Chelsea’s amazing love affair with the FA Cup ended with defeat to Manchester city, in glorious sunshine at Wembley Stadium. Goals either side of half time proved insurmountable, although Chelsea did rally to set up a very nervous final 20 minutes for the northerners.
Chelsea’s ridiculous schedule finally caught up with them at Wembley. In truth we only played for 20 minutes, with the introduction of rejuvenated Fernando Torres proving the catalyst for a passion filled, exciting finale to a superb spectacle of quality football.
Yaya Toure is a quality act and his driving runs at the Blues back line had Ivanovic and Luiz scurrying to cover each other. Petr Cech was called upon time and time again as fast starting City had Chelsea on the ropes. It was surprising that City took so long to take the lead. Toure again caused problems and Nasri finished well, from close range. Chelsea were thankful for the half time whistle.
Manchester City doubled their advantage, immediately from the restart, with Aguero losing Ivanovic to nod past hapless Petr Cech. The writing was on the wall for the Blues and it was hard to see them getting back in to the contest.
Benitez went for broke and introduced Torres. Rarely has a substitution been made to such devastating effect. Torres nodded on for Ba to superbly hook past the city keeper. Game on! Suddenly Chelsea started to play. Hazard, Oscar, Mata and Torres were rampant and Chelsea fans dreamed of another Old Trafford style comeback.
Controversially Vincent Kompany escaped punishment for a blatant tug on Torres and incredibly, a wild two footed lunge by Aguero, also went unpunished, although he should get a retrospective three match ban.
In truth Manchester City just about deserved to win. Chelsea need a deep lying central midfielder who can control and dictate play. This proved to be a match too far for the weary Blues, who must now pick themselves up again for a ding dong, must win, derby against neighbours Fulham.