Football

Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 to reach FA Cup final

Manchester City teammates celebrate the winning goal in the English FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in North West London on April 20, 2024. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)

London, (AFP):- Manchester City bounced back from Champions League heartbreak against Real Madrid to beat Chelsea 1-0 to reach the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Bernardo Silva scored the only goal six minutes from time at Wembley as Chelsea were made to pay for a series of wasted chances by Nicolas Jackson.

Pep Guardiola’s side were second best for long periods of the semi-final, but Chelsea wasted a string of chances before Silva delivered the knockout blow six minutes from full-time.

Shaken by their Champions League quarter-final loss against Real Madrid on penalties in midweek, City took a while to shake off the gloom from the end of their treble bid.

They were hampered by the absence of Norway striker Erling Haaland after he suffered a knock against Real, with Julian Alvarez unable to make an impact as his replacement.

City were bailed out by Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson’s profligacy and Guardiola will hope the hard-fought success provides a timely lift as they chase a Premier League and FA Cup double.

City face Manchester United or Coventry, who meet on Sunday, in the final on May 25 and will retain the Premier League title if they win their last six games.

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It will be City’s 13th final in the competition and potentially a repeat of last year’s 2-1 win over United in the Wembley Manchester derby.

Beaten by Liverpool in the League Cup final in February, Chelsea’s wait to win their first domestic trophy since the 2018 FA Cup goes on for another season.

It was a bitter blow for Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino, who has endured a difficult first season in charge and remains without silverware in England.

The semi-final was billed as in-form Chelsea forward Cole Palmer’s chance to punish his old club for selling him to the Blues in September.

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Guardiola said Palmer asked to leave City for two years before he eventually joined Chelsea, where he has scored 23 goals in all competitions this, including 11 in his last six games.

Palmer, who scored four times in Monday’s 6-0 rout of Everton, was a constant threat for Chelsea, but ultimately it was his team’s lack of killer instinct that proved decisive.

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