FULL TIME: Chelsea win!
90+6min: CHO finally gets some joy in the penalty area, jinking past a couple after a nice play from Abraham, but hammers the shot over the bar.
90+5min: Jorginho bursts through, lays it back to Pedro, who bypasses the chance to shoot, playing wide to Alonso instead. But his cross is terrible this time and United have a throw on the far side. Chelsea recover well to stop any danger from the resulting attack.
90+2min: CHO still battling, but still unable to get any joy against Williams, this time on a high, bouncing ball into the area.
90+1min: Pedro on for Mount as somehow 6 minutes are added on.
90min: Hudson-Odoi, in the other penalty area, can’t quite get past Williams again and ends up giving up a goal kick, even.
89min: Caballero alert and quick off his line again to collect as United look over the top for Ighalo.
86min: Loftus-Cheek on for Kovacic as Chelsea look to see out the game now.
85min: Goal. Manchester United. Hudson-Odoi trips Martial in the area. Penalty. Bruno Fernandes makes no mistake with the Jorginho-style effort. 3-1.
82min: Kovacic square ball intercepted as Chelsea commit men forward again, but United can’t make it count as Caballero collects a wayward through ball. At the other end, Alonso looks for CHO with a decent curling ball, but he can’t quite beat Williams to it.
80min: Giroud and Willian off, Abraham and Hudson-Odoi on as Chelsea finally make some changes.
79min: In comes the corner, Chelsea all at sea again, but Matic miscues his free header.
78min: Strong defending by R.James on Martial forces a corner. Rashford and Wan-Bissaka make way for Ighalo and Fosu-Mensah before it’s taken.
74min: GOAL!!!!!!! RUDIGER/MAGUIRE!!! Willian takes the corner, Giroud wins the header to flick it on towards the far post, where James is all alone. But he has to generate all the power on the header, which allows De Gea to claw it away at the far post. But Chelsea collect the ball and switch to Alonso, who puts the cross back in. Rudiger, still forward, challenges Maguire for the ball, and forces the own goal!! 3-0, CHELSEA!!!
73min: Chelsea still pressing hard, with Mount especially running all over the place. He can’t quite chase a loose ball down after half-intercepting a pass out. Chelsea still come, James 1-2 with Kovacic, but the cutback deflects off Williams for a corner.
72min: Zouma goes long to Alonso, who spots De Gea off his line and goes for an audacious first-time left-footed volley from wide. He doesn’t make perfect contact and De Gea claims.
71min: Pogba loses the ball in midfield, then goes studs first on Kovacic for the loose ball. Pogba gets a yellow, the game’s first.
68min: Drink break!
65min: Bruno crosses in, James heads clear over his own bar. Bruno takes the corner as well, inswinging. Caballero comes, flaps, and Maguire gets a head to it. Wide, fortunately.
63min: Another clash of heads, this time between Greenwood and Rudiger, with the latter also called for a foul, 25 yards from goal, right channel.
59min: Chelsea come again on the right, this time with James putting a good ball across, which Mount is unable to get to. Alonso collects the ball on the far side and puts it back in. Giroud gets a foot to it and directs it towards the far post, but this time De Gea manages to claw it away, acrobatically. No Chelsea player there for the rebound.
57min: Willian combines with Jorginho then cuts back towards the top of the box. Giroud dummies it for Mount, whose first time shot rockets over the bar. Good chance, missed.
56min: Rudiger chases down D.James, who’s the latest United player to crumble to the ground and win a free kick, just outside the penalty area. United overcomplicate the set piece and Caballero easily catches Maguire’s far post header. Greenwood & Pogba on, James & Fred off in the meantime.
52min: Kovacic makes a great run through midfield, but his through ball to Mount doesn’t quite come off. United counter down the left, with Bruno finding Rashford, who’s beaten Azpi. His shot from a wide angle flashes across goal and wide of the far post.
50min: Alonso and Giroud link up to give Mount a crossing opportunity on the left. The cross is low and finds Giroud making the near post run, but his touch is a bit heavy and the ball runs out for a goal kick, much to Oli’s frustration. Decent chance.
46min: GOALLLLL!!!! MASON MOUNT!!!!! Mount intercepts a Williams square ball but he’s all by himself, so settles for a hopeful shot from 25 yards. It’s low and not particularly powerful, but De
Kepa Gea still lets it go through him!! Thanks, DDG! 2-0, CHELSEA!!!
HALF-TIME: No changes for either side, with United our early but Chelsea taking our time.
45+13min: Long ball towards Martial is well covered by Azpilicueta and Caballero. And the first half at long last draws to a close, with Chelsea in the lead!
45+11min: GOOOOOALLLLL!!!! GIROUDDDD!!!! Azpilicueta crosses after a 1-2 with Willian, Giroud gets across his man Lindelof at the near post, and flicks it past De Gea with his left foot. 1-0, CHELSEA!!!!
45+10min: R.James now called for a foul on Matic in the center circle. No flow to the game whatsoever at the moment. From the free kick, Bruno finds a good through ball for D.James, but Caballero’s out quickly to collect.
45+7min: Zouma under pressure from Martial as he tires to clear a ball after he and Rudiger let the ball bounce. Zouma takes Martial foot with the booming clearance, which causes Martial to tumble down to the ground, holding his back. The physio’s on again, but Martial looks okay to continue. VAR checked for penalty but did not give it.
45+6min: Match resumes as Bailly’s eventually wheeled off on a stretcher, under a blanket and a neck brace. Hope it’s more precaution than anything... 5 minutes added on.
45+2min: Martial on for Bailly, in a sensible change that’s also a tactical switch to a 4-2-3-1 for United. Bailly being treated still, now on the touchline and in a neck brace after what appearing to faint. Scary.
42min: Maguire and Bailly go for the same ball and now they clash heads. A cut on Maguire’s eye requires a bit of treatment. Bailly down as well, and surely has to come off after a second head injury in just as many minutes.
40min: Concussion “protocol” “checks” done, and both continue.
38min: Corner for Chelsea as Azpilicueta’s cross is deflected. R.James with the outswinger, United clear, but only as far as Mount. He crosses back in from the left, Zouma gets a head to it, but can’t quite keep it down. Clash of heads with Bailly in the process, leaving both players down.
35min: Azpi gives the ball away in the defensive third, but Chelsea are back quickly to stop any immediate danger. Azpi then tackles Rashford cleanly to stop the attack.
34min: Zouma covers a Williams run and puts it out for a throw. Azpi heads the throw clear.
33min: Chelsea force another turnover, Mount goes for a quick placed shot from the top of the D, but it’s too close to De Gea.
32min: Bruno takes the corner as well, but United’s routine doesn’t come off and Willian can lead a counter. But the cross from the left is a bit too high for Giroud.
31min: Kovacic called for a foul as Fred trips himself. Good shooting position for United, 20-25 yards out. Rashford and Bruno stand over it. The latter takes, Caballero pushes it over the bar.
29min: D.James breaks the line as he chases a ball down in the corner. Azpilicueta recovers well to close him down and prevent anything too dangerous to form.
28min: Chelsea press and force a turnover, but Giroud’s flick for the runner into the box doesn’t quite come off. Chelsea having the better of play here, but nothing doing on the scoreboard.
27min: Mount swings it in but Zouma can’t catch up to it at the far post. Goal kick for United.
26min: Maguire hauls down Giroud and boots the ball away after the foul call. No card from the referee, but a free kick for Chelsea in a decent crossing position on the left.
24min: B.Fernandes down with a supposed injury. Probably just fine. Drinks break!
23min: Rashford called for a Giroud-esque foul and Chelsea work it wide to Alonso from there. His cross is blocked, the ball bounces around, but United eventually clear. Rudiger covers a counter opportunity well.
22min: Giroud and Willian hold up the ball well; Mount picks up the knock-down and hammers one towards goal from 20 yards. Blocked by a defender for a corner, which Willian takes. But it’s way too long and over the head of everybody.
20min: Azpi steps up again, combines with Willian and James to produce a decent cross, which is headed out. Chelsea recover and go again, but this time Giroud’s called for blocking off Maguire in an aerial duel.
19min: Zouma hammers a ball towards the flag for Alonso. He catches up to it just in time, but no one’s making the run in the box to try to get on the end of his cross.
15min: Great cross from Azpilicueta from his classic deep third center back position, but Alonso can’t get his header downward at the far post and it flies over the bar. Chance, that.
14min: Giroud wins the latest tussle against Maguire in the air, but is called for a foul, much to his displeasure.
13min: Chelsea force a turnover off Matic, but Alonso’s cross is blocked. Meanwhile, a foul on Giroud outside the box goes uncalled.
11min: First-time Jorginho ball over the top is just over the head of Giroud.
10min: Lucky break for Chelsea as the referee blocks off Matic and the ball runs free to James. He hammers one at goal from 25 yards, but De Gea is equal to the effort with a strong two-fisted punch out.
9min: Mount this time wins the foul after United play a good 1-2 combination in the left channel and switch to the right where Chelsea recover well.
7min: Mount called for a foul as he tries to nick the ball from Bailly. Both teams feeling each other out still.
5min: Mount gives the ball away after a spell of possession and United look long towards Rashford again, but Caballero out quickly again. Rashford may have been offside anyway.
1min: Caballero already has to be alert to be quick off his line to head out a long ball intended for Rashford in the left channel.
KICK-OFF: A cavernous and echoing Wembley, overcast skies, nothing like a “normal” FA Cup semifinal. But this is our new normal and wins and trophies count just the same. Chelsea in all blue, white socks, United in red with white shorts and black socks. United get us underway.
The Stranger Things theme song playing as the sides prepare to step out an empty Wembley Stadium for today's #FACup semi-final— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) July 19, 2020
Chelsea have lost three times to Manchester United this season already, twice in the league and also in the League Cup, but this is a brand new in a third different competition, so maybe it’s our turn.
One step from the final, where Arsenal and thus the trophy await.
Both teams make multiple changes with several surprises, including a 3-4-3 for the Blues and maybe the same from United as well.
Here we go!
Manchester United starting lineup (5-2-3):
De Gea | Williams, Maguire (c), Bailly, Lindelöf, Wan-Bissaka | Fred, Matić | B.Fernandes, Rashford, James
Substitutes from: S.Romero, Fosu-Mensah, Andreas, Mata, McTominay, Pogba, Greenwood, Ighalo, Martial
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3):
Caballero | Zouma, Rüdiger, Azpilicueta (c) | Alonso, Kovačić, Jorginho, James | Mount, Giroud, Willian
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Tomori, Emerson, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Pedro, Abraham
Date / Time: Sunday, July 19, 2020, 18.00 BST; 1pm EDT; 10:30pm IST
Venue: Wembley, London, England
Referee: Mike Dean (on pitch); Michael Oliver (VAR)
On TV: BBC One (UK); none (USA); Sony TEN 2, TEN 3 (India); SuperSport 1, SuperSport 5 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BBC iPlayer (UK); ESPN+ (USA); Sony LIV (India); DStv Now (NGA) — We (WAGNH) have an affiliate link for ESPN+ if you’re in the US and would like to sign up for the best value in sports streaming (or, if you’re like me, sign up for the Disney-Hulu-ESPN+ bundle).
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!