Increasingly error-prone David de Gea was at fault twice as Chelsea ended Manchester United’s long unbeaten run with a 3-1 win at Wembley to book their place in the FA Cup final against Arsenal.
The United keeper is under pressure after a series of uncharacteristic mistakes this season, and there was no way back for his team on Sunday after his poor attempts to keep out shots from Olivier Giroud (45+11) and Mason Mount (46) either side of half-time.
Chelsea were handed a third when Maguire (74) diverted a cross past De Gea at his near post and, although Bruno Fernandes (85) converted United’s 19th penalty of the season, it was nothing more than a consolation as the Blues – who had lost their three previous matches with United this season – cruised into the final, which takes place on August 1.
De Gea’s latest performance will fuel debate for the coming months over his status as undisputed No 1 but more immediately United – who hadn’t lost in 19 – must now bounce back from the disappointment to try to secure a top-four finish before turning their attentions to the Europa League. Chelsea, meanwhile, can now look forward to competing for a ninth FA Cup – and adding to the four boss Frank Lampard picked up as a player.
Man Utd De Gea (3), Wan-Bissaka (4), Bailly (5), Lindelof (5), Maguire (5), Williams (4), Matic (6), Fred (4), Fernandes (6), James (5), Rashford (5)
Subs: Martial (6), Pogba (5), Greenwood (5), Ighalo (NA), Fosu-Mensah (NA)
Chelsea: Caballero (7), Rudiger (9), Zouma (9), Azpilicueta (8), Alonso (7), James (8), Kovacic (8), Jorginho (9), Mount (7), Willian (8), Giroud (9)
Subs: Abraham (NA), Hudson-Odoi (NA), Loftus-Cheek (NA), Pedro (NA)
Man of the match: Olivier Giroud
How De Gea’s errors helped Chelsea into the FA Cup final…
Both teams switched to three-man defences for the tie and it led to a cagey opening period. De Gea punched away a swerving Reece James shot from distance and Marcos Alonso headed wastefully over before Fernandes’ clipped free-kick was tipped behind by Willy Caballero but chances were at a premium.
- Man Utd made four changes, with Bailly, Fred, Williams, Matic, James in
- Pogba, Martial and Greenwood all began on the bench
- Mount and James in for Chelsea, as well as cup keeper Caballero
Kurt Zouma went close on 39 minutes, clashing heads with Eric Bailly in the process, before Bailly was again on the deck moments later when his captain Maguire headed the back of his head. It was a painful collision, leaving Maguire with a bandage, Bailly forced off injured and over 11 minutes of injury time added to the half.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent Anthony Martial on in Bailly’s place, shifting to a 4-3-3 formation, and the French striker was immediately into the action, running onto a long ball before…