Chelsea make hard work of spirited Sheff Utd to seal FA Cup semis spot

Date published: Sunday 21st March 2021 3:26 - Jonny Whitfield

Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic Chelsea v Sheff Utd March 2021

Chelsea edged into the FA Cup semi-finals after a 2-0 win over a Sheffield United side which looked transformed from last week’s loss to Leicester.

The Blades suffered a 5-0 humiliation last weekend but showed bundles of confidence and spirit at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea took the lead through Oliver Norwood’s own goal, but United responded and had a glorious chance to equalise in the second half.

The visitors kept pressing, but could not take the tie to extra time as Chelsea kept their hopes of a double trophy haul this season alive.

Chelsea dominated the first half, but Blades defender Phil Jagielka squandered a 10th-minute chance after heading over from a poorly-defended corner.

As such, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel was left muttering to himself in his dugout. However, he got his wish for his players to settle and they spent most of the rest of the half camped in their opponents’ end of the pitch.

They did not create too many clear-cut chances, with United keen to slow the game down with fouls. Indeed, Christian Pulisic was on the end of several fouls and referee Andy Madley became frustrated.

But Chelsea eventually got their goal, scrappy as it was. Ben Chilwell collected the ball from a cleared corner and drove the ball back in.

His shot was going wide, but for a touch from Norwood, who subsequently sank to the turf.

Early in the second half, Pulisic continued to be fouled but Chelsea could not finish a free-kick on the edge of the area.

And despite Chelsea continuing to dominate, David McGoldrick missed a glorious chance to equalise.

Glorious Sheff Utd chance missed

George Baldock Chelsea v Sheff Utd March 2021

A cross from the right got a deflection – which may have put the striker off – as his diving header, aimed towards the empty far corner of the net, trailed wide.

Ben Osborn then stung Kepa’s palms as the visitors stepped up their efforts to get level.

However, the pressure kept ramping up, with McGoldrick unable to get to the ball as it trickled across the six-yard line.

Right at the death, Rhian Brewster smashed the ball into the side netting, before Hakim Ziyech finished off a counter-attack to make it 2-0 in one of the final kicks of the game.

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