Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United: Kante stunner sends Blues into FA Cup semi-finals – 5 things we learned

Chelsea progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Cup by beating Manchester United in a fiery clash at Stamford Bridge.

The excellent N’Golo Kante scored the only goal of the game as Antonio Conte’s men remain on course for the double.

The Frenchman, who dominated Paul Pogba throughout, fired home from the edge of the box to beat David De Gea.

Ander Herrera had seen red during the first-half for United, before Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte clashed.

Here are five things we learned.

1. Kante edges out Pogba

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante
(Photo: PA)

They were the two big midfield buys last summer after a fine Euro 2016 with France.

But it was N’Golo Kante who dominated his countryman at Stamford Bridge.

Kante was destructive in front of the Chelsea back four and even popped up with the winner.

Surely the Footballer of the Year.

2. Herrera red changes the game

Herrera is shown the red card
(Photo: Julian Finney)

It was a big call and it certainly affected this one.

Jose Mourinho had his side set up to defend and when Ander Herrera was dismissed, his plans went out of the window.

It was harsh on the Spaniard but you can see why Michael Oliver dismissed him.

3. No love lost between the bosses

Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho clash
(Photo: Getty Images Europe)

Ahead of the encounter, Antonio Conte spoke of the respect between he and Jose Mourinho.

They clashed earlier in the season and it didn’t take long for history to repeat itself.

Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte get fired up
(Photo: Getty Images Europe)

The Ander Herrera red card didn’t help matters before a late challenge on Marcos Alonso from Antonio Valencia.

Fourth official Mike Jones had a busy evening as he came between the duo.

Safe to say, they won’t be receiving Christmas cards from one another.

4. De Gea remains the best

Manchester United’s David De Gea in action
(Photo: CameraSport)

The Manchester United stopper is having another fine season.

De Gea was well-beaten by Kante but he made a number of fine saves, none better than the stop to deny Cahill.

He is the best in England…and arguably the world.

You have to think United would be a lot worse off without him.

5. The double is on

Conte looks on
(Photo: Getty)

Chelsea are romping to the Premier League title and they must now be favourites to add the FA Cup to their trophy cabinet this season.

Despite the slender margin of victory they were rarely troubled by United at the Bridge and take on a Spurs side in the last four at Wembley who look likely to be without talisman Harry Kane.

It could turn out to be an even more incredible first season in English football for Antonio Conte than we thought.

(Photo: AFP)
(Photo: REUTERS)

Andy Dunn’s player ratings

Courtois 7 – Largely redundant but made one crucial save from Rashford

Moses 6 – Mourinho tactics negated his impact, pressed back more than usual

Azpilicueta 7 – A very calm contribution but hardly stretched by a one-man attack

Luiz 7 – Another Chelsea defender with a cigar on the go for most of the time

Cahill 6 – Seemed to be targeted by Rashford and exposed occasionally

Alonso 6 – Like his fellow wing-back, found himself pinned at times

Matic 7 – Enjoyed the physcial confrontations and grew into the game

Kante 7 – Not at his most eye-catching but stepped up with the breakthrough

Willian 6 – Put in a serious shift but nothing much came off for him

Hazard 8 – MOTM. Flashes of brilliance and his victimisation ended up changing the game

Costa 6 – Put himself around as usual but not to great effect

Subs

Fabregas (for Willian, 81)

Zouma (for Moses, 89)

Batshuayi (for Costa, 90)

(Photo: PA)
(Photo: PA)

Manchester United

De Gea 6 – Two great first half save but wrong-footed for the Kante goal

Jones 7 – It is not always pretty but certainly left his mark on the game

Smalling 6 – Standard stuff, some crucial blocks but some rushes of blood

Rojo 7 – The marshalling figure in a packed United defence. Pretty solid

Darmian 6 – Conceded a welter of free-kicks but never less than tenacious

Valencia 6 – Wary about over-committing and not a major factor

Herrera 4 – Sent off. Two yellows a little harsh but a dismissal that has been coming for a while.

Pogba 6 – Relished the physical battle and made his mark on the contest

Mkhitaryan 6 – Had one decent effort before tactical withdrawal after Herrera red

Young 6 – Mainly restricted to defensive duties which he carried out diligently

Rashford 7 – Often a thankless task but selflessly ran himself into the ground

Subs

Fellaini (Mkhitaryan, 37) 6

Lingard (for Young, 81)

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