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Home   /   Live Blog: Man City vs Chelsea FA Cup semi final

Good Afternoon and happy Saturday to you all, I am Nathan Woolgar and I will be taking you through the mammoth FA Cup clash at Wembley.

After being knocked out of Europe in midweek, the citizens will be hoping for an impressive reaction to maintain their hopes of a domestic double. While for Chelsea, it’s been a long season full of ups and downs and nothing would be better than to finish it off with an FA Cup final.

There are four changes for City today, the most notable being the absence of top scorer Erling Haaland, who is replaced by the very capable world cup winner Julian Alvarez. Pep also shows his trust in his 2nd keeper as Ederson drops to the bench in favour of Ortega.

Just the one change for Pochettino as Mudryk makes way for the return of Enzo Fernandez, I think this might just allow Conor Gallagher to move forward more effectively. As I’m sure everyone knows, the man to watch is Cole Palmer, the glue to this fractured Chelsea team.

There’s a lot of tension in the build up to this one, this is season defining for both sides and as a neutral I’m hoping for some goals.

Just a couple minutes until kick off and captains Gallagher and Walker are getting ready to lead their teams out.

KICK OFF

1 min: Michael Oliver gets us underway here in the heart of London. City are the ones to start but give the ball away almost immediately to allow a poor Cucurella cross.

2 mins: Few bits of sloppiness from both sides to start off tonight, a poor back pass nearly allows an easy Alvarez chance but it is cleared just before City hit the ball straight out of play.

5 mins: You can already tell how this game is going to pan out, City will have the majority of possession but I do wonder if Chelsea can hurt them on the break.

7 mins: And just like that, we have the first shot of the game, and it’s that Chelsea break I mentioned with Palmer slipping in Jackson who just lashes his shot straight at Ortega.

9 mins: I think the ref has made the mistake of setting the bar too low for a foul early on, there’s been at like 4 in the last couple minutes, preventing either side from getting going.

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12 mins: Chelsea are more than capable of causing City problems, their issue is their passing once they get the ball.

13 mins: Walker nearly causes a huge problem for his team as he slips but Chelsea can’t make anything of it and settle for a corner.

14 mins: Close! Foden breaks from the corner and works the ball to Alvarez and De Bruyne before getting it back and rounding Petrovic in goal, the angle is too tight for him to tuck it away however.

17 mins: De Bruyne is by far the most dangerous player on the pitch and showed it with that through pass to Foden, I do wonder how many minutes he has in him after a tough midweek.

19 mins: City are still probing but the £250 million midfield is holding tight so far.

20 mins: Alvarez drops two defenders with a sharp bit of quality but the offside flag is up.

23 mins: Chelsea are still lacking that composure that City have in bundles, Chelsea had a good break on but it is interrupted by a Jackson no-look backheel that frustrates his teammates.

26 mins: In case you were wondering, the constant fouls are still coming and I don’t think we’ve played a minute without one, how long before the ref brings out his cards?

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28 mins: BBC have reported the possession is currently 62/38% in favour of Peps side

30 mins: Close! Oh my word, what has he done here? Enzo releases Jackson on a run and he rounds the keeper before cutting back and looking for the pass rather than shooting and his pass is so poor.

31 mins: City players were demanding the flag to go up on that last chance but Jackson was actually in his own half when the ball was played, why he didn’t shoot on his left I’ll never know…

34 mins: Despite the possession, City haven’t really had many concrete chances, with zero on target, Silva is the latest to lash one over.

35 mins: Another great break from Chelsea and it eventually takes a crucial block from Stones to deny Madueke, It’s got that feeling that a goal is coming…

37 mins: Close! Some of these breaks are delightful for the Blues and this one ends in a chance for Palmer you’d bet on him scoring, but instead he forces a good save from Ortega.

40 mins: Chelsea are looking the nearer team here at the moment, some of their attacks are just lacking that final ball or good first touch to finish them off, still could’ve scored a couple though.

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41 mins: I’m not sure whether it’s fatigue or overconfidence but City just look a bit slow so far, they’re far too happy to just pass the ball around the back and are lacking the killer ball.

43 mins: Foden is brought down in a dangerous area, De Bruyne is already eyeing this up…

44 mins: Never mind, it was taken by Foden and not very well either

45 mins: Yellow Card. First booking of the day and who else but Caicedo? He pulls Grealish back by the shirt to stop an attack, during the stoppage the board goes up for two added minutes.

HALF TIME

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Not much to speak of in those two minutes but hopefully the game heats up in the 2nd half, so far both teams have had too much respect for each other and there isn’t enough risks being taken.

As underdogs, Chelsea will be happy with how they’ve troubled City, with a bit more composure and quality on the counter attack there are definitely goals to be had here.

SECOND HALF

45 mins: Chelsea get us underway again, I should note that City brought on Dias for Stones at the break.

47 mins: Close! Sloppy defending from City! Ortega deals with a bad back pass by hoofing it to Madueke whose shot is miles over.

49 mins: Close! Two massive chances for Jackson and Ortega makes himself big to save them both, I’m pretty sure I could’ve scored one of those…

51 mins: This half has started off just as scrappy as the last one ended, little nudges and kicks going in wherever possible.

53 mins: Close! It’s a first shot on target for City and Petrovic does ever so well to get down and parry the Grealish shot.

54 mins: It’s back and forth constantly at the moment, surely a goal is coming soon right?

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55 mins: Chelsea win a free kick and Palmer fires it wide with a deflection off the wall, there is a VAR check for handball but that is denied, and so is the corner, ref points for the goal kick.

57 mins: VAR’s reasoning against the handball was that “Grealish’s hand is moving towards his body” but his arm is still stuck out so that doesn’t make sense to me, but what do I know?

60 mins: Jackson is set away again but goes down in the box under pressure from Walker, not a pen for me and VAR and the ref both agree.

62 mins: Other than the two penalty appeals, City are beginning to move forward and gain some control in this game.

65 mins: Bit of a delay now as Grealish is down with an injury, he’s unhappy with that last challenge from Caicedo and will have to be replaced by Doku.

67 mins: I’ll give Michael Oliver his credit, he is letting a lot more go this half and the game is flowing a lot more smoothly.

68 mins: Another break and another chances wasted for Chelsea, for once it isn’t Jackson this time as Caicedo lashes a loose shot wide.

70 mins: A flurry of chances for City now, Doku has really brought some energy into the game and both he and De Bruyne have had a go at goal in the past couple minutes.

72 mins: Another delay and this time it’s Gusto struggling with injury, expect a good amount of added time later on.

76 mins: It’s getting very feisty as we approach the last 15 minutes, surely one side has to take this game by the hands

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80 mins: Can Mudryk be the answer for Chelsea tonight? He certainly has the potential to be a threat on the counter.

82 mins: Alvarez gets a good opening but sends the ball into row Z, he’s no Erling Haaland is he?

83 mins: After that last move Foden was booked for complaints of time wasting by keeper Petrovic

GOAL!!!

84 mins: We have out breakthrough and its Bernardo Silva who capitalises on a deflected cross and send it into the net off Cucurella, how to Chelsea respond now?

87 mins: Chelsea are showing their frustrations now, Enzo is booked for an angry reaction to a rough De Bruyne challenge, I would expect more bookings to come as well.

90 mins: New Chelsea sub Chilwell bursts forward and his cross earns his team a corner, still time for the Blues as we’ll have 8 minutes of injury time.

93 mins: City are keeping the ball well and it’s starting to look very very unlikely for Chelsea, they just can’t get the ball now.

95 mins: BBC have given the Man of The Match to De Bruyne but I can’t look past the brilliant play of Chelsea in the first half and Cole Palmer was at the core of that.

97 mins: Chelsea commit too high up the field and City catch them out on the counter but instead of going for goal they go… to the corner flag? I suppose it makes sense but it seems very un-city-like to me.

FULL TIME.

It’s all over and City will be going to back to back FA Cup finals, it may not have been the prettiest or most entertaining game but Pep’s side got the job done and that’s what they’re there for.

A shame for Chelsea as I thought Pochettino got his game plan spot on, with a more composed striker they easily could have scored a couple today.

Thank you for being along with me for the ride today, now we look forward to Coventry and Man United tomorrow to decide the other finalist. Have a good evening.

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