Manchester United will be playing in the FA Cup semifinals for a record 30th time after they defeated 10-man Norwich City 2-1 in the quarterfinals, it took an extra-time winner from defender Harry Maguire(118') to beat The Canaries. Todd Cantwell(75') had earlier in regulation time cancelled out Odion Ighalo's 51st minute's opener. The Red Devils will now face familiar London rival Chelsea.
Chelsea overcame a sloppy 1st-half to edged Leicester City 1 nil at The King Power Stadium to advance into their 24th FA cup semifinal. Ross Barkley came off the bench to cap a man of the match performance with the lone goal in the 63rd minute. It's now a 3rd straight win for Chelsea in all competitions since football returns.
The last FA Cup semifinal tie between these 2 teams goes way back as far as 1996 when United ran away with a 2-1 victory. However, Chelsea is 1 of only 2 teams to have won all her matches since league resumption(Wolverhampton the other). History or form don't necessarily count anymore when rivals clash. It's a fascinating semifinal lineup.
Only Manchester United 30th semifinal appearances better Arsenal's 29th time spot in the semifinal of the annual showpiece. The Gunners, though, left it late but did edge past Sheffield United 2-1 in the quarterfinal tie to boost a slim hope of a silverware in a rather bumpy Arsenal season. Record signing Nicolas Pepe(25') may be finally living up to his big-money move tag after he scored one and provided another for Dani Ceballos(90+1') on either side of Sheffield United goal in the 86th minutes(David McGoldrick).
Manchester City put their disappointing loss to Chelsea on Thursday behind them to record a comfortable 2 nil victory over Newcastle in their FA quarterfinal tie. Kevin De Bruyne(37') continues his impressive form with another goal from the spot-kick. Raheem Sterling(68') made sure of the semis with the 2nd goal. The Citizen now has a date with the Gunners yet again for a place in the final.
It will be the 3rd meeting between Arsenal and Manchester City this season. Both fixtures in the league had ended in City's favour, putting 6(3 each) unreply goals past the Gunners. However, Arsenal came out victorious 2-1 when both teams met in the semifinal of 2017 competition en route to lifting the Cup. Both teams have had their share of defensive frailty, however, City does look stronger and balance than Arsenal for a place in the final but who knows? FA Cup is full of surprises.
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