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Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea
17.56 – Hello, and welcome to our liveblog of the second FA Cup semi-final of the weekend.
17.57 – The teams are in:
Tottenham: Cudicini, Walker, Gallas, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Modric, Parker, Bale, Adebayor, Van der Vaart. Subs: Friedel, Giovani, Defoe, Rose, Livermore, Sandro, Nelsen.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Kalou, Drogba, Mata. Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Torres, Malouda, Meireles, Sturridge, Cahill.
18.09 – We’re underway…
18.11 – It’s been a fairly quiet opening few minutes, with no major incidents to speak of. The middle of the field is looking very congested, and the two sides are cancelling each other out at the moment.
18.16 – Gallas is seemingly tripped by Drogba, but the ref waves play on, however the big striker scuffs his shot horribly. He looked like a player who hasn’t played much recently in that instance.
18.19 – Lennon is tripped by Drogba, and he receives the game’s first yellow card. The veteran striker hasn’t started this game well.
18.20 – Bale makes a characteristic surging run down the left, but Luiz does well to intervene and shepherd the ball out of play.
18.26 – While Chelsea have probably shaded it in terms of possession in the opening minutes, Tottenham are currently looking threatening on the break.
18.30 – Kalou tries to play through Mata, but just slightly overhits his pass, so the Spaniard can’t quite control it.
18.34 – A dangerous ball in is crossed towards Drogba, but Ledley King does very well to get his head to ball ahead of the striker, conceding a corner in the process.
18.40 – Penalty shout for Spurs as David Luiz tugs Aaron Lennon’s shirt as the winger goes past him. A less honest player would have gone down there.
Shortly thereafter, Lennon crosses to Van der Vaart, whose header is cleared off the line by a well-positioned John Terry.
Kyle Walker then makes a timely tackle to prevent Kalou latching onto a dangerous cross. Phew!
18.43 – Adebayor fails to connect with Van der Vaart’s inswinging cross, which subsequently hits the post and deflects away to safety.
Tottenham are definitely in the ascendancy at the moment.
18.44 – GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
18.48 – Brilliant goal from Drogba. He swivels away from Gallas on the edge of the area, and produces a powerful shot that beats Cudicini at his near post. The French defender probably could have done better, but that’s as good a goal as any of the ones Drogba has scored over the course of his career.
Di Matteo’s decision to start him has certainly been vindicated now.
18.48 – HALF-TIME: TOTTENHAM 0-1 CHELSEA
18.57 – It’s been an intriguing first half. Neither side has ever been particularly dominant, but that Drogba goal has changed everything, and Chelsea are now firm favourites to win this game.
Tottenham will be ruing the absence of Kaboul, who surely wouldn’t have been bullied off the ball so easily for the Drogba goal.
While Chelsea have had one or two let-offs, they’ll be pleased overall with what has been a solid performance.
Assou-Ekotto’s performance has once again been overshadowed by his mesmeric hairdo (Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images).
19.04 – The game has recommenced…
19.07 – GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
19.09 – Incredible stuff! The ball clearly did not cross the line, after it was hit towards goal by Mata, but Martin Atkinson awards a goal. Shocking decision from the official.
19.13 – The referee clearly was unsure of what decision to make, so surely the logic should be that if you’re unsure, you shouldn’t award the goal.
And needless to say, this incident will strengthen arguments for goal-line technology.
19.14 – GOAL FOR TOTTENHAM!
19.16 – Cech takes down Adebayor down, but the ball falls to Bale, who slots it into the empty net. The Chelsea goalkeeper is a very lucky man – he would have been sent off if the referee hadn’t played advantage.
19.23 – Not sure if Tottenham would’ve preferred a penalty and a sending off there. It’s very debatable.
In addition, apparently the rule is that you can only send off a player retrospectively for violent conduct – this why Cech was not penalised after the goal.
19.27 – Here’s another look at Mata’s ghost goal:
19.32 – Jermain Defoe is preparing to come on. Strangely, given his limited game time this season, he’s Tottenham’s top scorer.
19.33 – Van der Vaart makes way for the England striker. The Dutchman hasn’t been very effective today.
19.35 – GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
19.38 – Lovely through ball from Mata to play in Ramires, who confidently dinks it over Cech and into the net. Walker was at fault there, playing the Brazilian onside.
19.39 – GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
19.42 – Lampard powers a free-kick into the net to confirm Chelsea’s progression into the final.
Again, it’s partially due to an error from Tottenham, as Cudicini tries to anticipate which way Lampard will hit the free kick, leaving his near post badly exposed in the process.
19.47 – Didier Drogba has just been given the man of the match award by ITV’s Jim Beglin.
19.50 – Obviously, the comprehensive fashion in which Chelsea have ultimately won this game will help quell the controversy surrounding the second goal somewhat.
19.52 – GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
19.54 – Gallas loses the ball in a dangerous area and Malouda takes full advantage, slotting it through Cudicini’s legs for Chelsea’s fifth goal.
19.54 – FULL-TIME: TOTTENHAM 1-5 CHELSEA
20.00 – Chelsea, despite the controversial second goal, unquestionably deserved their win. They were extremely clinical in attack, punishing a series of sloppy individual errors from Tottenham’s defence with aplomb. A potentially disastrous season is looking more promising with each game.
20.02 – Frank Lampard tells ITV he “didn’t see” the controversial second goal. He says “you get lucky sometimes in football”.
20.05 – A visibly disappointed Ledley King says “it’s hard to believe” the referee awarded the goal.
ITV’s Gareth Southgate says you have to favour the defending side, while Keane says the referee is “guessing”.
Meanwhile, John Terry admits he didn’t see the goal and adds that Chelsea were “the better side”.
20.09 – Controversies aside, Tottenham will be hugely disappointed with their performance.
They seemed to collapse psychologically ultimately, as they have been know to do in the past, and as well-taken as the Chelsea goals were, they were arguably all preventable.
20.15 – Of course, today wasn’t the first time Tottenham were the victims of a controversial goal-line decision. Remember this?
YouTube credit: JensonsBeard
20.24 – Right, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.