• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

FA Cup: Chelsea survive Leicester scare to reach semi-final

Carney Chukwuemeka

Chelsea pulled a dramatic comeback in stoppage time to secure a 4-2 win against a 10-man Leicester City in an intense FA Cup quarter-final clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Substitutes Carney Chukwuemeka and Noni Madueke sealed the win for Chelsea in a thrilling second half, silencing the disgruntled fans who had voiced their frustrations towards manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The Blues took an early lead in the 13th minute when Nicolas Jackson’s pacey run down the left flank saw him deliver a precise low cross for Cucurella to slot home from close range, marking the Spanish defender’s first goal since joining Chelsea from Brighton in August 2022.

Chelsea had a chance to double their lead in the 25th minute when Cole Palmer was brought down in the box, but Raheem Sterling’s penalty was easily saved by Jakub Stolarczyk.

However, Sterling made amends just before halftime by providing the assist for Palmer’s goal, giving Chelsea a 2-0 advantage.

Leicester City clawed their way back into the game in the second half, with Disasi scoring an own goal in the 51st minute and Mavididi netting a superb curling effort in the 62nd minute to level the score at 2-2.

Chelsea thought they had won a penalty in the 73rd minute, but VAR ruled the foul had occurred just outside the box, leading to Doyle’s dismissal.
Despite Sterling being jeered by Chelsea fans and Pochettino facing criticism from the crowd, Chelsea managed to secure the victory in stoppage time.

Chukwuemeka calmly finished off a sublime back-heel from Palmer to give Chelsea the lead again, before Madueke’s deflected strike sealed the win in the dying moments of the game.

While Chelsea advanced to the FA Cup semi-finals for the sixth time in the last eight years, the win was marred by their inability to hold onto a two-goal halftime lead, highlighting the inconsistencies in Pochettino’s team.