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Lampard hails Chelsea ‘character and personality’ after dominant 3-1 semi-final win over Man United

Chelsea will face Arsenal in the FA Cup final after the Blues put in a hugely impressive display to beat Manchester 3-1 at Wembley today.

Both managers matched each other up with a 3-5-2 formation and it was Chelsea who looked the more threatening during the opening exchanges, Reece James’ long-range effort forcing David De Gea into a decent save and Marcos Alonso heading over at the back stick.

Manchester United struggled to play through Chelsea’s well organised press for most of the first-half, with a rather tame Bruno Fernandes free-kick that Willy Caballero tipped over the bar the closest the Red Devil’s came to breaking the deadlock.

There would be 12 minutes of injury time played at the end of the first period after a serious head injury to Eric Bailly, and Chelsea used the added time to deservedly take the lead in the 11th of those minutes.

Four time FA Cup winner Olivier Giroud has been in excellent form for the Blues as of late and it was the Frenchman’s deft near-post flick from a Cesar Azpilicueta cross that saw Frank Lampard’s men go in at the break a goal up.

Many will have felt United keeper De Gea should have done better with Giroud’s opener, but just minutes after the restart the 29-year-old dropped an absolute clanger, the Spaniard fluffing his lines with Mason Mount’s low strike from the edge of the area following an errant pass from Brandon Williams.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked to his bench to try get back into the game, introducing Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood, but the Red Devil’s still struggled badly to create any chances of note.

Chelsea would then seal their right to face Arsenal in the showpiece event on August 1st in the 74th minute when Harry Maguire diverted a dangerous Alonso cross from the left into his own net and past the hapless de Gea.

United would score a consolation via a Bruno Fernandes penalty with five minutes left to play, although any hope of a late comeback failed to materialise, with Chelsea’s superiority in every aspect of the game continuing up until the final whistle.

Speaking afterwards Chelsea boss Lampard admitted he was hugely proud of his sides excellent performance, with the Blues dominating today’s fixture from start to finish.

“I can’t ask for any more from my players than that,” Lampard told BBC Sport.

”The work ethic and the level of performance. We were on top and when they changed their system we were even better. I am very proud of that performance.

“Where we are at it is going to happen that we have some bad displays like against Sheffield United. We have done a lot of work in the last few days and the players deserve a huge amount of credit.

“They should take confidence form that display. We have leaders, you can’t compare across eras but we have leaders in the team. It was a performance full of character and personality.

“We have finals ahead, two in the league and then Arsenal. We want to win things. Three games won’t define the progress we have made but we are at the business end.”

Chelsea’s attention will now turn to the race for the Champions League qualification, with the Blues set to face champions Liverpool and Wolves in their final two Premier League fixtures, although the west London outfit will be buoyed by top-four rivals Leicester’s 3-0 loss to Spurs earlier today.

Read – Five of the most memorable FA Cup semi-finals ever

Read Also – Early retirement: Five great footballers who left the game prematurely

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