Chelsea 4-2 Leicester City: Ten-man Foxes defeated in stoppage time as Blues reach Wembley semifinal

Chelsea hosted Leicester City on Sunday, looking to join Coventry City by progressing to the semifinals of the Emirates FA Cup. The match came as a repeat of the 2021 Emirates FA Cup Final, which saw the Foxes clinch a slender victory under the arch.

CHE: Sánchez; Cucurella, Chalobah, Disasi, Gusto; Gallagher, Caicedo; Sterling, Palmer, Mudryk; Jackson

LEI: Stolarczyk; Doyle, Vestergaard, Faes, Chowdhury; Dewsbury-Hall, Winks, Ndidi; Mavididi, Daka, Fatawu

Chelsea appeared to be making amends for that aforementioned final defeat, taking the lead after just 13 minutes at Stamford Bridge. Marc Cucurella was able to slot home into an open goal, having found himself the recipient of a fine ball across goal from Nicolas Jackson.

Shortly before the hour mark, Raheem Sterling was afforded an opportunity to double their lead from the penalty spot after Abdul Fatawu’s clumsy challenge on the England international was deemed worthy of a spot-kick. Jakub Stolarczyk was able to deny his tame effort though, sparking a sense of belief amongst the Foxes.

That would be swiftly dashed before the break though, as Sterling made amends for his miss with a fine assist for Cole Palmer. Darting down the flank, Sterling was able to fizz a cross into the box that was accurately turned home by his fellow ex-Manchester City colleague.

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Leicester City appeared rejuvenated after the break and gave a great account of the quality that can be found within the EFL Championship this season, although it was a comedic error from Axel Disasi that halved the deficit. The Frenchman, seemingly seeking to find Robert Sanchez with a backpass from 35 yards out, could merely stand and watch as the ball flew into the back of the net.

Shortly after the hour-mark, the Foxes drew level. Stephy Mavididi danced calmly towards goal, and a rare error from Malo Gusto afforded him far too much time on the ball – allowing him to curl past Sanchez and level the match with thirty minutes left to play.

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But there would be a further twist in this enthralling Emirates FA Cup clash, when Callum Doyle was dismissed for a challenge on Jackson. Andy Madley had initially shown the Manchester City loanee a yellow card and awarded a penalty, but intervention from VAR ruled that the foul was outside the box and upgraded the booking to a straight dismissal.

Sterling blazed the resulting free-kick over the bar, and the match seemed destined for extra time – until substitute Carney Chukwuemeka restored Chelsea’s lead in the second minute of stoppage time. Palmer’s sublime backheeled pass set the youngster through on goal, allowing him to merely pass the ball into the corner to prompt euphoric celebrations amongst the home fans.

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The Foxes would be dealt a further blow in the 98th minute though, with Noni Madueke’s goal bringing a definitive end to their hopes of reaching the semifinals. The former PSV man danced through the Leicester City midfield, ultimately releasing a thunderous effort from range that would serve to somewhat ease the pressure on Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea progress to the final four of the Emirates FA Cup, where they join Manchester City, Coventry City and either Manchester United or Liverpool. Pochettino’s men will find out their next opponents later this afternoon, with the ties taking place on the weekend of April 20.