Follow the coverage match of the FA Cup Final: Arsenal vs Chelsea
Chelsea 4 - 2 Tottenham: match report
Chelsea become the first team to seal their place in the 2017 FA Cup final, following a thrilling 4-2 victory over Premier League title rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea took an early lead as Willian fired a free-kick in to the far corner, but Spurs soon drew level after a clever header by Harry Kane. With half time approaching, Son was harshly adjudged to have fouled Moses in the box, and Willian doubled his tally from the penalty spot. After the break, Spurs drew level once again, as a sensational Eriksen pass found Alli, who guided the ball home. With the match finely poised, Chelsea shifted up a gear, and scored twice more through Hazard, and a riproaring Matic strike.
The match began amidst an emotional atmosphere at Wembley Stadium, as both teams gathered around the centre circle before kick off to pay tribute to Ugo Ehiogu. Ehiogu, who died on Friday at the age of 44, was the coach of Spurs' Under 23 team.
Chelsea emerged from the blocks quicker than their opponents, who sit four points below them in the Premier League table. Antonio Conte had sprung a surprise before the match, as the Italian opted to leave both Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the bench. Yet, with five minutes on the clock, that decision appeared academic as Willian curled a free-kick in to the corner of Lloris' net, after Alderweireld had fouled Pedro.
It was first blood to Chelsea, but Spurs soon drew level. Christian Eriksen, who was superb throughout the match at Wembley, jinked on to his left foot to find the space to cross. It was an uncharacteristically-poor delivery, but Kane improvised. He stooped low at the near post, allowing the ball to glance of the top of his head, and in to the far corner. It was a smart finish from a player who is quickly consolidating his position as one of the most complete strikers in Europe.
Spurs appeared energised by the equaliser. They grabbed control of the match. Dembele and Wanyama commanded the midfield. Ahead of them, Alli, Son, and Eriksen were positionally fluent, pulling the Chelsea defence in one direction and then another.
Yet it was Conte's team who landed the next blow on 43 minutes. Victor Moses galloped in to the path of a through ball and drove in to the box, where he was abruptly halted by Son, sliding in. It was a rash challenge by the South Korean, and Moses was savvy enough to flop over it, expectant of contact. It was a cheap penalty, converted ostentatiously by Willian.
Seven minutes in to the second half, Eriksen was the architect of a spectacular moment of quality. Spotting the run of Dele Alli, the Dane curled a pinpoint pass in to his path. It was an exhibit of vision and skill befitting of the finest quarterbacks in American football, and Alli concluded his impeccably-timed run with a ruthless finish.
With the game evenly-balanced, Hazard and Costa entered the fray. It was the Belgian who made an impact. On 75 minutes, Kyle Walker could only half-clear a corner in to the path of Hazard, who controlled the ball, shuffled, and fired a low shot in to the bottom corner.
Five minutes later, the left foot of Nemanja Matic put the game beyond Tottenham in thunderous fashion. Hazard, once again, was involved. He laid the ball back to Matic, who unleashed a crisp, pure shot in to the very, very top corner of the net. The Serbian wheeled away in celebration and curled his hands to form a heart shape.
It was a moment of palpable relief for Chelsea. With Tottenham breathing down their necks in the Premier League title race, this result felt significant beyond the context of the FA Cup; it could also have a pyschological impact on the league.
Chelsea 4 - 2 Tottenham: second half as it happened
FT | Chelsea are in to the FA Cup final.
Min 90+4 | Goodness me, how did that stay out?! Kane's vicious shot squirms under Courtois' body. It looks like it'll roll agonisingly over the line, but the backspin on the ball saves the keeper's blushes.
Min 90+3 | Spurs have a free-kick 25 yards out, after Kante hacked down Dele Alli. Kante is booked, and Kane stands, hands on hips, over the ball.
Min 90+2 | As the Tottenham fans stream out of the stadium in their droves, Eriksen drags a low shot wide from the edge of the box.
Min 90 | Four minutes of added time.
Min 90 | Eriksen meets a Trippier cross with the back of his head, and spins around, seemingly confused as to where the ball has ended up. It's in the grateful clutches of the goalkeeper.
Min 88 | Vertonghen launches a long ball forward, which bounces all the way through to Courtois. Spurs look out of puff, and out of ideas.
Min 86 | Pochettino cuts a disconsolate figure on the touchline. Diego Costa sends a header wide from close range after Fabregas presented him with a great chance... you wouldn't bet against another Chelsea goal on the break, as Spurs bomb forward.
Min 84 | Nearly a fifth for Chelsea. Hazard springs the offside trap and knocks the ball beyond an onrushing Lloris. The angle is too narrow to shoot, so he lays the ball back to Alonso, whose shot is blocked by recovering Tottenham bodies.
Min 80 | PHWOAAARR WHAT A GOAAAALL! A stunner from Matic! The ball rolls back to him 30 yards out, and he connects perfectly. The keeper has no chance as his shot nestles in the net via the cross bar. 'What a hit son, what a hit', would be my Andy Gray-ism of choice to descibe that thunder-bolt.
Min 79 | Spurs sub: Nkoudou on, Wanyama off.
Min 77 | Spurs settle back in to possession following that setback. Chelsea look absolutely content to play on the counter attack.
Min 75 | GOOAAAALLL! Hazard puts Chelsea back in to the lead! Walker doesn't clear a corner well enough, and Hazard, waiting on the edge of the box, takes a touch before firing through a crowd of players in to the bottom corner. A crisp finish.
Min 74 | Chelsea sub: Fabregas for Pedro.
Min 73 | Dele Alli is booked for a cynical trip on Moses, who was galloping forward from right wing-back.
Min 71 | Chelsea look to counter through Hazard. Dembele, however, is having none of it. He uses his body well to muscle Hazard off the ball, and send his compatriot sliding across the turf on all fours.
Min 69 | Walker and Trippier exchange a few words, and the latter switches to left wing-back, with Vertonghen shifting inside. Dier appears to have stepped up in to the midfield.
Min 68 | Tottenham sub: Walker on for Son.
Min 66 | The introduction of Costa and Hazard has led Chelsea to press higher up the pitch. They look to have received an injection of energy, and are making it difficult for Tottenham to 'play through the thirds', as it were.
Min 65 | Wanyama lets fly from 30 yards after Trippier lays the ball off to the Kenyan. Plenty of power, but it flies well over.
Min 63 | Dele Alli scampers free on the left flank, and nearly returns the favour to Eriksen with a searching pass deep in to the box. It was marginally too high for the diminutive Dane, whose header bounces along the ground in to the arms of Courtois.
Min 60 | Chelsea double sub. Here come the cavalry. Costa and Hazard on, Batshuayi and Willian make way.
Min 57 | Chelsea embark on a rare foray forwards. Pedro twists and turns, before laying the ball to Willian, who sees his cross-cum-shot blocked.
Min 53 | Moments later, Alli is appealing for a penalty following a challenge from Ake. Replays reveal that it was a perfectly-timed challenge from the Chelsea defender, who impressed on loan at Bournemouth for the first half of this season. Spurs have the wind in their sails.
Min 52 | GOOOAAALLLL! Dele Alli scores for Spurs! The insatiable youngster ghosted in at the far post to meet a fantastic, deep cross from Eriksen, and guide the ball in to the roof of the net. The timing of his run wass impeccable, and that pass was incredible. You could force-feed me a thesaurus and I still wouldn't have enough superlatives to do it justice.
Min 50 | Spurs take a short corner. Eriksen to Son, and... Son passes to thin air. They weren't on the same wavelength. There's nowt' more irritating for the centre-halves, having trotted up from the back, than to see the ball lost like that.
Min 48 | Tottenham fans behind the goal are incensed, as Atkinson ignores a fairly-blatant body-check by Luiz on Alli. Ironic cheers ring out from the Spurs end, as the referee then awards a free-kick to Spurs following a foul on Wanyama.
Min 45 | Batshuayi rolls the ball back from kick off, and the second half is go. Chelsea are 45 minutes from the final.
Chelsea 2 - 1 Tottenham: first half as it happened.
HT | Two goals from Willian give Chelsea a slender lead at the break. But really, Tottenham have had the better of the play in the first half. Spurs fell behind to an early free-kick from the Brazilian, but equalised on 18 minutes through a subtle Harry Kane header. With half time looming, Moses dived over Son's rash challenge in the box, and referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot despite forceful complaint from the Tottenham players. Willian cooly-slotted his penalty in to the left corner, but it was a controversial decision to award it in the first place.
Min 45+2 | Marcos Alonso commits yet another foul, this time on Dele Alli. His lives are up, and he's in to the book.
Min 45 | It looks like Lloris handled outside the box there. He sped out to meet a through ball with Batshuayi lurking, but couldn't halt his slide on the watered Wembley surface. His body was obscuring the referee's view, so the French 'keeper gets away with it. With Dier waiting to clear up, it wouldn't have been a red card for Lloris, in any case.
Min 43 | GOOOALLLLLL! Willian sends Lloris the wrong way, and Chelsea are back in the lead just before half time.
Min 42 | Confusion at Wembley as Son brings down Moses just inside the box. Eventually, Atkinson points to the spot, despite protests from the Spurs boys. Willian to take the penalty. It looks like a dive from Moses, or at least, a pre-emption of contact. But Son should not have committed; a very rash challenge.
Min 41 | Alli, Son, and Eriksen are fluid; inter-changing constantly. It's proving difficult for Chelsea, who of course have less bodies in midfield, to cope with that at present.
Min 40 | The ball breaks for Eriksen 25 yards out. His shot is well struck, but straight at Courtois, who catches with ease. David Luiz is back down. This time, he's taken a bash to the head.
Min 38 | Nearly, Dele, nearly. Alli's understanding with Kane is apparent as the former meets a nod-down from the latter. For a moment, it looks like he'll be in on goal, but David Luiz scampers across to intercept in the nick of time.
Min 36 | Eriksen's corner is only cleared as far as Vertonghen, who whips in a delightful cross, which Eric Dier nods narrowly wide. Spurs are looking increasingly dominant. Wanyama and Dembele are forming an impermeable wall in the centre of the park, while the full-backs are beginning to see more of the ball for the team in white.
Min 35 | It's a belting cross, but Kanté cuts it out. Spurs corner.
Min 34 | Marcos Alonso is living dangerously. He concedes another free-kick. This time, his crime is a late challenge on Kieran Trippier. Eriksen, as ever, will deliver.
Min 33 | Mousa Dembele doesn't run, he glides. The Belgian is such a smooth operator in possession. Lovely to watch.
Min 29 | 'We've got Alli', roar the Tottenham faithful. The young midfielder, a product of the prestigious academy at Milton Keynes Dons, has struggled to get involved so far, beyond setting up that run for Kane.
Min 26 | Harry Kane almost stumbles through the Chelsea defence, after Dele Alli's pass allowed him to break in to a stride. He's so powerful, so difficult to stop when he gets going, but Ake manages to get a foot in.
Min 25 | Luiz walks off tentatively, but sprints back on with gusto, his hair bouncing as he goes. Despite initial concern, he looks fine to continue. John Terry skulks back to the bench.
Min 23 | Son tries to sneak beyond Moses on the left flank, but the Nigerian, who has the frame of a medium-sized house, muscles him off the ball. Meanwhile, Luiz is down and receiving treatment in the box; he turned his ankle in the process of clearing a cross, and looks to be in considerable discomfort. John Terry slips on an orange bib and strides out of the technical area to warm up.
Min 20 | The Lilywhites have a free-kick in a great position to deliver a cross. Marcos Alonso charged through Eriksen, and it's the Dane who stands over it. Chelsea manage to scramble it away, but Spurs retain possession.
Min 18 | GOOALLLLLLLL! Spurs equalise through Harry Kane, and it's a sumptuously-guided header. Eriksen delivers a cross with his left foot after his earlier corner was half-cleared, and Harry Kane stoops at the near post to meet the ball. He glances it off the top of his head and beyond Courtois. A stunning finish, so instinctive.
Min 15 | Batshuayi has a good chance to double Chelsea's lead. Moses swings in a teasing cross and the Belgian peels away between Trippier and Dier. He gets his head on the ball, but can't generate enough power to beat Lloris from six yards out.
Min 12 | So much of Spurs' attacking potency this season can be attributed to Walker and Rose careering down the wings like men possessed. In turn, that width creates space for the likes of Alli to operate in the centre. Trippier and Vertonghen will need to be on top form to replicate that threat. So far, they've been quiet. Meanwhile, the plane flies past once again...
Min 10 | Spurs are settling in to a nice spell of possession; the ball pinging around with Wanyama and Dembele the chief architects in the centre of the park. Eventually, though, a pass is overhit and Courtois gathers.
Min 7 | Here we go again... a plane flies above Wembley towing a sign that reads 'Antonio! Antonio!', which strikes me as utterly futile. Each to their own, eh!
Min 5 | GOOAALLLL! Willian curls the resultant free-kick in to the far corner from 25 yards. Matic did a good job of unsettling the wall, and Willian guided the ball past Lloris, whose view was obscured.
Min 4 | Alderweireld is in to the book. Pedro burst forward from the half-way line, doing well to keep a bouncing ball under control, and the Belgian defender, who is known for very rarely committing fouls, is forced to take him down. It's only his second yellow card of the season, but it gives Chelsea a free-kick in a dangerous position.
Min 2 | Harry Kane forces an early corner for Spurs. The big lads trot forward from the back, but Alderweireld can't meet it despite an impressive leap at the near post. Chelsea counter through Willian, and now have possession around the Spurs box.
Min 1 | Martin Atkinson peeps his whistle, Alli rolls the ball to Dembele, and the first FA Cup semi-final is underway.
Chelsea vs Tottenham live: team news
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta (c), David Luiz, Ake, Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso, Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.
Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Terry, Chalobah, Fabregas, Hazard, Diego Costa.
Coach: Antonio Conte
Tottenham: Lloris (C), Trippier, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Dembele, Son, Eriksen, Dele, Kane.
Coach: Mauricio Pochettino
Subs: Lopez, Davies, Walker, Wimmer, Sissoko, Nkoudou, Janssen.
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur live stream: latest news
18:14 | The teams are gathering around the centre circle, arms linked, for a minute silence in memory of Ugo Ehiogu. It quickly turns to an emotional round of applause.
18:11 | Wembley stadium is looking resplendant, and it is absolutely full to the rafters.
18:07 | One result of Conte's decision to drop Hazard and Costa is that the Chelsea bench looks extremely strong. There are far more 'game-changers' than on the Tottenham substitutes list.
18:02 | Harry Kane and Dele Alli often seize the headlines for Spurs, yet Son's contribution has been vital in recent weeks. The South Korean has scored five times in his last four games.
17:58 | A juicy little statistic courtesy of the BBC... Tottenham have lost six FA Cup semi-finals in a row. It's not a kind statistic, but as we have seen this season, Pochettino's Spurs team are significantly less 'Spursy' than we have been accustomed to in recent years. They no longer lack robustness.
17:54 | Tottenham haven't beaten Chelsea in the FA Cup since 1982. The last time the two sides met in the competition, in 2012, Chelsea dispatched their London rivals 5-1 on their way to lifting the trophy.
17:43 | Hazard's absence will undoubtedly provoke a series of 'he's in Ander Herrera's pocket' gags. It's certainly a curious approach from Conte, resting his two most potent attackers. That said, Conte has not been firing on all cylinders recently, and Batshuayi will be eager to impress.
17:40 | Pochettino is not matching Chelsea's 3-4-3 this time. It looks like a 4-2-3-1 for Spurs, with Wanyama and Dembele holding the midfield, and Son, Eriksen, and Alli forming the attacking three behind Harry Kane.
17:35 | So, Diego Costa does not start for Chelsea. The lesser-spotted Batshuayi takes his place at centre-forward; it has appeared at time this season that Conte has been doing everything possible to avoid picking the Belgian. Elsewhere, Ake is in for the injured Cahill, and Marcos Alonso returns at left wing-back. We also have an intriguing lack of Eden Hazard.
17:20 | It'll be fascinating to see how the result today affects the Premier League title-race on a mental level. A Tottenham win could make that four-point gap appear far easier to bridge. On the other hand, a Chelsea victory could provide a confidence-boost ahead of the final run in. Alternatively, of course, it could make absolutely no difference, which would be quite interesting in itself.
17:15 | Pochettino tweaked his system that day, to match Chelsea's previously-formidable 3-4-3. He may well deploy the same tactics this afternoon beneath the Wembley arch. For both of his goals, Dele Alli ghosted between the Chelsea centre-backs and wing-backs to meet pinpoint crosses. One would imagine that Antonio Conte will compress his 'back five' in order to prevent a repeat.
17:05 | The two teams last met at White Hart Lane on the 4th of January. On that occasion, Dele Alli was the difference. He scored twice, both with well-guided headers, as the home team won 2-0 and put an end to Chelsea's 13-game winning streak.
16:43 | Pochettino also revealed that the AFA has not made contact with him regarding the vacant managerial position for the Argentine national team. Jorge Sampaoli looks set to take over, which will be a relief to the Tottenham faithful.
16:25 | The Argentine coach was sold a vision when he took over at Spurs... "When [Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy called me three years ago, it really got me excited to listen to him and enter a project that not only focused on winning but on leaving a legacy."
16:15 | Mauricio Pochettino chatted to El Larguero on Thursday evening, and appears to be embracing the project at White Hart Lane: "It's true that the investment that they make is two or three times more than perhaps what Tottenham spends. But that is the challenge and the beauty of Tottenham's project."
16:00 | Costa has been unashamedly flirtatious regarding his future; while on international duty a few weeks ago, he spoke about his strained relationship with Antonio Conte, and his unsuccessful attempts to return to Atlético Madrid. Does this have anything to do with his downturn in form? I couldn't possibly say...
15:45 | For the team in blue, Diego Costa's level of performance may define the outcome. That goes for the rest of the Premier League season, too. The burly striker has scored 17 times in the league, but finds himself in something of a drought. Costa has not found the net since an away victory at West Ham on the 6th of March.
15:30 | Tottenham come in to the semi-final following the desperately-sad news that Ugo Ehiogu passed away on Friday at the age of 44. Ehiogu, a former England international, had been coaching Spurs' Under-23 team.
15:15 | Tottenham are in a rich vein of form, having won their last seven Premier League matches, yet Mauricio Pochettino maintains that Chelsea are the favourites to progress to the FA Cup final.
14:30 | The last time these sides met in the FA Cup was in the semifinals in 2012, with Chelsea winning 5-1 on their way to lifting the trophy. Spurs' last success over Chelsea in the FA Cup was a 3-2 victory in the sixth round in 1982.
14:00 Hugo Lloris is to start his first FA Cup game since 2014 at Wembley as reserve keeper Michael Vorm has been ruled out with a knee injury.
13:30 | Chelsea have won the world's oldest knockout competition on seven occasions, with five of those triumphs coming since the turn of the century.
12:30 | Should Tottenham prevail today, they will reach their first FA Cup final since 1990-91, when they beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 to win their eighth title.
11:30 | Chelsea and Tottenham dominated the PFA team of the season, announced earlier this week.
10:30 | Gary Cahill has been ruled out having recieved treatment for kidney stones and Antonio Conte is said to fancy Nathan Ake ahead of a John Terry return with the former Chelsea captain only going to be recalled if David Luiz gets hurt. The mind games have started already too. Conte believes it is time for Spurs and Pochettino to shed the underdog tag, "There is a moment you have to finish considering yourself an underdog. I think this is the right moment."
09:30 | Good morning! There's quite a game on this afternoon at the new Wembley Stadium, where Tottenham and Chelsea will go head-to-head for a place in the FA Cup final. Both sides are also challenging for the Premier League title and a psychological blow or two in London could well have repercussions on the league as well. We'll be building up during the day and covering the game live right here from 18:15 CET.
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur live stream: preview
Chelsea’s ambitions of completing their second league and Cup double rest, at least in the short term, on Saturday’s make-or-break tie against city rivals Tottenham. Spurs will view this semi-final in exactly the same way as their hosts – as far as Pochettino’s side is concerned, the Premier League title race isn’t over just yet, they are only four points behind Chelsea and see themselves stepping out onto the Wembley turf again next month to meet either Manchester City or Arsenal. If recent meetings are anything to go on, Chelsea have the better figures, having won four and lost just two of the last 10 encounters with the rest ending in draws. Tottenham were one of the five teams to have beaten the Blues in the league competition this season when they met at White Hart Lane at the start of the New Year but they were beaten 2-1 at the Bridge in November.
Chelsea’s Cup campaign has included victories over Peterborough, Brentford, Wolves and Manchester United while for Spurs, the road to Wembley saw them collect the scalps of Aston Villa, Wycombe, Fulham and Milwall. This is their 11th FA Cup semi-final in the last 22 years.
Curiously, the last time Spurs reached the semi-finals they were knocked out by none other than Chelsea who went on to lift the trophy. Spurs have lost six semi-finals in a row in this competition and will be eager to reverse that trend.
Both coaches gushed with praise for their opponents on the eve of the game with Antonio Conte hailing Tottenham “a really great power in the English game” and his opposite number tomorrow Maurico Pochettino citing Chelsea as "one of the best teams in Europe. If anyone is a favourite it’s Chelsea, they are top of the table and they have experience all the way through the side. But we are in a good moment too and hunger to overcome a challenge like this”.
Chelsea team news
Mixed news for Chelsea who have Thibaut Courtois back – the Belgian keeper has been training as normal after shaking off an ankle injury. Gary Cahill has been receiving treatment for gastroenteritis and will probably sit the game out but Conte hinted that his place is unlikely to go to veteran John Terry who would struggle to keep up with Spurs pacemen Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Kurt Zouma seems the logical replacement, the 22-year-old has made four appearances in this edition of the Cup. Marcos Alonso is also back available after managing to rid himself of a stomach bug.
Man to watch: Eden Hazard. The Belgian has made a vital contribution to both of Chelsea’s campaigns on the domestic front - 14 goals in 35 games and six assists. He has only made two appearances in Chelsea’s FA Cup run, completing the full 90 minutes of the quarter final against Manchester United.
Tottenham team news
Goalkeeper Michael Vorm is ruled out with a knee injury which will re-open the door to Hugo Lloris. Otherwise, Pochettino has no injury concerns. Left-back Danny Rose has returned to training with the squad after missing the last nine games with a knee ligament injury.
Man to watch: Dele Alli. If Spurs are relying on just one man to provide the fireworks at Wembley on Saturday, then Dele Alli is the man. The England international has found the net 19 times across all competitions this season, scoring two in four FA cup appearances. An inventive, left-sided midfielder who has multiple ways of springing even the most unyielding of Chelsea defences.
Chelsea-Tottenham live online: possible line-ups
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Zouma, Moses; Kanté, Matic, Fàbregas, Willian, Hazard, Diego Costa.
Tottenham: Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Trippier; Wanyama, Dembele, Davies, Son Heung-min, Dele Alli, Kane.
Chelsea vs Tottenham: live stream online betting odds
No favourites for the bookies who think it could go either way at Wembley. A 3-0 win for either side is currently at 29/1 and if Dele Alli scores in both halves, is at 34/1 while should Willian be the first to get the ball over the line, a 10 euro bet would earn you a handsome 120 euro windfall – not as much as if Toby Alderweireld is the first scorer, which is at 41/1.