Chelsea Ends Manchester United’s Double Dream (Chelsea 1 Man United 0)

DEMBA BA’S miracle volley ended Manchester United’s Double dream — and kept Chelsea on track for FA Cup glory. Ba settled matters at Stamford Bridge with a thrilling over-the-shoulder strike just after the break. United are almost certain to win the Premier League title and came into this sixth-round replay eyeing a twin trophy haul. But those hopes vanished in West London as Ba struck to land Chelsea a semi-final clash with Manchester City. Wayne Rooney was left out of the squad after picking up a groin injury with England, while Robin van Persie was dropped to the bench. John Terry was among the subs for the Blues. And it was Chelsea who carved out the first chance when Oscar twisted through United’s defence and sent in a dangerous cut-back. At the other end, United swarmed forward and were 3 v 3 when Danny Welbeck roasted Ashley Cole and freed Nani. But the Portuguese winger made a hash of a pass to Javier Hernandez and Chelsea snuffed out the move. Hernandez was in the thick of it again on 25 minutes when he jinked into the danger zone only to slip before he could pull the trigger. Petr Cech almost gifted Hernandez an unliklely opener 15 minutes later — when he dived the WRONG way to a long-ranger from the Mexican. It would have been a bizarre goal yet Cech somehow recovered and saved with his feet. Nani then had a penalty shout when he fell under pressure from Ryan Bertrand — but ref Phil Dowd waved play on and it was all-square at the break. It did not stay goalless for much longer though as Ba broke the deadlock with his stunner on 49 minutes. Juan Mata played a ball over the top and the Chelsea striker let the ball drop over his shoulder before hitting a brilliant volley past David De Gea. His astonishing goal shocked United and Tom Cleverly was booked shortly after for pole-axing Ramires. Cech pulled off a dazzling reflex save on the hour mark to deny Hernandez a leveller. Danny Welbeck’s cross reached the hotshot, whose header looked destined for the top corner. Yet somehow Cech, who was diving the other way, threw out a hand and tipped his effort over the bar. Eden Hazard had a chance to double the lead six minutes later when he picked up Michael Carrick’s loose pass. But the livewire Belgian dragged his shot wide and United survived the move unscathed. Van Persie had a golden chance to save United’s on 87 minutes when he pulled the trigger just six yards out. But RVP spooned his shot over the bar though and Chelsea were through.