Eight-time winners Chelsea moved into the FA Cup semi-finals with a hard-fought home win against Sheffield United.
The Blues, beaten finalists last season, went ahead in fortunate circumstances as Ben Chilwell’s low cross was steered into his own net by Blades midfielder Oliver Norwood.
Christian Pulisic was twice denied by away goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and Callum Hudson-Odoi shot over as the hosts looked to finish the game off.
David McGoldrick wasted a glorious chance to equalise as he sent a close-range diving header wide following John Lundstram’s right-wing cross, before home goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga saved from Oliver McBurnie.
With Sheffield United pushing for a goal to take it into extra time, Chelsea broke in injury time and Hakim Ziyech scored their second with a low strike to take them into the last four for the fourth time in five seasons.
The semi-finals will take place at Wembley over the weekend of 17-18 April and the draw will be shown live on BBC One – during half-time of Sunday’s quarter-final between Leicester City and Manchester United (kick-off 17:00 GMT).
Blues back to Wembley
Chelsea lost 2-1 to Arsenal in the 2020 final in August – as Frank Lampard failed to win a trophy in his season and a half in charge.
His last game as manager was the 3-1 fourth-round victory over Luton in January and new boss Thomas Tuchel has steered them to wins over Barnsley and Sheffield United to send them back to Wembley.
This victory continues their fantastic record under the German, who is yet to lose in his 14 games, has lifted them from ninth to fourth in the Premier League and also taken them into the Champions League quarter-finals.
Before the game at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea had caused confusion by publishing the wrong team on their Twitter account.
When they corrected it, it showed they had made nine changes from the side that began Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid as a number of squad players were given the chance to impress Tuchel.
They went ahead in the 24th minute when the unfortunate Norwood steered the ball into his own goal from Chilwell’s cross and were only denied a second when Pulisic’s shot was blocked by Ramsdale.
Pulisic, starting for only the third time under Tuchel, almost scored in the early stages of the second half when he superbly dribbled past two Blades defenders but was denied by Ramsdale, before firing the rebound over from a tight angle.
Chelsea then had to show their defensive strength for a spell in the second half but Ziyech scored for the second game in a row to seal the victory late on.
More to follow.
- 4ChristensenSubstituted forAzpilicuetaat 63′minutes
- 20Hudson-OdoiSubstituted forHavertzat 72′minutes
- 23GilmourSubstituted forZiyechat 72′minutes
- 10PulisicSubstituted forKantéat 83′minutes
- 18GiroudSubstituted forJamesat 63′minutes
- 20BogleSubstituted forMoussetat 90′minutes
- 16NorwoodSubstituted forBrewsterat 79′minutes
- 9McBurnieSubstituted forBurkeat 75′minutes
Match ends, Chelsea 2, Sheffield United 0.
Second Half ends, Chelsea 2, Sheffield United 0.
Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).
Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Chelsea 2, Sheffield United 0. Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ben Chilwell with a cross.
Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Mateo Kovacic.
Attempt blocked. Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Lys Mousset replaces Jayden Bogle.
Mason Mount (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by John Fleck (Sheffield United).
Foul by N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea).
David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Sheffield United. Phil Jagielka tries a through ball, but Rhian Brewster is caught offside.
Substitution, Chelsea. N’Golo Kanté replaces Christian Pulisic.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Rhian Brewster replaces Oliver Norwood.
Attempt missed. Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by Ben Chilwell (Chelsea).
Jayden Bogle (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Oliver Burke replaces Oliver McBurnie.
Substitution, Chelsea. Kai Havertz replaces Callum Hudson-Odoi.