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Chelsea book final against Man United

Chelsea book final against Man United

Wembley : Olivier Giroud proved the scourge of Southampton once again, setting Chelsea on course for FA Cup semifinal success and a mouth-watering clash with Manchester United.

A week after coming off the bench to net a brace and inspire a remarkable comeback win at embattled Saints in the Premier League, the 31-year-old returned to haunt Mark Hughes’ side at Wembley.

Southampton’s first FA Cup semifinal appearance since 2003 ended in disappointment as Giroud showed impressive composure to slot home a goal added to by substitute Alvaro Morata as Chelsea ran out 2-0 victors.

Ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho lies in wait for Antonio Conte’s men on May 19, when they can atone for last year’s shock FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal -- and perhaps give their manager a victorious send-off as speculation continues over his future.

Chelsea were firm favourites to win this semifinal and Willian hit the crossbar early in a one-sided first half, yet Saints managed to batten down the hatches.

But just seconds after half-time that hard work was undone as Giroud was all too easily allowed to jink through and turn home a smart individual goal.

Southampton rallied as substitute Nathan Redmond came close, but Morata headed the Blues through to a second successive FA Cup final as Saints’ dreams of adding to their 1976 triumph died.

There were plenty of empty seats in the Southampton end on Sunday -- although perhaps that is no surprise when you factor in the terrible football that leaves them 18th in the Premier League and facing the drop.

Such dreadful form led last year’s EFL Cup finalists to be gripped by apprehension early on as Chelsea flew out of the blocks, with Eden Hazard flashing just wide before Willian struck the crossbar after cutting inside.

Maya Yoshida produced an outstanding last-ditch challenge to deny man-of-the-match Hazard after meek defending from Ryan Bertrand, with Willian then lifting a well-placed free kick over the bar.

Mario Lemina’s tame effort 25 minutes in was Southampton’s first shot on target, but by now they had at least looked to have found a modicum of composure.

Still, Saints’ midfield was being too easily bypassed and Giroud came close with an acrobatic hooked effort as half-time approached.

Chelsea surprisingly failed to get a shot on target in the first half, yet seconds into the second half they managed it. And it put them ahead. 




Performance lab open for football players

Performance lab open for football players

The Bahrain Olympic Committee’s (BOC) Athletic Performance Lab started providing a set of medical services for all Bahrain national team athletes.BOC Projects director Lounes Madene said that the performance laboratory is managed by sports specialist Dr. Vladimir Su

Thomas De Gendt wins Romandie stage two

Thomas De Gendt wins Romandie stage two

Zurich : Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) added to his portfolio of breakaway wins on stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie, going clear in the opening kilometres with four others before dropping them all in turn to celebrate a solo victory

Ibrahimovic rules out World Cup comeback

Ibrahimovic rules out World Cup comeback

Stockholm : Ending weeks of speculation, the Swedish football federation announced yesterday that star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who quit the national squad in 2016, will not make a comeback for the World Cup in Russia.


Kim and Kanye West expecting fourth child

Kim and Kanye West expecting fourth child

Kim Kardashian has confirmed she is expecting her fourth child with husband Kanye West during a US TV interview. Kim revealed the couple were expecting a boy via a surrogate mother. She was joined by her sisters Kourtney and Khloe Kard

German growth slows

German growth slows

Growth in the German economy fell to 1.5 per cent in 2018, official data showed yesterday, representing a marked slowdown from the previous year’s figure. Officials from federal statistics authority Destatis told a Berlin press c

EU wants end veto on tax

EU wants end veto on tax

The European Commission yesterday proposed to end the veto power member states have over EU tax matters, an idea rejected by several smaller countries including low-tax hub Ireland. A more harmonised tax policy across Europe has long b

Where are the sedans?

Where are the sedans?

A persistent question shadowed all of the shiny new vehicles and highly-produced, glitzy debuts at the Detroit auto show this week: Where are the sedans? Volkswagen was among the few to trumpet a new sedan -- those compact and mid-size

Not spying for China

Not spying for China

Huawei’s reclusive founder Ren Zhengfei stepped out of the shadows yesterday to give a rare media interview, forcefully denying accusations that his firm engaged in espionage on behalf of the Chinese government. The company he fo