willian guides his free-kick and beyond Hugo Lloris to give Chelsea a fifth minute lead. CLICK HERE for more from MATCH ZONE.
Willian guides his free-kick and beyond Hugo Lloris to give Chelsea a fifth minute lead. CLICK HERE for more from MATCH ZONE.
Nemanja Matic finally settled this compelling affair with a goal from 30 yards which will accumulate YouTube views and likes for years to come.
'To see this type of game, I think England must be proud, to have this type of football with this intensity, this level of players,' said Antonio Conte. 
He was right. Too often excitement trumps technique in games deemed to be good in England but here there was quality and thrills in equal measure
For Tottenham, there will inevitably be regrets. They are becoming that delightful team which comes up short in the final analysis. That may seem harsh, given their improvement. 
On Saturday, they were excellent again; yet still second best. Even in defeat, Christian Eriksen was man of the match. Perhaps their time will come. Yet, trophies pass them by. And perhaps not just the FA Cup.
Even with no points at stake, the momentum of the Premier League race shifted back in Chelsea's favour. With Chelsea buoyed by this win and Tottenham punctured by defeat, the already unlikely task is surely beyond Tottenham now. 
Alli gets on the end of Christian Eriksen's exquisite cross to bring the score to 2-2 at Wembley
Alli gets on the end of Christian Eriksen's exquisite cross to bring the score to 2-2 at Wembley
Alli celebrates with Toby Alderweireld after bringing Tottenham level for the second time in the game on Saturday
Alli celebrates with Toby Alderweireld after bringing Tottenham level for the second time in the game on Saturday
Willian scored his second of the game from the penalty spot after Victor Moses was brought down by Son Heung-min
The Brazilian is mobbed by team-mates after sending Hugo Lloris the wrong way from his spot kick
The Brazilian is mobbed by team-mates after sending Hugo Lloris the wrong way from his spot kick
The Chelsea winger raises both arms towards the sky as he celebrates giving Chelsea the lead shortly before half-time
Harry Kane improvised with a backward-directed header to draw Spurs level in the 18th minute against rivals Chelsea
Harry Kane improvised with a backward-directed header to draw Spurs level in the 18th minute against rivals Chelsea
The England striker celebrates in emphatic style after finding the equaliser for Tottenham with a superb header
The England striker celebrates in emphatic style after finding the equaliser for Tottenham with a superb header
Lloris is at full stretch but can't lay a glove on Willian's free-kick which gave Chelsea a fifth minute lead in the semi-final
Lloris is at full stretch but can't lay a glove on Willian's free-kick which gave Chelsea a fifth minute lead in the semi-final
Chelsea players surround Willian after his early strike from 20 yards gave them the perfect start on Saturday
Chelsea players surround Willian after his early strike from 20 yards gave them the perfect start on Saturday
This was a seventh successive FA Cup semi-final defeat and Mauricio Pochettino protested that he could not change the past. 'We need to build the present to have a better future,' he insisted. 
'I know and I am sure that if I am a Spurs supporter I would feel disappointed. But our fans know the pressure and the momentum we had in the game. And I feel very proud as the players did a fantastic effort. I believe it is an exciting team. 
'Two years ago it was difficult to think we would arrive at that level, to reach a semi-final, final, fight for the Premier League. Now it is a reality. It is important to be clever how we build the team for the next few years.'
But Chelsea prevailed whilst initially holding back their best hand. Conte gambled outrageously, leaving Diego Costa and Eden Hazard on the bench for the almighty clash, later claiming that the Premier League, in scheduling their next game on Tuesday when Spurs play on Wednesday, made him do it. 
'You must take a strong decision and take the responsibility but, for sure, it is not easy,' he said. 
Cometh the hour, the plan was always to reach for the stars and ultimately, that would be decisive. Still, without Hazard and Costa, you suspected Chelsea might start on the back foot. Not so. They fairly flew into Tottenham. 
Pedro goes flying after a foul from Toby Alderweireld which led to the free-kick from which Willian opened the scoring
Pedro goes flying after a foul from Toby Alderweireld which led to the free-kick from which Willian opened the scoring
Alli glances down at the injured David Luiz after the pair clashed in the first-half of Saturday's match
Alli glances down at the injured David Luiz after the pair clashed in the first-half of Saturday's match
Chelsea were awarded a first-half penalty after Son  brings Victor Moses to the ground with a sliding tackle
Chelsea were awarded a first-half penalty after Son brings Victor Moses to the ground with a sliding tackle
The South Korean star pleads his innocence to the assistant referee after Chelsea are awarded the penalty
The South Korean star pleads his innocence to the assistant referee after Chelsea are awarded the penalty
Referee Martin Atkinson listens to the pleas of Jan Vertonghen and Son  after awarded Chelsea a spot-kick
Referee Martin Atkinson listens to the pleas of Jan Vertonghen and Son after awarded Chelsea a spot-kick
Antonio Conte sent on Hazard and Diego Costa in the 61st minute as Chelsea searched for a winner
Antonio Conte sent on Hazard and Diego Costa in the 61st minute as Chelsea searched for a winner
And just four minutes in, Chelsea had exerted their early superiority. Pedro, a constant irritant, set on his way by a Michy Batshuayi flick, was sprinting away and hacked to the floor by Toby Alderweireld. Willian struck the free kick from 20 yards out and Hugo Lloris hesitated, feinting to his right as the ball flew past him to his left.
The tone seemed set. And yet, the momentum would switch on 18 minutes. From a Spurs corner, the ball worked its way back to Eriksen. His cross was sublime but Harry Kane's stooping header, a triumph of opportunism and skill, was even better. Even if Kante had failed to close – for once – and Nathan Ake failed to mark, it was some goal.
Now Tottenham were in the ascendancy, flying forwards with wing backs Kieran Trippier and Son Heung-min. In midfield there was a veritable heavyweight clash of tag teams; Nemanja Matic and N'Golo Kante versus Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama.
A more-ferocious contest of better midfielders is hard to imagine in this country. But Conte's team were creaking. Jan Vertonghen's lovely cross was met by Eric Dier, who headed just wide on 36 minutes.
Spurs though invited their opponents back into the game. Chelsea gathered their poise and worked the ball out wide for Kante to play in Victor Moses. He broke dangerously into the box yet there was little need for Son's diving challenge, which begged for Moses to fall over him and a penalty to be awarded. Willian stepped up and again fooled Lloris for 2-1. 
Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier puts pressure on Chelsea forward Pedro as he looks to launch a counter attack
Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier puts pressure on Chelsea forward Pedro as he looks to launch a counter attack
Chelsea midfielder Matic challenges for the ball in the air against opposite number Mousa Dembele
Chelsea midfielder Matic challenges for the ball in the air against opposite number Mousa Dembele
Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante chases after Alli as Tottenham look to move forward with the ball
Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante chases after Alli as Tottenham look to move forward with the ball
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois smashes into team-mates Luiz and Marcos Alonso as he tries to clear the ball
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois smashes into team-mates Luiz and Marcos Alonso as he tries to clear the ball
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is sent sprawling on to the turf following a slide tackle by Chelsea defender Nathan Ake
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is sent sprawling on to the turf following a slide tackle by Chelsea defender Nathan Ake
Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen heads towards goal but his effort is easily saved by Courtois
Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen heads towards goal but his effort is easily saved by Courtois
Chelsea striker Costa attempts to drive forward with the ball as he comes under pressure from the Spurs midfield
Chelsea striker Costa attempts to drive forward with the ball as he comes under pressure from the Spurs midfield
Chelsea Manager Conte speaks after victory against Tottenham
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Yet each blow invited an equally-compelling counter punch. And, on 51 minutes, when Eriksen spotted Dele Alli making a trademark run from deep, he knew precisely the ball he needed. 
With little width and minimal back-lift, the Dane delivered a delightful ball with exquisite precision. Again, his excellent delivery was matched by the finish: Alli, sprinting, meeting the ball first time, directing it past Thibaut Courtois.
Now Spurs believed and Chelsea needed a lift. On the hour it came with Costa and Hazard unleashed on the game, with Batshuayi and a seemingly disgruntled Willian giving way. Tottenham still looked the stronger but neither team would yield. On came Cesc Fabregas for Pedro. Conte's hand had been played.
Moses flew forwards and a corner was won. Fabregas floated it goalwards and Kyle Walker headed clear but only to Hazard. A posse of Tottenham players flew at the Belgian to close him down. Yet somehow he managed to strike through them all and past Lloris on 75 minutes.
Chelsea might have feared the onslaught. And yet, on 80 minutes, a strike worthy of a wonderful contest settled the game. Hazard, refusing to give up on a seemingly lost cause, chased across the Tottenham, area and touched the ball to Matic.
Thirty yards out, with little danger imminent, Matic simply connected first time with the most-exquisite timing possible. 
The ball flew past defenders and past Lloris into the far right hand corner and somehow Chelsea had prevailed with something to spare.
A minute's applause was held before the game following the death of Tottenham's Under 23 coach Ugo Ehiogu on Friday
Both sets of players and supporters are united in their appreciation of the late former England defender
Both sets of players and supporters are united in their appreciation of the late former England defender
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino pays his respects to former colleague and Spurs Under 23 boss Ehiogu
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino pays his respects to former colleague and Spurs Under 23 boss Ehiogu
Tottenham Manager Pochettino after the defeat against Chelsea
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4435678/Chelsea-4-2-Tottenham-Hazard-fires-Blues-final.html#ixzz4f3IAWyVk
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