The road to Wembley: How Chelsea and Man United got to the FA Cup Final
The 2018 FA Cup final takes place this Saturday, and it’s poised to be a humdinger as Chelsea meet Manchester United under the Wembley arch.
It’s Antonio Conte up against former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, and both sides are facing a trophyless season unless they win the world’s oldest cup competition.
United will be looking to draw level with Arsenal on 13 FA Cup wins, while Chelsea are looking for their eighth and their sixth in the 21st century.
But ahead of this weekend’s showdown, we’re looking back at how they made it to Wembley…
With the Premier League sides entering in the third round, Man United were handed a home tie against Derby County.
The Rams gave it a good go, but were eventually broken in the 84th minute by Jesse Lingard. Romelu Lukaku bagged a second in the dying moments to secure a 2-0 win.
As for Chelsea, they were held to a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road by Norwich City.
Conte’s men then needed penalties in the replay after a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge to avoid an early banana skin.
Chelsea were far more clinical in the fourth round. Michy Batshuayi’s first-half brace and a Marcos Alonso effort saw Newcastle United swept aside 3-0.
It was a very different type of cup tie for Mourinho’s side, though. United were drawn away to Yeovil Town.
Again United had to wait, but Marcus Rashford’s effort just before half-time broke Yeovil’s spirits. Ander Herrera made it 2-0 on the hour before late strikes from Alexis Sanchez and Lukaku made it 4-0 at packed Huish Park.
Man United had already lost at Huddersfield Town in the Premier League, so an away trip to Yorkshire came with some trepidation.
The fears didn’t last long however. Lukaku netted after just three minutes, before is second just after half-time secured a 2-0 success and a spot in the last eight.
Chelsea had a similarly comfortable fifth round. Championship struggles Hull City visited Stamford Bridge, but were 4-0 down within 42 minutes.
Things weren’t so easy in the quarter-finals however, as Chelsea headed to 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City.
Both sides were near-enough full strength, and in an excellent encounter Alvaro Morata and Jamie Vardy’s goals ensured extra-time was required. Pedro grabbed the winner midway through the additional period, to send Chelsea into the semi-finals.
United hosted Brighton & Hove Albion, in a repeat of the 1983 final.
It was another comfortable one for the Red Devils, however. Lukaku again put Mourinho’s men in front in the first-halkf, before Nemanja Matic bagged a rare strike late on to conclude a 2-0 victory.
Tottenham Hotspur awaited the Old Trafford outfit in the semi-finals. And given that they’ve played at Wembley all season, the Londoners were confident.
They took the lead too, through Dele Alli after just 11 minutes. But again Spurs’ mental strength was called into question as first Sanchez and then Herrera turned the game around.
United held on to to secure a place in the FA Cup final for the 20th time.
And a day later they discovered that Chelsea would be their opponents.
The Blues had lucked in against Southampton, and eased to a 2-0 win through goals from Olivier Giroud and Morata to bag their 13th spot in the final.
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