Chelsea have been drawn against Manchester United in the FA Cup Semi Finals. This will be played at Wembley on the 18th and 19th July, behind closed doors.
This will be the fourth time we have faced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season, with the Red Devils victorious in the three previous meetings.
Manchester United vs Chelsea
Manchester City/Newcastle vs Arsenal
Any disappointment of a slightly lacking first-half performance against Leicester this afternoon was quickly relieved at the blowing of the full-time whistle. Ross Barkley’s well-taken volley from a Willian cross was the only difference between the two sides. This could only mean one thing; a first visit to Wembley for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Usually, at this point, a large proportion of the fan base would be preparing themselves for a big day out at the home of football. Unfortunately things are going to be slightly different this year with no fans, but this still presents an excellent opportunity for Frank Lampard’s first trophy in management. Nevertheless, fans only had to wait just under two hours to find out who their Chelsea side would take on in the FA Cup Semi Final.
With Manchester City in the process of comfortably dispatching Newcastle United. It seemed likely that the four teams in contention for football’s oldest domestic cup would be Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and the still-playing Manchester City. Chelsea have been good in games against both Manchester City and Arsenal this season but Manchester United have proved to be a bit of a bogey team.
It all started on the opening day of the season when Chelsea were drawn away at Old Trafford. What followed was a slightly painful 4-0 thrashing where two goals from Marcus Rashford, as well as contributions from Anthony Martial and Daniel James piled on the misery in Frank Lampard’s Managerial Premier League debut.
A visit to Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup Fourth Round in October looked to be going down to the wire when a stunning Marcus Rashford Free-Kick removed any hopes of League Cup glory. Most recently, Chelsea lost 2-0 to United at Stamford Bridge in the league after Harry Maguire should’ve been sent off for a vicious kick at Michy Batshuayi. All in all, the three games against Manchester United have left a sour taste in the mouth of the entire fanbase.
But, back to the draw. Manchester United drawing Chelsea left Arsenal to be matched up against Manchester City. After a disappointing performance in the league, Pep Guardiola will be keen to ensure to Manchester City are victorious in the FA Cup. Still in the Champions League, this gives his side an excellent chance to play in a highly-pressured environment and it’s difficult to look beyond a repeat of their meeting two weeks ago where Arsenal were comfortably dispatched by three goals to nil.
Incredibly, this is the fourth year in a row Chelsea have faced Manchester United in the FA Cup. Whilst they were defeated 2-0 last year, Chelsea have enjoyed pleasant success over Manchester United in the FA Cup in recent years. Whilst they failed to beat Arsenal in the 2016/17 final, a brilliant N’Golo Kanté goal from long-range sent Chelsea through to the Semi Finals. More recently, a sublime display from Eden Hazard was enough to win Chelsea the trophy in 2018 as he scored the only goal in the game from the penalty spot.
This Semi Final against Manchester United will be huge for Frank Lampard and he will be keen to avoid the mistakes in the previous three fixtures. Despite the two losses to Manchester United in the league, Chelsea still sit five points above Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side and a win in this game would be a further statement in Chelsea’s battle for Champions League given the confidence it will reward either side with.
How marvellous it would be to secure Top Four and finish the season with a final?