Chelsea surrender FA Cup, Pogba, Herrera hand Man United last laugh at the Bridge
Manchester United have perfectly responded to the midweek loss to PSG with a fine 2-0 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round clash at the Stamford Bridge.
Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera struck in the first half to ensure the Manchester club joins their rivals City in the quarter-finals but for Chelsea, they will now look into the future to win the trophy again.
A double save by Sergio Romero in the 12th minute saved Man United from going down that early as Chelsea won a free-kick from some 30-yards away on the left flank. David Luiz's well crafted evaded the wall mounted by the men in red and found its way onto Romero's way, the Argentine parried away only as far as to where Pedro was. The Spaniard volleyed effort did not trouble the keeper as he reacted swiftly to collect the ball before anyone arrived to maximise on the spilt ball.
Higuain's clever movements twice almost made United concede two quick goals. In the 18th minute, the on-loan Juventus forward latched onto a Caesar Azpilicueta's cross but his glanced header flew just wide. In the 20th minute, he collected a Hazard cross but his first touch was a let-down as he could not control the ball before taking a feeble shot goalwards.
Mata spread the ball to Pogba on the right flank and the French midfielder spotted goalbound Herrera and sprayed a long and sumptuous pass for him. At the far post, Herrera managed to beat Alonso and somehow David Luiz to head in the opener for mna United in the 31st minute.
Pogba, the menace
Pogba, assisted by Rashford, scored the second just before halftime. Pogba, Lukaku and Herrera were all in the front gear before Rashford's pinpoint cross landed on Pogba's head. Pogba beat Azpilicurta as he climbed higher to head past Kepa in goal. Pogba has been directly involved in 15 goals in 12 games in all competitions under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (9 goals, 6 assists), six more than he managed in 20 games under Jose Mourinho this season (5 goals, 4 assists).
Since Ole Gunnar Solksjaer took charge of Manchester United on December 19th 2018, the only Premier League player to have had a hand in more goals for his club side than Paul Pogba (14) is Son Heung-Min (16).
Hazard tried to cut-in from the left flank but Lindelof stood firm and blocked him brilliantly. Chelsea won the corner though but the resultant kick was not fruitful for the home side as United cleared with ease in the 65th minute.
The Video Assistant Referee was consulted when Smalling brought Rudiger down and the VAR absolved the United of any wrongdoing as the German went down too easily and softly.
Chelsea has now failed to become the first-ever team to eliminate Man United in five successive FA Cup meetings. This is the first Man United attempt in nine and only their third in 23 games to dislodge Chelsea at their own turf.