Chelsea survive Leicester scare to reach FA Cup semi-finals
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Chelsea survive Leicester scare to reach FA Cup semi-finals

Chelsea survived a scare to reach the FA Cup semi-finals after beating Leicester 4-2 in a thriller at Stamford Bridge.

The west Londoners looked to be in control of the tie as goals from Marc Cucurella and Cole Palmer put Chelsea two ahead at the break, though Raheem Sterling missed the chance to add to that advantage after his tame penalty was saved by Jakub Stolarczyk.

 

That miss looked like it could be costly as Championship leaders Leicester roared back into the game after half-time. Axel Disasi handed the Foxes a route back into the tie with a bizarre own goal, as the defender launched a long back pass that evaded the out-of-position Robert Sanchez in goal.

Stephy Mavididi then scored a spectacular equaliser as the winger cut inside and bent a brilliant finish into the far corner to level for Leicester.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men on 73 minutes when on-loan Manchester City defender Callum Doyle was sent off for a last-man challenge on Nicolas Jackson, though the contact was deemed to be outside the area on review. Sterling – who had missed a one-against-one in the first half – blazed the resulting free-kick high and wide and was jeered by the home crowd.

Mauricio Pochettino made changes and two substitutes sealed Chelsea’s place in the last four. First, Carney Chukwuemeka combined brilliantly with Cole Palmer, with a neat one-two sending the midfielder through to slot home a stoppage-time winner.

There was still time for Noni Madueke to get himself on the scoresheet with the goal of the game, evading two challenges before curling an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

For Chelsea, their semi-final clash will represent a second trip to Wembley this season after defeat in the Carabao Cup final last month.

“It’s massive to get the chance to play at Wembley for the second time in the same season,” Pochettino said at his post-match press conference.

 

“Yes (it was harder than it needed to be) because if we score in the first half all the chances we create, it is finished in 45 minutes.”

Pochettino was asked to discuss the development of his team and believes Chelsea are on the right path in their development.

“It’s true that we are close. I really believe that we can use the last ten, eleven games to get good results. I don’t want to repeat the process from the beginning of the season.

“Build a squad that is more consistent.”

Read – Pochettino condemns Chelsea boos for Raheem Sterling

See more – Five of the best Irish players in Premier League history

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