Chelsea score four to beat Tottenham in FA Cup thriller
FA Cup semi-final, Wembley Stadium - Chelsea 4 (Willian 5, 43, Hazard 75, Matic 80) Tottenham 2 (Kane 18, Alli 52)
Eden Hazard came off the bench to inspire a late Chelsea surge as the Blues booked a place in the FA Cup final with an enthralling 4-2 victory over title rivals, Tottenham at Wembley.
The Belgian was a shock omission from Antonio Conte's starting XI alongside Diego Costa, but played a key role when he entered the fray at 2-2, scoring a superb 20-yard drive and teeing up Nemanja Matic to seal it with a screamer.
It was tough on Mauricio Pochettino's men, who dominated for long spells and twice cancelled out two goals from Willian courtesy of Harry Kane and Dele Alli. However, it was ultimately a record seventh straight loss in the semi finals of this competition for Tottenham and brings an end to their eight-match winning run in all competitions.
Conte will feel vindicated for leaving his big guns on the bench at the start, as they came on to play a major role in ensuring their bid for the domestic double remains on course.
Willian, David Luiz, Nathan Ake (FC Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur)Eurosport
What will this do for the title race? Chelsea came into this with many beginning to wonder if a glitch was turning into a major wobble. Spurs have been in irresistible form, but the nature of this loss will hurt. They were the better side but Conte's team seem to have that winning know-how. It's why they remain favourites to lift the title and this victory is just the response he wanted to reignite their belief following the loss at Manchester United. Quite simply, it was tactical genius from the Italian who knew he would have come under fire if the result went against him.
MAN OF THE MATCH
David Luiz (Chelsea) - Marked his birthday in style. The Blues were under the cosh for long spells and Luiz marshalled the defence superbly throughout.
Willian (FC Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur)Getty Images
5' - GOAL! CHELSEA 1-0 TOTTENHAM. Willian steps up and curls a brilliant 25-yard free kick over the wall and into the far corner.
18' - GOAL! CHELSEA 1-1 TOTTENHAM. A corner is cleared but worked back to Eriksen, who curls a lovely cross in for Kane to guide a flick header into the far corner.
43' - GOAL! CHELSEA 2-1 TOTTENHAM. Willian sends Lloris the wrong way with a fine spot kick. The Blues are back in front after Son had inexplicably slid into a risky challenge on Moses!
52' - GOAL! CHELSEA 2-2 TOTTENHAM. Alli makes it 2-2! The midfielder makes a brilliant run into the box to thump home Eriksen's world-class pass from deep.
75' - GOAL! CHELSEA 3-2 TOTTENHAM. Chelsea lead once more. A corner from the right drops to the Belgian who has time to line it up and drill a low left-foot shot into the far corner from 20 yards.
80' - GOAL! CHELSEA 4-2 TOTTENHAM. It's surely all over! Matic thunders a sensational 25-yard drive into the top corner from Hazard's lay off.
Nemanja Matic (Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur)Getty Images
Willian has scored nine direct free kick goals for Chelsea since the start of 2015-16; 45% of his goal tally in that period (9/20).
Christian Eriksen has provided more assists in all comps this season than any other player in the big five European leagues.
Dele Alli has now scored 20 goals in all competitions for Spurs this season - seven have been in his last nine appearances.
Hazard has now scored 5 goals v Tottenham (his 2nd as a sub), more than against any other club in his Chelsea career.
Nemanja Matic has scored his first goal for Chelsea since 7th May 2016 vs Sunderland, 350 days ago.
Chelsea scored four goals from just five shots on target against Spurs.
The Blues reached their seventh FA Cup final since the year 2000, more than any other side in the 21st century.