The Blues finally defeated the Red Devils at the fourth time of asking, setting up an all-London FA Cup final against Arsenal in the process.
Chelsea came into the game hoping to get one over their rivals after three previous unsuccessful attempts. Prior to kickoff, both sides had received a huge boost in their Champions League aspirations following Tottenham’s demolition of Leicester. Booking a final ticket would have summed up a perfect day for either team.
Frank Lampard made notable alterations both in system and personnel as he reverted to a 3-4-3 system. Mason Mount was back in action, replacing Christian Pulisic, who was out through injury. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Kepa also made way for Reece James and Willy Caballero.
Reece James had the game’s first real effort, unleashing a fierce drive from long range which De Gea dealt with comfortably. Marcos Alonso was next to try his luck but failed to keep his header down from inside the box.
Just past the half-hour mark, Bruno Fernandes’ dipping free-kick was tipped over by Caballero. Zouma went close when he got himself across his man only to head Mount’s delivery over the bar. Following a clash of heads with Harry Maguire, Eric Baily’s outing was brought to a premature end as he was stretchered off the pitch.
Deep into first-half stoppage time, Chelsea broke the deadlock. Giroud’s deft touch from Azpilicueta’s cross proved too strong for De Gea who will feel he should have done better.
Manchester United couldn’t have made a worse start to the second half as they went two behind barely a minute into it. The ever-lively Mason Mount seized upon Brandon Williams’ stray pass and fired from outside the box to double his side’s lead. Another goal in which the United goalie should have done better.
United needed to respond and nearly did so through Marcus Rashford, who flashed his effort across the face of goal and agonizingly wide. Solsjkaer turned to his bench, bringing on Pogba and Greenwood in search of a much-needed goal.
Mount almost got his second of that day but could only fire over from Willian’s pick out. The United skipper ended up putting the final nail in his side’s coffin. Under pressure from Rudiger, Maguire inadvertently turned Marcos Alonso’s cross into his own net.
From the spot, Fernandes pulled one back but it proved inconsequential as Chelsea marched on into the FA Cup final. This time, they will hope to revenge for the 2017 final defeat to the Gunners.