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Chelsea vs. Manchester United, FA Cup: Half-time report

Chelsea v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Foul, foul, foul, foul. There’s the United gameplan. Get the ball to Hazard. There’s Chelsea’s. With Hazard in sparkling form, despite the more than half dozen fouls on him already, the Chelsea plan seems sound and were it not for David De Gea pulling off two masterpiece saves in the space of 30 seconds, Chelsea could very well be ahead already. As it stands, the match remains scoreless.

There hasn’t been much controlled possession from either side, both teams looking dangerous whenever they are able to play direct and forward.

While Michael Oliver seemed to to be willing to let most fouls go, United eventually paid the price for their tactics after just 30 minutes when Ander Herrera received his second yellow and got his marching orders. The second yellow came immediately after Oliver told United captain Chris Smalling to control his team’s persistent fouling. Oliver’s decisions may be questionable, but at least he’s been consistent.

Still, that just adds to Mourinho’s siege mentality and this will still not be easy for Chelsea. The two managers getting into it on the touchline already just shows the pressure and emotion and importance of the occasion.


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