FA Cup: Man United and Chelsea’s journey to the final

Split image of Ella Toone of Manchester United celebrating and Lauren James of Chelsea celebrating

Manchester United and Chelsea have both booked their places in the FA Cup final and will battle it out at Wembley for the trophy.

Reigning champions Chelsea edged their way past Aston Villa in the semis thanks to a lone goal from Sam Kerr. Meanwhile, Man United had a much tougher affair and had to fight for a 3-2 win over Brighton to earn their spot in the final.

Here’s a look back at how both Man United and Chelsea got to this point in the competition.

Man United vs Brighton

From the off, the game promised goals. Early chances for both sides saw goalkeepers Mary Earps and Lydia Williams called into action. However, it wasn’t until the 36th minute that the deadlock was broken.

Veatriki Sarri’s shot flew through Earps’ reach, with the United keeper unable to keep the ball out.

With United behind Brighton at the break, Marc Skinner’s side found an almost instant reply as the second half got underway. Leah Galton’s 47th minute tap-in from six yards out saw the game back on level terms with almost 45 minutes left to play.

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From there, the game opened up more, as Alessia Russo found the back of the net in the 71st minute. The goal marked the No.23’s second of the competition, with the other coming against Durham back in February.

Determined to remain in the game, however, Danielle Carter found the leveller for Brighton just four minutes later.

Just as it seemed the tie would be going to extra time, substitute Rachel Williams sealed United’s spot in the final with a lovely solo run on goal that left the Brighton goalie unable to get any meaningful contact on the ball.

Prior to their nervy result over Brighton, the Red Devils beat Lewes 3-1 in the quarter-finals. A 5-0 demolition of Durham came before that, with five different players getting themselves on the scoresheet.

A slim 2-1 win over Sunderland came before their meeting with Durham, thanks to a brace from Nikita Parris.

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Chelsea vs Aston Villa

Good chances for both sides got the game off to a strong start from the off. Despite Aston Villa enjoying a strong start to the game, it was Chelsea who dominated the opening 30 minutes.

As the first half progressed, the game became far more open, with both Lauren James and Lucy Staniforth having good chances for their sides. 

The second half saw an initial period of dominance for the Blues as Villa were unable to find their rhythm. No sooner had the Villans regained their composure, their defence was broken by a stunning Chelsea header.

Australian international Sam Kerr’s 60th minute effort saw Hannah Hampton unable to get enough behind the ball to maintain the deadlock. 

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Chelsea’s quarter-final meeting was a much more comfortable affair — a 3-1 win over Reading with Jess Carter, Maren Mjelde and Guro Reiten finding the back of the net.

Prior to that, the Blues knocked out 14-time FA Cup winners Arsenal after a 2-0 victory. This followed a nervy 3-2 win over Liverpool in the fourth round, where Chelsea just managed to sneak through thanks to a stunning hat-trick performance from Kerr.

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FA Cup final

The FA Cup final will take place on May 14th at Wembley Stadium, with a kick-off time yet to be determined.

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