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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.


Loman, Efrain show mutual respect

Loman, Efrain show mutual respect

MMA is known for intensive rivalries that had often transcended beyond the sport from time to time. Stephen Loman from Philippines will be defending his Bantamweight world championship title at Brave 18 taking place on 16th November in

GFH profit rises 18.6pc

GFH profit rises 18.6pc

GFH Financial Group yesterday reported an 18.6 per cent increase in ninemonth net profit helped by continued growth and stronger contributions from its core investment banking business and other related investment income. Net profit at

APM commences IPO

APM commences IPO

Bahrain’s BD11.880 mn APM Terminals IPO has met with positive investor appetite said SICO in a statement saying, “we look forward to closing with a fully-subscribed offering.” The offer period for the APM Terminals Ba

Ithmaar reports profit

Ithmaar reports profit

I thmaar Holding, a Bahrain-based financial institution, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, each announced their financial results for the third quarter of 2018 with both reporting profi