Chelsea have booked themselves into the draw for the FA Cup Semi-Final after a hard fought draw at Old Trafford. Two curling efforts from Eden Hazard Ramires cancelled out Manchester United’s early 2-0 lead.
Chelsea failed to get out of the starting blocks and were stunned when Javier Hernandez’ looping header found the corner after just five minutes. And Chelsea still couldn’t settle. United doubled their lead after 12 minutes. Wayne Rooney’s curling free-kick missed everyone and sailed past Cech. Chelsea found their feet in the game and began to dominate possession but failed to create clear chances with United dangerous on the counter attack.
Shortly after half time, Benitez took off Lampard for Mikel which was not well received by the travelling fans (who were fantastic all game despite lower numbers). The other substitution – Hazard for Victor Moses – was met with a sense of relief. Hazard instantly changed the game with his direct approach and brought The Blues back into the game with a sumptuous curling effort from the left-hand side, just before the hour.
Chelsea maintained the pressure and their efforts were rewarded with an equaliser ten minutes later. David Luiz dispossessed Rooney and Chelsea flooded forward on the counter. Oscar played it wide to Ramires who cut inside and finished neatly passed David de Gea.
With an early two goal deficit and a two goal comeback, Chelsea fans would have been forgiven for fearing two red cards and an offside goal. But that wasn’t to be repeated. Instead, Chelsea continued their charge for a winner and looked much more likely to grab a third. And it nearly came with a few minutes left. A ball over the top was brilliantly brought down by Mata, before he turned inside Johnny Evans but de Gea saved United’s blushes with one of his important, unorthodox saves. The game finished 2-2 and given United’s two goal lead, Chelsea will be pleased to take the tie back to Stamford Bridge for a replay.