FA Cup: Chelsea Beat Spurs in Thriller to Reach Final

first_imgSpurs seemed to have the momentum after Dele Alli converted Christian Eriksen’s brilliant pass seven minutes after half-time – before Hazard was introduced as Chelsea’s trump card, along with Costa, on the hour.Hazard drove powerfully past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris after 75 minutes and Nemanja Matic set up an appearance alongside Arsenal or Manchester City in the FA Cup final with a spectacular drive five minutes later.Conte raised eyebrows with a team selection that saw Belgian outcast Michy Batshuayi given a rare outing on this huge occasion. It led to suggestions Conte was prioritising the Premier League title race with Spurs after last weekend’s jaded performance in the 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.The winner takes the spoils, though, and Conte has every right to accept the plaudits as Chelsea won a magnificent game of football to reach the FA Cup final. Conte used Hazard and Costa at a crucial juncture – on the hour, with Spurs building up a head of attacking steam and looking the more assertive side – after Alli had equalised for the second time.Hazard, a scourge of Spurs having scored the goal that effectively ended their title chances last season, was involved in what turned out to be the defining moment 15 minutes after coming on, hitting a low drive that gave Chelsea a lead they would not surrender.It was also an illustration that the strength of Chelsea’s squad runs deeper than Tottenham’s as they were able not only to bring on Hazard and Costa but also Cesc Fabregas to change the face of the game.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Eden Hazard came off the bench to make the decisive contribution as Chelsea won an FA Cup semi-final classic against Tottenham at Wembley yesterday. Hazard had been rested, along with Diego Costa, as Chelsea manager Antonio Conte shuffled his pack against a Spurs side high on confidence after closing to within four points of their London rivals in the Premier League title race. But the Belgian emerged as substitute to help settle an enthralling encounter.Willian, in for Hazard, gave Chelsea the lead with a fine free-kick after five minutes but Harry Kane levelled for Spurs with an instinctive stooping header before the Brazilian put Conte’s side back in front from the penalty spot just before the break – Son Heung-min penalised for a foul on Victor Moses.last_img