football

Chelsea and West Ham hit five to advance to FA Cup last eight

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini sent out a youthful side for the FA Cup tie at Chelsea.
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini sent out a youthful side for the FA Cup tie at Chelsea. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

Manchester City deployed a cluster of youngsters for their last 16 FA Cup tie at Chelsea on Sunday and paid the price as they were beaten 5-1.City boss Manuel Pellegrini made nine changes to the team that lost at home to Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday in the Premier League. Six of the players drafted in at Stamford Bridge were under 20.

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For the first half an hour, City’s colts more than held their own. But they were undone after slick interplay around the penalty area by international thoroughbreds. Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas dinked the ball over to Belgium striker Eden Hazard who set up the Spain attacker Diego Costa to head powerfully past City keeper Willy Cabellero.

It was as easy as it was devastating. But before Chelsea could enjoy their supremacy it was all square. David Faupala stabbed home from close range for his first goal for the senior team.

But any hopes of an upset were soon put to bed. Just after the restart, Hazard spotted Willian’s run behind the defensive line and fed him the ball. The Brazil international thrashed home to make it 2-1. Gary Cahill added the third though Cabellero should have done better with the ball struck straight at him.

Hazard and Burkina Faso striker Bertrand Traore added the gloss late on. Chelsea will play Everton in the last eight of the competition.

West Ham United also hit five in their rout of Blackburn Rovers. The Nigeria striker Emmanuel Emmenike bagged a brace, his compatriot Victor Moses was also on the scoresheet. Dimitri Payet weighed in with a couple of sumptuous strikes, the icing a mazy 50 yard run and emphatic finish.

The east Londoners have been drawn with the winner of Monday night’s tie between Shrewsbury Town and Manchester United.

After last week’s 2-1 win at Manchester City that took them second, two points behind pacesetters Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur fans wouldn’t have been too hasty or impertinent to start dreaming of a league and cup double.

Crystal Palace robbed them of that fantasy on Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane. In truth Spurs created more chances than the visitors but were not clinical enough. Martin Kelly claimed Palace’s winner on the stroke of half-time.
Palace will play second tier Reading for a place in the semi-final. Whoever emerges from the Hull v Arsenal replay will host Watford.

 

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