The FA Cup
ChelseaChelsea1Man UtdManchester United0

Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea remained firmly on course for a domestic Double as N'Golo Kante's second-half winner settled a stormy FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

United manager Jose Mourinho was involved in touchline clashes with opposite number Antonio Conte and was verbally abused by Chelsea fans at the scene of many of his triumphs, including three titles.

The Portuguese was furious when midfielder Ander Herrera was sent off 10 minutes before half-time after a second foul on Eden Hazard, and the managers were kept apart moments later after Marcos Alonso tumbled to the floor after being brought down.

Kante's low 51st-minute drive finally beat defiant United keeper David de Gea, who saved superbly from Hazard and Gary Cahill before the break to keep Mourinho's side in contention before Chelsea made the breakthrough.

Marcus Rashford, who came off his sick bed to play - with Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended, and Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial injured, created United's best chance for himself but Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois saved with his feet to set up a semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley.

Conte outflanks Mourinho again

Jose Mourinho (left) and Antonio Conte (right) are separated by the fourth official
Antonio Conte's side have beaten Jose Mourinho's United team twice this season

Mourinho's first return to Stamford Bridge after he was sacked as Chelsea manager ended in humiliation with a 4-0 defeat in October - and every piece of his body language here spoke of a man intent on putting matters right.

He was pacing his technical area from the first whistle, applauding, imploring and cajoling his team, stripped of talisman Ibrahimovic as well as Rooney and Martial.

With Mourinho in fired-up and combative mood, it was almost inevitable he would clash with his equally passionate and animated Stamford Bridge successor.

The flashpoint came seconds after Herrera's sending-off. Mourinho, still simmering, felt Alonso had dived, the Portuguese exploding in fury - soon to be joined by Conte in a head-to-head bout of bad blood that ended with the pair being separated and, in boxing parlance, being sent to their corners by fourth official Mike Jones.

It was a feud that bubbled throughout, with Conte reacting angrily in the second half when Mourinho kicked the ball along the touchline too close to the Chelsea manager for his liking.

The players seemed to take a cue from their managers through a series of tetchy clashes, one of which could lead to further action against United defender Marcos Rojo for an apparent stamp on Hazard.

Mourinho certainly did not feel the love on his return to the place where he enjoyed so much success, responding to four-letter abuse from Chelsea's fans behind his technical area by raising three fingers to signify the Premier League titles he won at Stamford Bridge.

The Portuguese was also taunted with chants of "Judas" - even though he was sacked by Chelsea a year last December.

He will feel a sense of injustice at Herrera's red card and frustration at Ibrahimovic's suspension - but the unpalatable truth for Mourinho is the team he left behind is currently far superior to the one he now guides.

Kante outclasses Pogba

N'Golo Kante v Paul Pogba

In the absence of Ibrahimovic, this was a night when United needed £89m world-record buy Paul Pogba to step forward and prove his worth. Instead he did a disappearing act.

The contrast between the influence of Pogba, on the periphery of the action and conceding possession with alarming regularity, and Chelsea's own summer purchase Kante was stark.

Kante was perpetual motion, starting attacks, breaking up moves and crowning another magnificent performance with the winning goal, emphatically drilled past De Gea.

Pogba simply could not get into the game, either before Chelsea took the lead or afterwards when Mourinho looked to his showpiece summer capture, the signing he set his heart on, to revive United's hopes.

Chelsea's fans revelled in Pogba's struggles as they chanted "what a waste of money" - no such charges will be levelled at Kante, who looks a £30m bargain.

Marcus Rashford shot saved by Thibaut Courtois
United had one shot on target in the game - a Marcus Rashford effort saved by Thibaut Courtois

Can anyone stop Chelsea?

Chelsea remained on course for that domestic Double, a feat they achieved under Conte's countryman Carlo Ancelotti in 2010.

And this was a victory for quality, persistence and character, albeit aided by Herrera's silly foul on Hazard that drew the second yellow card from referee Michael Oliver and left Chelsea with the numerical advantage.

Chelsea already look like Premier League champions-elect, standing 10 points clear, and their confidence gives them an air of invincibility.

Conte's side are at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final - and it will take a special performance from any opponent to stop the bandwagon.

Man of the match - N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

N'Golo Kante
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown on BBC One: "Man of the match. It's men of the match. He was everywhere."

'We can compare the yellow cards with others not given'

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte: "It was a good performance against a strong team with good players. United has the best squad in the league. We must be pleased to go into the next round."

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: "I don't speak [about the red card]. I just want to say that I'm really proud of my players and Manchester United fans.

"Everybody can analyse from different perspectives but we all watch the match until the red card and after the red card. So we can compare the decisions of the two yellow cards, in this case with others which were not given.

I don't speak about referee - Mourinho

"I don't want to go in that direction. Michael Oliver is a referee with fantastic potential but in four matches he has given three penalties and a red card. I cannot change that. I shook his hand and said many congratulations."

United's worst possession stats of season - the figures you need to know

  • Chelsea are now unbeaten in 12 games against United in all competitions (W7 D5) since a 3-2 home defeat in October 2012.
  • Indeed, only twice in their history have United had a longer winless run against one opponent (13 vs Liverpool in 1927 and 13 against Leeds in 1972).
  • The Blues' victory means there are three London teams in the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2002 (Arsenal, Chelsea and Fulham).
  • Mourinho's side received their third red card of the season, with two of those shown to Herrera.
  • All three of Kante's goals in English football have been scored at home, with two in games against United this season.
  • United had just 28% possession, their lowest figure in a match this season.
  • Chelsea have reached their 22nd FA Cup semi-final, the fifth highest in the competition's history (Arsenal 29, Man Utd 28, Everton 26, Liverpool 24).

What next?

Leaders Chelsea travel to Stoke for a Premier League game on Saturday. United, meanwhile, host FC Rostov in the second leg of their Europa League tie on Thursday before visiting Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Sunday.



Formation 3-4-3

  • 13Courtois
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 30David Luiz
  • 24Cahill
  • 15MosesSubstituted forZoumaat 89'minutes
  • 7Kanté
  • 21Matic
  • 3Alonso
  • 22WillianSubstituted forFàbregasat 81'minutes
  • 19Diego CostaBooked at 87minsSubstituted forBatshuayiat 90+4'minutes
  • 10E Hazard


  • 1Begovic
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 5Zouma
  • 11Pedro
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 26Terry
  • 29Chalobah

Man Utd

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1de Gea
  • 4Jones
  • 12Smalling
  • 5Rojo
  • 25A Valencia
  • 21HerreraBooked at 35mins
  • 6Pogba
  • 36Darmian
  • 22MkhitaryanSubstituted forFellainiat 37'minutes
  • 19Rashford
  • 18YoungBooked at 79minsSubstituted forLingardat 81'minutes


  • 3Bailly
  • 8Mata
  • 14Lingard
  • 16Carrick
  • 17Blind
  • 20Romero
  • 27Fellaini
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Chelsea 1, Manchester United 0.

  2. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  3. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Chelsea 1, Manchester United 0.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Michy Batshuayi replaces Diego Costa.

  5. Post update

    Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

  7. Post update

    Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Marcos Rojo (Manchester United).

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Diego Costa.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Kurt Zouma replaces Victor Moses because of an injury.

  12. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  13. Post update

    Delay in match Victor Moses (Chelsea) because of an injury.

  14. Booking

    Diego Costa (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Diego Costa (Chelsea).

  16. Post update

    Phil Jones (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Antonio Valencia.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jesse Lingard.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Ashley Young.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Cesc Fàbregas replaces Willian.


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