FA Cup: Pep Guardiola edges closer to FA Cup success as Manchester City beat Chelsea

FA Cup: Pep Guardiola edges closer to FA Cup success as Manchester City beat Chelsea

The absence of Erling Haaland from Manchester City‘s 20-man squad dominated the pre-match build-up after the Norwegian was ruled out with injury following, but it mattered not as Pep Guardiola’s men beat Chelsea 1-0 to make another FA Cup Final.

Chelsea had the better and more numerous chances, but late on Bernardo Silva had the ball in the net to ensure City put the ghost of Real Madrid to bed as they reached another final.

Chelsea looked threatening on the counter in the early stages with Nicolas Jackson looking energetic with the ball at his feet and Cole Palmer playing alongside him.

But it was the treble winners who had the first genuine opportunity of the game when Kevin de Bruyne smartly breached the offside trap for Phil Foden, who tried to round Djordje Petrovic but the Serbian did superbly to get a hand to the ball and Marc Cucurella cleared.

Jackson also did the same after being sent through by Enzo Fernandez, but the Senegalese hesitated when going past Stefan Ortega and the chance went begging.

As they often do in games of high magnitude, City began to enjoy more possession in Chelsea‘s half with Jack Grealish and Kevin de Bruyne combining on a number of occasions.

Ian WaltonAP

Chelsea rue missed opportunities

Jackson continued to cause problems after the break and had two golden chances to break the deadlock, but the striker was left to rue some poor finishing in front of goal.

Gallagher won the ball high up the pitch and threaded it through to the 23-year-old, who saw his placed effort tipped wide by Ortega. A matter of seconds later, Palmer‘s cross found the striker at the far post after wrestling past Kyle Walker, but his weak header was saved confidently by the German stopper.

Chelsea felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Grealish appeared to handle the ball inside the box with 56 minutes gone. Replays showed the Blues may have had an argument as the England international’s flailing arm appeared to be in an unnatural position, but referee Michael Oliver gestured for a goal-kick after a brief VAR check.

Alastair GrantAP

Substitute Jeremy Doku immediately took things up a notch by creating chances from the left, but De Bruyne couldn’t find the target.

With still no breakthrough at the 75-minute mark, Mauricio Pochettino sent on $109million winger Mykhaylo Mudryk late on in search of a winning goal as the tension rose inside Wembley.

But out of nothing, City found the breakthrough with only six minutes to go. De Bruyne made a clever run in behind and his cross deflected into the path of Bernardo Silva at the far post, whose effort ricocheted off Cucurella and into the back of the net.

And City held on without much of a threat from their opponents as Guardiola can now look forward to either facing Manchester United or Coventry in the final.

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