FULL TIME: Chelsea win!
84min: Charlie Austin hits the post. Reminder that it’s not over yet. Morata then misses a glorious chance at the other end.
82min: GOAL CHELSEA, Azpilicueta to Morata makes a comeback and should seal the deal for Chelsea. 2-0!
80min: Final substitution for Chelsea, Morata replacing Giroud who had not been the same since the Romeu tackle.
78min: Pedro, Moses, Hazard combine to create a glorious chance, but Yoshida there to put it over his own bar. Another big miss for the Blues. Southampton put an extra striker as Gabbiadini replaces Bednarek.
76min: Chelsea back in the 3-4-3 as Pedro replaces Fàbregas.
74min: McCarthy’s turn to save well, Hazard with the turn and shot.
72min: Big save from Caballero after Cahill and Fàbregas contrive to turn the ball over at the top of the box. Caballero then gets the foul call on the subsequent corner after Austin bodies him up and he spills his catch into the back of the net. No goal.
69min: Succession of corners from Southampton; well defended but Chelsea remain under pressure.
63min: Long & Højbjerg OFF; Tadić & Redmond ON for Saints. Chelsea respond by putting on Bakayoko for Willian, who’s not happy with the decision and walks straight down the tunnel. Not sure that’s a good show from him. Chelsea now in a 3-5-1-1 with Hazard & Giroud up top.
60min: Chelsea spell of possession after Saints had worked a few dangerous looks.
56min: Painful one for Giroud as his foot gets stuck under Romeu’s trailing leg on a tackle. No yellow.
54min: Southampton’s best chance as Austin leaves the ball for Long, but his touch is terrible and Chelsea get a let off.
51min: Romeu gets his customary yellow for clattering Hazard in the middle of the pitch.
48min: Hazard almost makes it two after a tremendous run by Willian, but the shot goes wide of the far post.
46min: Chelsea take the lead almost from the second-half kick-off. Fabregas finds Hazard who controls it well, and slides in Giroud. He beats about half the team before poking it home. GET IN!
HALF-TIME: No added-on time. No goals. First 45 in the books. Going to have to do better in the second. Chelsea have 9 shots, but 0 on target. It’s a familiar refrain.
42min: Good spell of Chelsea pressure but Saints blocking any and all goalbound efforts
40min: Yoshida collects the game’s first yellow for a tackle from behind on Giroud.
39min: A low-key pass-around has broken out; Chelsea have most of the ball; neither team threatening all that much however. Saints organized and compact in defence. Giroud then almost conjures a fantastic, acrobatic finish on a Fàbregas chip into the box.
33min: Emerson wins a corner, after some good combination play from Giroud and Hazard. Azpilicueta gets to the near post flick, but no one at the far post to finish it.
30min: Good pace from Rüdiger to cover the ball in behind for Long. Chelsea back on top in terms of possession but no real danger offered.
25min: Southampton’s first shot of the afternoon, an easy one from Lemina from distance, but Saints have grown into the game.
22min: Conte, suited, booted, bearded gesticulates on the touchline as Chelsea’s initial verve and impetus appears to be dying down a bit.
18min: Twice in quick succession a Chelsea move breaks down as Giroud not on same page as first Fàbregas, then Willian. Giroud’s then flagged for offside in a somewhat frustrating first few minutes for the big man.
14min: Free kick in a perfect position, won by Kanté and taken by Willian, buzzes the top of the net.
12min: Yoshida saves a goal with a magnificent tackle on Hazard, who combined well with Fabregas while ghosting through half the defense.
7min: Bright start for Chelsea, scoreless. Willian skims the top of the bar with a curling effort.
KICK-OFF: And we’re off! To the winner, a spot in the final against Manchester United. To the loser, nothing.
We’re trying something slightly different with gamethreads: instead of just an open thread, it will be updated regularly (while you comment away below) with highlights, stats, and anything else worthwhile for a live blog sort of thing. Let’s see how it goes.
COME ON, CHELSEA!
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3):
Caballero | Rüdiger, Cahill (c), Azpilicueta | Emerson, Fàbregas, Kanté, Moses | Hazard, Giroud, Willian
Substitutes from: Eduardo, Christensen, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Barkley, Pedro, Morata
So, back to the 3-4-3, with Hazard & Willian both back, though Emerson retains his position on the left of midfield and Giroud gets the nod as we had hoped. Caballero continues as cup goalkeeper, with Eduardo as backup instead of Courtois.
Meanwhile, Saints make a couple changes from last weekend, but it’s far from a “giving up” look, as some had expected. They have nothing to lose and will be dangerous.
Southampton starting lineup (5-3-2):
McCarthy | Bertrand (c), Bednarek, Yoshida, Hoedt, Cédric | Lemina, Højbjerg, Romeu | Long, Austin
Substitutes from: Forster, McQueen, Tadic, Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Gabbiadini, Carrillo
Date / Time: Sunday, April 22nd, 2018, 15:00 BST; 10:00am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Referee: Martin Atkinson
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes (USA); SONY TEN HD (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); FOX Soccer Matchpass (USA); SONY LIV (India)
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