Barkley strike sends Chelsea into semis
Eight-times FA Cup winners Chelsea reached the semi-finals on Sunday as midfielder Ross Barkley came off the bench to secure a deserved 1-0 victory at faltering Leicester City.
Barkley, one of the three changes manager Frank Lampard made at halftime, slid home the winner in the 63rd minute as the west London side joined Manchester United and Arsenal in last four.
Leicester were the better side before the break and had the bulk of the chances against a lethargic Chelsea, but the visitors were a different proposition after the interval.
Tammy Abraham had a goal ruled out for offside and then Barkley found space in the area to clip Willian’s measured cross past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel just past the hour.
Leicester, without the creativity of attacking midfielder James Maddison who was missing with a hip problem, struggled to respond although they did mount some belated late pressure.
Chelsea have been buoyant since the season resumed following the novel coronavirus stoppage, winning both of their Premier League games to consolidate fourth place and they now have a Cup semi-final to look forward to.
Leicester on the other hand have struggled to rediscover their rhythm, drawing twice in the league, and while they are still third, other teams are breathing down their neck.
“It was important to get the win and keep the momentum going,” Barkley said. “At halftime we said it’s not good enough and to be vocal on the pitch, and we improved.”
It was the third of this year’s FA Cup quarter-finals to be won by the away side and how Leicester could have done with the noisy support they usually receive at the King Power Stadium.
They did start the game well with Harvey Barnes having half a chance and Jonny Evans just failing to connect with a header.
Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero did not have much to do, although he did scramble away a Youri Tielemans shot.
Lampard was unhappy and could clearly be heard telling his team to “liven up” in the empty stadium.
Young trio Mason Mount, Billy Gilmour and Reece James all came off at halftime with Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta sent on to add some experience.
Lampard was rewarded with a much-improved display.
Ceballos fires Arsenal into semis
Substitute Daniel Ceballos fired Arsenal into the FA Cup semi-finals with a stoppage-time goal that sealed a 2-1 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday.
John Lundstram had an early header ruled out for offside for Sheffield United, who went behind when Chris Basham fouled Alexandre Lacazette in the penalty area and Pepe rattled home the spot- kick in the 23rd minute.
The game looked to be heading for extra time when David McGoldrick equalised in the 87th minute, hooking home a volley after Arsenal failed to clear a corner, but Ceballos popped up to slot home the winner.
Arsenal joined Manchester United in the last four. Leicester City face Chelsea and Newcastle meet Manchester City later on Sunday in the last two quarter-finals.