Chelsea had Demba Ba and Petr Cech to thank for their place in the FA Cup semi-final, after the Blues duo each excelled to ensure the west London club progressed past Manchester United and on to Wembley once more.
Ba scored the only goal of the game at Stamford Bridge as the Senegalese diverted an expert volley over the head of David de Gea from a perfectly weighted Juan Mata pass.
Sir Alex Ferguson had hoped Manchester United would have learned from previous mistakes against Ba, but they allowed the Chelsea striker to drift between the lines and convert superbly, in much the same manner he did for Newcastle last season.
Having initially benefited from the right boot of Ba, Chelsea were soon grateful for the left glove of Cech, as the Chelsea goalkeeper denied Javier Hernandez a Manchester United equaliser with a breathtaking stop.
Hernandez looked to have judged a difficult header to perfection when he was found by Danny Welbeck, but Cech rapidly thrust his arm into the air and poked the ball over the crossbar with seemingly bionic fingertips.
"Cech’s save from Chicharito was unbelievable," Ferguson said after the game.
"He made a similar save in the first game from one of his own defenders.
"Had we got that goal then I think we would have been okay. It may have gone to extra time but we wouldn’t have needed to go chasing it."
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