Ba brilliance books semi spot

A spectacular strike from Demba Ba saw FA Cup holders Chelsea to a 1-0 win over Manchester United in their quarter-final replay.

Last Updated: 01/04/13 at 17:57 Post Comment

Demba Ba's spectacular volley saw FA Cup holders Chelsea into the last four

Demba Ba's spectacular volley saw FA Cup holders Chelsea into the last four

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Blues, who have lifted the trophy in four of the last six seasons, will now face Manchester City at Wembley in the semi-finals - with another fixture added to an already hectic April schedule for Rafa Benitez's side.

Fatigue had been a buzz word prior to kick-off, with the games coming thick and fast at this stage of the season, and a lethargic opening from both sets of players suggested Robin van Persie's pre-match warning not to expect a classic would be proved correct - with misplaced passes and heavy touches the order of the day.

It took over half an hour for the first meaningful effort on goal to be mustered, with Ba forcing David de Gea into a low stop with his feet.

Prior to that, the sight of Ashley Cole failing to keep pace with England colleague Danny Welbeck and subsequently limping off with a hamstring complaint had provided the only talking point for those who had braved the capital cold on Easter Monday.

Things did improve marginally as the afternoon wore on, but David Luiz fired a 25-yard free-kick high into the stands and Nani saw a dipping effort from distance skip off the turf and wide of the target.

Javier Hernandez, a man who has tormented Chelsea on a regular basis in the past, came as close as anyone to forcing a first-half breakthrough shortly before the interval, with Petr Cech sticking out a boot to fend off an ambitious strike which moved wildly in flight.

In a game lacking any real quality, it appeared as though a moment of magic, or possibly madness, would be required to settle the tie, and Ba provided the former on 49 minutes.

Juan Mata teased a hanging ball into the box and, after watching it drop over his shoulder, Chelsea's Senegalese striker swivelled on the slide to send a looping volley over De Gea and into the back of the net.

With the likes of Van Persie, Ryan Giggs, Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres waiting patiently on the bench, and with recent contests between Chelsea and United having produced a flood of goals, you got the feeling that one was unlikely to be enough for the hosts.

Chelsea were, however, by hook or by crook, able to contain United - with Cech producing a remarkable fingertip stop on the hour mark to divert a diving header from Hernandez up and over the crossbar.

Shortly after, Mata was presented with an opportunity to try and double the Blues' advantage, but he took too long to set himself and eventually saw a fierce drive from an ever-tightening angle touched into the side-netting by De Gea.

Eden Hazard then took it upon himself to try and ease the tension around Stamford Bridge but, after bursting through the middle and into the penalty area, he could only slide wide of the post when offered a clear sight of goal.

United were expected to try and finish with a flourish, in an effort to keep their double dreams alive, but they created only one opportunity of note - which Van Persie hammered high into the crowd - and Sir Alex Ferguson's men must look to console themselves with a bid to take the Premier League title with a new record points haul.

ChelseaTeam StatisticsManchester United
1Goals0
01st Half Goals0
5Shots on Target2
10Shots off Target7
5Blocked Shots3
3Corners2
14Fouls11
1Offsides1
4Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
78.4Passing Success83.6
24Tackles15
75Tackles Success86.7
43.8Possession56.2
53.4Territorial Advantage46.6
412Total Passes524
16Total Crosses20
152Lost Balls164
67Recoveries73
48.51st Half Poss.51.5
38.32nd Half Poss.61.7

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Tottenham striker Harry Kane to make first England start in Italy

Harry Kane will make his first start for England in Tuesday night's friendly in Italy, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle starts for Italy against England in Turin

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has been handed a start for Italy in their friendly against England in Turin.

No Team GB football teams for 2016 Brazil Olympics

The FA has formally withdrawn its proposal to enter a Team GB Men’s and Women’s side at the 2016 Olympics.

Mail Box

Can Wenger Coach Young Players Anymore?

One Mailboxer wonders whether Wenger has still got ability to bring through young talent. Plus £50m for Sterling, stop being matey with footballers and Blackpool...

Forget About Flair And Play Like Greece

'Forget about flair and play like Greece' is one outsider's advice to the England national side, while an Arsenal fan wants to sell Theo Walcott to get Marco Reus.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company