Chelsea fire five to reach final
Chelsea set up an FA Cup final against Liverpool after putting Tottenham to the sword with a ruthless 5-1 beating at Wembley, but they were helped on their way by a goal which should never have been given.
Juan Mata put the Blues two up after the break in hugely controversial circumstances with referee Martin Atkinson awarding the goal despite replays showing the Spaniard's shot did not cross the line. But that slice of luck could not detract from Chelsea's superiority.
Didier Drogba put the Blues ahead and, even though an incensed Spurs pulled one back straight after Mata's second through Gareth Bale, a cool finish from Ramires, a blistering 30-yard free-kick from Frank Lampard, and a late fifth from Florent Malouda wrapped up a huge win for the west London club and piled yet more misery on Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.
Drogba fired Chelsea ahead in the 43rd minute. The former Marseille man picked up Lampard's long ball and turned William Gallas easily before firing a fierce rising shot past Carlo Cudicini.
Chelsea's second came in the 48th minute, but only in very controversial circumstances. Ledley King's clearance from David Luiz's header fell in to the path of Mata, whose shot hit King on the line and Benoit Assou-Ekotto then cleared while laying on the turf.
The ball had not crossed the line, but referee Atkinson blew his whistle and awarded the goal, much to the fury of the Spurs players and supporters.
Tottenham got themselves back in to the game six minutes later. Scott Parker's brilliant slide-rule pass sent Emmanuel Adebayor free, he was sent tumbling by Petr Cech and Luiz, but the referee played advantage, allowing Bale to tap in to an empty goal from five yards.
Luiz was hurt in the challenge and was carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Gary Cahill. With 12 minutes to go, Ramires latched on to Mata's through-ball after being played onside by Kyle Walker and he coolly lifted the ball over the advancing Cudicini.
The Tottenham fans fell silent for the first time and they started leaving in their droves with 10 minutes to go thanks to a brilliant 30-yard free-kick from Lampard which dipped and swerved past Cudicini to make it 4-1.
Florent Malouda replaced Ramires and, worryingly for Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo, Drogba hobbled off to be replaced by Fernando Torres. But the humiliation was complete in the final minute when Malouda got on the end of Mata's pass and slid past Cudicini for Chelsea's fifth.
- Brierley Hill Schoolboys My first sporting heroes
- Was the Dambusters' bouncing bomb built in Netherton?
- Dudley's Stick of Dynamite, Dennis Stevens
- 'The Story of England's Goalkeeper Bert Williams of The Wolves'
- Exploring Dudley Tunnel and Limestone Mines in the 1970s
- Remembering an Oldbury pub in its 1920s heyday