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Chelsea v Manchester City Live Commentary, 2021/04/17

FT
1 - 0
CHE
MCI
H. Ziyech (55)
Wembley Stadium

Commentary

That is all from this FA Cup semi-final clash, until next time!
The Blues will find out their FA Cup final opponents tomorrow as Leicester City face off against Southampton in the other semi-final tie. The Citizens, whose hopes of the quadruple are now over, return to Premier League action on Wednesday with a trip to Aston Villa, while Chelsea host Brighton and Hove Albion the day before.
Chelsea reach their fourth FA Cup final in five seasons and end City's hopes of a quadruple this campaign. The Blues dominated the first half, however, Tuchel's men had to wait for Ziyech's second-half routine finish to open the scoring after some good work by Werner down the left. Guardiola's men rarely tested Kepa and can have no complaints about their exit at the semi-final stage of this year's FA Cup.
90' + 6' FULL-TIME: CHELSEA 1-0 MANCHESTER CITY
Rúben Dias
Yellow Card
Manchester City
90' + 5' Dias joins his centre-back partner Laporte in the book for a foul inside the area and the subsequent verbal disagreement that came with referee Dean.
90' + 4' SAVE! Foden swings in a late City corner towards the back post, where Rodri towers above his opposite man to produce a downwards header towards the bottom left corner. Kepa reacts quickly to parry away before Kante hooks a clearance away from danger.
90' + 3' NO GOAL! Chelsea go long from their free-kick and Havertz flicks on for Pulisic. The American roams inside, beating two defenders before powering into the bottom left corner. Pulisic runs off in celebration but the assistant has his flag up for offside. VAR then confirms the American forward was offside from Havertz's first header on the left.
Aymeric Laporte
Yellow Card
Manchester City
90' + 2' Azpilicueta clears with a diving header and Laporte clatters into the back of him. For his needless foul, Laporte goes into the book.
90' + 1' Tuchel's men have five more minutes to defend for as the fourth official indicates the amount of added time. The Blues continue to sit deep, working hard from the front and keeping to their impressive defensive structure.
Azpilicueta
Yellow Card
Chelsea
90' Azpilicueta brings down Foden after the Englishman had made it past him and the Spaniard becomes the next name in the referee's book.
K. Zouma
Thiago Silva
Chelsea
88' Silva, much like De Bruyne earlier in the second half, limps off and Zouma is the man to replace the Brazilian in the Chelsea defence.
87' Mendy needlessly nudges James in the back to offer Chelsea a free-kick inside their own half. Off the ball, Silva is holding his back on the floor and the Blues' medical team are required to come on to tend to the Brazilian.
85' Kepa takes an age over his goal-kick as Tuchel prepares another change on the touchline. In contrast, Guardiola has only opted for two changes so far and still has the quality of the likes of Mahrez on the bench.
84' OVER! Jesus miscues his control at the back post after being found by Cancelo's cross but the loose ball falls to Sterling inside the area. The English forward hooks a left-footed strike towards goal, however, it sails over the bar and Chelsea's one-goal advantage remains intact.
82' SAVE! Foden finds a pocket of space and plays towards the edge of the area, where Rodri drills a low right-footed shot towards goal. The effort is rather speculative and Kepa saves with ease as he collapses down on the ball to waste a bit of time.
81' City have won six of their last nine meetings with Chelsea in all competitions (D1 L2), beating the Blues 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League already this season. Their strong run against Tuchel's men, however, will be over if they can't find a late equaliser here.
80' Foden's corner finds Azpilicueta at the near post and the Spaniard heads away. Dean quickly stops play as VAR checks for handball against the defender before allowing play to resume without needing to award a penalty.
Emerson
H. Ziyech
Chelsea
79' Tuchel makes a defensive change at the same time as Havertz's introduction as he also brings on Emerson for Ziyech.
K. Havertz
T. Werner
Chelsea
79' Werner, who assisted Ziyech's opener, wanders over to the touchline and his German colleague Havertz makes his way onto the pitch to replace the forward.
78' Sterling, who is operating on the right now, looks to be in behind but Chilwell produces a smart headed clearance to turn behind for a corner. The Citizens, however, will have to wait to take the set-piece as Tuchel is going to make his third change of the game.
77' SAVE! Chelsea deal with City's set-piece, despite the ball cannoning around the area in front of Kepa's goal. Werner then leads the counter-attack, racing down the left-hand channel and into the City area before tamely shooting across Steffen with his left foot. The American goalkeeper gets down to make the save to his left and the score remains at 1-0 to the Blues.
75' The Blues are sitting a little deeper now and watching City knock possession about in front of them. Cancelo does manage to find Jesus in the area but the Brazilian gets crowded out before he can release a shot.
73' Cancelo sprints around Sterling on the overlap but the Englishman gets a simple pass wrong as he overhits his throughball for the full-back out of play. Azpilicueta is limping about, however, the Spaniard indicates he is fit to carry on at the moment.
72' Ziyech hovers over a corner before crossing towards the far post, where City manage to head clear. In terms of Pulisic's introduction, the American will offer the Chelsea attack even more pace to exploit the Citizens on the counter-attack if the opportunity arises.
71' Chelsea have lost four of their last five FA Cup ties against the Citizens, including a 2-1 loss at this stage in 2013. However, they did win their most recent such encounter 5-1 in February 2016. Ziyech's goal proves to be the difference so far in this one.
C. Pulisic
M. Mount
Chelsea
70' Pulisic, who has been in great Premier League form, is Tuchel's first change as the American replaces Mount.
69' CLOSE! Foden loops a set-piece to the back post, where Rodri directs a header back across goal. Amongst numerous bodies, Dias climbs the highest but he can only head over the bar from close range. Chelsea get away with one, however, Kepa is still yet to make a second-half save.
68' Foden tries to cross towards Sterling at the back post but Rudiger is again there to flick away a clearance. Foden looks like the key for City here, however, Chelsea continue to stand firm to protect their one-goal lead.
67' The game has become more of an end-to-end affair since Ziyech's opener and City are moving the ball about with real intensity now. As of yet, however, Kepa hasn't been called upon to make a save as the three-man defence in front of the Spaniad continue to stifle the Citizens' attack.
65' Cancelo's set-piece looks for Rodri at the far post but the Spanish midfielder can't get near the delivery and Chelsea get the throw-in in the left-hand corner.
64' Rudiger receives some treatment on the touchline and then returns to the pitch just in time to defend City's free-kick from wide on the right.
İ. Gündoğan
Ferran Torres
Manchester City
64' Guardiola makes another change as he brings off Torres and introduces Gundogan to City's midfield.
63' Rodri clips a cross towards Sterling in the area and the Englishman goes down under pressure from Rudiger. Referee Dean tells Sterling to get up but the game stops as Rudiger goes down holding his head.
Fernandinho
Yellow Card
Manchester City
63' Fernandinho becomes the first City player in Dean's book for racking up numerous fouls in this FA Cup semi-final clash.
61' James finds himself in an unusually advanced central position and drives at Dias before going down. Ziyech and Werner look disappointed with the right-back's decision not to pass as Dean waves play on, despite Dias' tackle looking like a foul in the middle.
59' CHANCE! Ziyech should double his tally and the Blues' lead but he can only shoot tamely into the feet of Steffen as he goes one-on-one with the American inside the area. Initially, Dias misjudged Chilwell's pass over the top and missed his clearance which allowed Ziyech to sneak in behind before disappointing with his weak right-footed finish.
58' Tuchel's side deserve their lead for their dominant first-half showing but will Ziyech's goal be the wake up call City needed? Chelsea have to keep playing how they are now and avoid sitting deep to defend their one-goal advantage in this tie.
56' Ziyech has scored his fifth goal for Chelsea (all competitions) in what is his 30th appearance for the Blues.
T. Werner
Assist
Chelsea
55' Werner, who has struggled with City's high lines so far, beats the offside trap after being released by Mount on the left. The German forward then unselfishly opts to pass rather than shoot, presenting Ziyech with a simple finish to open the scoring into an empty net.
H. Ziyech
Goal
Chelsea
55' GOOOOOALLLLL! 1-0 CHELSEA! Werner gets in behind the City defence in the left-hand channel, thanks to a throughball from Mount near the halfway line. The German striker draws Steffen out of his goal before squaring to Ziyech, who taps into an empty net with a routine left-footed finish from near the penalty spot.
54' Fernandinho looks for the forward run of Sterling but Azpilicueta is once again on hand to deal with the English forward before he can test Kepa. The Spanish defender has had a good game against Sterling so far, capably supported by James just ahead of him on the right.
52' Ziyech slides through Werner on the right with a delicate throughball but Dias rushes across to slide tackle the German and avert the danger. Moments later Chilwell attempts to cross for Mount, however, Cancelo is there to block away before Steffen is required to get involved.
51' Sterling avoids four tackles on the left before working it out to the right-hand side. Foden manages to pick out Jesus, who looks to head down for Sterling at the back post but the ball takes a deflection and somehow falls safely into the hands of Kepa.
49' City had just three shots in the first half - only against West Ham and Liverpool (both 2, in February) have they attempted fewer in the opening 45 minutes of a game this season.
P. Foden
K. De Bruyne
Manchester City
48' De Bruyne limps off and Guardiola sends on Foden to replace him in the Citizens' midfield.
47' De Bruyne goes down in the middle of the park and the game pauses for City's physios to run on. The Belgian is holding his ankle and it looks like Foden is being readied on the touchline to come on. It looks like De Bruyne rolled his ankle over the ball against Kante on the right and that is what has potentially called an end to his game.
47' Cancelo sends a teasing delivery in from the right but Azpilicueta does well to flick a headed clearance away in front of Jesus.
46' Referee Dean gets the second half of this FA Cup semi-final clash underway!
Guardiola will be frustrated with his side's first-half showing and could make early changes if his team continue to underperform. The likes of Mahrez, Foden and Gundogan could all make an appearance if needed. In contrast, Tuchel will be happy with Chelsea's first-half efforts but will be asking them to be more clinical when chances do arise to challenge Steffen's goal.
Tuchel's men started the better in this semi-final clash and thought they had opened the scoring through Ziyech, only for Werner to be adjudged offside in the build-up to the goal. The Blues continued to dominate and went close through both James and Chilwell before Fernandinho glanced wide at the other end. Apart from that, it has been fairly quiet first half as both teams wander down the Wembley tunnel level at 0-0 at half-time.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: CHELSEA 0-0 MANCHESTER CITY
45' WIDE! A second corner in as many minutes comes for the Citizens and De Bruyne once again misses his team-mates inside the area. Sterling picks up the loose ball on the left and crosses for Fernandinho, who glances a headed effort wide of Kepa's goal to the right after finding space in between Rudiger and Silva.
44' Torres thinks there is an opportunity at the front post but Silva comes across to clear out for a City corner. De Bruyne sends in the set-piece and misses all of his team-mates as he overhits his delivery.
43' De Bruyne twists past James and produces a low, left-footed cross towards the front post. Azpilicueta miscues his clearance into the face of Rudiger but Jesus can't pounce before the Spaniard makes amends and gets rid of the danger.
41' Chilwell drops his shoulder and chips a pass for Werner up top, however, the German is in an offside position so has to let the ball run through to Steffen. Werner's pace offers a real threat against City but as of yet the German can't find a way to stay onside with Laporte and Dias constantly employing a high defensive line.
40' Referee Dean gives a soft free-kick against Jesus and Sterling, who combined to bring down Azpilicueta on the right. The pair vent their frustrations towards the referee, perhaps more out of annoyance with their first-half performance than the referee's decision.
38' Guardiola is unbeaten in all five of his managerial meetings with Tuchel (W3 D2), with all of these coming between 2013 and 2016 when the Spaniard was in charge of Bayern Munich.
37' Fernandinho clips a long pass over the top of Chelsea's high line for the inwards run of Torres. The Spanish forward looks set to test Kepa but Fernandinho's pass just runs through to the goalkeeper before Torres can challenge him.
36' Sterling, who has been incredibly quiet this half, has the chance to run at Azpilicueta but the Spaniard dispossesses him. Ziyech then wanders down the right-hand channel but his progress comes to an end as Mendy wins it off him.
R. James
Yellow Card
Chelsea
34' After going close at the other end, James hacks down Fernandinho and becomes the first booking of this FA Cup semi-final clash.
33' CLOSE! Mount's corner gets headed down by Rudiger to Chilwell, who tees up James outside the area. The right-back runs onto the pass and hits a first-time right-footed strike from 25 yards out which sails just wide of Steffen's goal to the left.
33' Werner races into the area to the right of goal and looks to drill a strike across Steffen but Laporte slides to block behind for a Chelsea corner.
32' Tuchel applauds from the touchline as Ziyech presses and clips De Bruyne's ankles. The German manager and forward feel De Bruyne has gone down theatrically but nevertheless Dean awards the free-kick out wide.
30' When the game stops briefly, referee Dean has a quick word of warning for Fernandinho, whose prior sliding tackle on Mount could have warranted a booking. The Brazilian appears to be on his final warning as the game approaches the half-hour mark.
29' Mount picks the ball up inside his own half, evading the tackle of Fernandinho before driving forward through the middle. The Englishman plays to Ziyech out wide but his cross towards Werner gets cleared by Dias before the German can capitalise.
28' Rudiger comes rushing out and clatters into De Bruyne, who slams his pass out of play when trying to find Cancelo. The Belgian gestures for a foul towards the referee but Dean instead awards the throw-in to Chelsea.
27' The Blues are looking to reach the FA Cup final for the fourth time in the last five seasons, failing only in 2018-19 in this run. Tuchel would be the first ever German manager to reach the English FA Cup final.
26' Rodri climbs the highest to deal with James' set-piece but Chelsea regain possession. Chilwell then plays inside for Ziyech, who looks for the run of Werner inside the area, however, the assistant flags for offside against the German for the second time in this half.
25' De Bruyne gets the wrong side of Jorginho and is forced to foul the Italian in the right-hand channel. Tuchel's side have a free-kick in a good position out wide and it will be James to deliver from deep.
24' Laporte goes long in search of Jesus but Kepa comes out with real authority to claim the pass high above his head. City are being limited to little possession at the minute as the Blues continue to knock the ball about with confidence.
22' Jorginho smartly works it across to Mount, who feeds the run of Chilwell with a first-time pass into the left-hand channel. The left-back looks to drill across for Ziyech at the back post but Laporte gets an important touch to divert the cross away for a throw-in.
21' Torres powers through the middle with the ball at his feet but Mount dispossesses the Spaniard. Tuchel's side then look to break through Werner but opt to play backwards as the German has no crossing options inside the area.
19' WIDE! James makes great progress down the right-hand channel and stands up a cross towards the far post. Werner gets underneath it and so does Cancelo, however, Chilwell is there to volley from close range with his left foot just wide of Steffen's goal to the right. A great chance goes amiss for the Blues with the left-back rushing his shot at the crucial moment.
17' Mount takes the initiative from Chilwell's previous run and goes surging towards the edge of the area. After dancing around Laporte, Dias and Fernandinho combine to dispossess Mount, who was just about to shoot with his right foot towards Steffen's goal.
16' Chilwell drives inside from the left, evading two or three of the opposition before Fernandinho stops him in his tracks with a strong sliding tackle. The English left-back complains to Dean but the referee waves play on in the middle of the park.
15' Torres and Cancelo try to play intricately around Kante but the Frenchman intercepts. Ziyech and Werner then lead the counter-attack with the former tamely shooting across goal and City clear with ease.
14' Cancelo slides a pass through the legs of Chilwell and looks for De Bruyne in the area but Rudiger is there to intervene. City regain possession, however, as they look to peg back Chelsea, who had made the better start of the two teams up until this point.
12' City have won nine of their last 11 FA Cup semi-final matches, though they have been eliminated at this stage in two of their four previous campaigns under Guardiola (vs Arsenal in both 2017 and 2020).
11' SAVE! Jesus drifts to the left of the area, ignoring the option of Torres outside of him and shooting towards the far post with his right foot. Kepa sees it all the way and makes his first save of the game as he moves to his left and catches the Brazilian's effort.
10' It has been a strong and commanding start by the Blues, who have looked assured in possession, while having particular joy in behind Cancelo in the left-hand channel. As of yet, however, the scores remain level and Tuchel's men have nothing to show for their early domination.
8' James roams down the right-hand channel, making it to the byline before crossing towards the front post. Steffen, despite being under little pressure, opts to punch and Guardiola's men eventually get the ball clear inside their own area.
6' NO GOAL! Werner is released down the left by Chilwell and the German reaches the edge of the area before drilling a pass across the face of goal. Ziyech runs onto the throughball and places a left-footed finish into the bottom left corner but the assistant has their flag up for offside against Werner in the first phase of play. VAR has a quick check and sticks with the original decision.
4' Jesus leads the line and City's press as they look to dispossess the likes of Jorginho and Silva playing deep inside their own half. At the moment, Chelsea are doing a good job of keeping the ball and playing around the back with ease, despite not making much progress forward in possession.
2' Kepa plays a wayward pass from the back in the early stages, however, Cancelo fails to capitalise on the opportunity and the Citizens have to settle for retaining possession.
1' Referee Mike Dean gets this FA Cup sem-final clash underway!
City have never lost against Chelsea in their three meetings at the new Wembley Stadium, beating them 2-1 in the 2013 FA Cup semi-final, 2-0 in the 2018 Community Shield, and on penalties in the 2019 League Cup final.
Guardiola continues rotating his side and makes eight changes from last time out. The three to retain their places in the starting line-up are De Bruyne, Rodri and Dias. Unsurprisingly, Steffen, who is City’s cup goalkeeper, starts ahead of Ederson, while the likes of Mahrez, Gundogan and Foden all have to settle for the bench.
Tuchel opts for three changes from the game against Porto in midweek. Kepa replaces Mendy in goal, while at the other end Werner leads the line as he comes in for Pulisic. The other change for the Blues sees Ziyech preferred over Havertz and he will join Mount in the two-man attack in behind Werner.
SUBS: Ederson, Riyad Mahrez, Nathan Ake, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Kyle Walker, Oleksandr Zinchenko.
MANCHESTER CITY (4-2-3-1): Zack Steffen; Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte, Ruben Dias, Benjamin Mendy; Rodrigo, Fernandinho; Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Ferran Torres; Gabriel Jesus.
SUBS: Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Kai Havertz, Kurt Zouma, Billy Gilmour, Willy Caballero, Marcos Alonso, Emerson, Olivier Giroud.
CHELSEA (3-4-2-1): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva; Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Reece James; Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount; Timo Werner.
The Citizens remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple after knocking out Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday. In the FA Cup, Birmingham City, Cheltenham Town and Swansea City have all tried and failed against City this season before Pep Guardiola’s side dispatched of Everton in the quarter-final stages to make it to Wembley.
Thomas Tuchel’s men made it to the Champions League semi-final stages with a 2-1 aggregate win over Porto on Tuesday. To get this far in the FA Cup, Chelsea cruised past Sheffield United 2-0 in their quarter-final clash, after overcoming Barnsley, Luton Town and Morecambe in the prior rounds.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup semi-final tie between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.