|Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the FA Cup semifinal between Manchester United vs Chelsea at the Wembley.|
13′ Willian with a good steal in midfield off Matic and Mount was released on the left in a 3v3 situation for Chelsea. But he takes too much time on the ball and United get enough men back to clear the danger.
11′ Recce James with a stinging strike cutting in from the right! De Gea punches it away from his goal. First shot on goal in this contest.
9′ Excellent run from the back by Lindelof with the ball after a 1-2 with Rashford. He plays it into James who ends up hitting it long for Fred in a dangerous position.
6′ Fred is fouled after wriggling away from a tight space near the touchline but is fouled later by Alonso. Mike Dean puts his shakes his index finger gesturing ‘none of that, please’.
5′ No real urgency so far with both teams cautious in its approach.
In United’s back four, Maguire plays as the left centre-back while Lindelof slots in at the right. In this back three, Maguire is in the middle and is flanked by Lindelof on the left and Bailly on the right.
2′ Williams does well in his tussle with Reece James but ends up over-hitting his pass.
1′ Bruno Fernandes kicks things off in the second semifinal. Headed clearance from Caballero by rushing off line to take the ball away from Rashford’s run.
Manchester United makes its ways out on to the pitch first. They are followed by Chelsea at the empty Wembley Stadium. Friendly greeting between the managers Lampard and Solskjaer.
9.57 pm: It’s box office on the refereeing front as well with Mike Dean officiating this fixture.
9.52 pm: ICYMI, Arsenal stunned the holder Manchester City 2-0 thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang yesterday. Here’s how it unfolded.
9.40 pm: Solskjaer rests Pogba and Martial but Rashford will lead the line alongside Daniel James. Unlucky for its FA Cup top-scorer Odion Ighalo and back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero to find only a place on the bench.
9.36 pm: Both teams setting up in a 3-5-2 formation and some expected big changes as well keeping their Premier League engagements in mind. Lampard decides to keep the in-form Pulisic on the bench with Chelsea playing Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Chelsea (3-4-1-2): Caballero; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma; Reece James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount; Willian, Giroud
Subs: Kepa, Pulisic, Christensen, Pedro, Abraham, Loftus-Cheek, Emerson, Hudson-Odoi, Tomori
Manchester United (3-4-1-2): De Gea; Lindelof, Bailly, Maguire; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams; Bruno Fernandes; Daniel James, Rashford
Subs: Romero, Pogba, Mata, Fosu-Mensah, Ighalo, Andreas Pereira, Martial, Greenwood, McTominay
9.25 pm: Team news for the semifinal coming in 5 minutes.
9.23 pm: Away from the FA Cup… Great news for both Manchester United and Chelsea, who are fifth and third on the Premier League table, respectively. Leicester is down 3-0 at half-time against Tottenham Hotspur and is heading towards a big defeat.
With the Premier League finale at the background, Manchester United will take on Chelsea in the second FA Cup semifinal on Sunday at the Wembley Stadium.
United is on a 19-match unbeaten run in all competitions under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so might be favoured in what looks to be tightest of the semifinals, on paper at least. Chelsea is above United in the league, by a point, but hasn’t been as consistent since the turn of the year.
Chelsea has also lost thrice to United this season, twice in the league and once in the League Cup.
Frank Lampard has rejected Solskjaer’s claim that Chelsea has an unfair advantage in Sunday’s match because it has had a longer time to prepare.
While Chelsea last played on Tuesday in a 1-0 win over Norwich, United has already two games this week – a 2-2 draw against Southampton on Monday and a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Thursday.
“We’re in a period where we’re playing games all the time, very regularly, and you become ‘play, recover, play again, recover.’ You work with the squad as it is,” Lampard said. “It’s an age-old question (by) a lot of managers. You probably dig out the times when I’ve mentioned it, but at the same time it isn’t about advantage or not. Sometimes it works in your favour to be playing regularly and ticking over.”
Solskjaer has stuck with a similar starting line-up in the last six matches in the league indicating that he might ring in the changes for Sunday’s clash.
United has the Europa League as well as FA Cup to aim for in the remaining weeks of the season. Like Chelsea, though, the priority is to finish in the top four and secure a Champions League qualification spot.
With two league games left, United is in fifth place, tied on points with fourth-place Leicester and a point behind Chelsea.
“We are fine,” Solskjaer said. “We are fit and the players are raring to go and want to play again.
“Of course anyone can hold their hands up at any moment and say, ‘I want to sit out this one.’ We have players on the bench desperate to join in.”
Sony LIV will live stream the FA Semifinal of Manchester United vs Chelsea from 10.30 pm (IST) on Sunday.