Chelsea overcame Manchester United at Stamford Bridge this afternoon with a solitary goal from Demba Ba, and will now face Man City in the semi final...
"Ba's moment of genius, which was worthy of winning any game of football, proved to be the decisive moment."
An exquisite over-the-shoulder volley from Demba Ba was enough to separate the two teams at Stamford Bridge this afternoon as Rafa Benitez's Chelsea side knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup. United were searching for their first triumph in this competition since 2004, but they'll have to wait at least another season.
Ba was matched at 3.185/40 to score this afternoon, and did so in epic style, latching on to a ball over the top and stretching every fibre of his body to make a connection and guide the ball beyond David De Gea in the United goal. It was a goal to lift the supporters and the occasion itself, as the first half fizzled without ever actually catching alight. But four minutes into the second half, Ba struck and it proved to be enough to take Chelsea through as 1-0 winners, a score matched as high as 14.013/1 on the Betfair exchange.
It was a poor game, in truth. Neither team were at their scintillating best, and Ferguson's decision to leave Robin van Persie out of the starting eleven backfired. Despite Hernandez and Welbeck pulling Chelsea's defence out of shape on occasion, they couldn't break the deadlock. United came closest through the plucky Hernandez, but his header was brilliantly saved by Cech, and Chelsea survived the scare.
A late chance for van Persie after he entered the fray from the bench was blasted over as he failed to control his volley, and Ba's moment of genius, which was worthy of winning any game of football, proved to be the decisive moment.
Chelsea are now 2.89/5 second favourites to lift the FA Cup for the fifth time in seven years and will face favourites Man City 2.26/5 in the second semi-final to be held at Wembley on Sunday 14th April. The winner of that game will face the winner of Millwall 30.029/1 and Wigan 5.79/2 in the other semi-final held the day before.