Bernardo Silva Strikes Late As Manchester City Sink Chelsea To Reach FA Cup Final


Bernardo Silva fired Manchester City back into the FA Cup final as the Portugal midfielder's late strike ensured a 1-0 victory for the holders against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday. Pep Guardiola's side were second best for long periods in the semi-finals, but Chelsea missed a number of chances before Silva delivered the knockout blow six minutes before full-time. Hurt by a Champions League quarter-final defeat to Real Madrid on penalties in midweek, City took a while to recover from the disappointment of ending their treble bid.

They were hampered by the absence of Norwegian striker Erling Haaland after the defeat against Real, as his replacement Julian Alvarez was unable to make an impact.

City were given a reprieve from Chelsea striker Nicholas Jackson's profligacy and Guardiola hopes hard-earned success will provide a timely boost as they chase a Premier League and FA Cup double.

City will face either Manchester United or Coventry in the final on Sunday, May 25 and will retain the Premier League title if they win their last six games.

This will be City's 13th final in the competition and will likely be a repeat of last year's 2–1 victory over United in the Wembley Manchester derby.

Defeated by Liverpool in the League Cup final in February, Chelsea's wait to win their first domestic trophy since the 2018 FA Cup will continue for another season.

It was a crushing blow for Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino, who has endured a difficult first season in charge and remains without silverware in England.

The semi-finals were given a chance for in-form Chelsea forward Cole Palmer to punish his old club for selling him to the Blues in September.

Guardiola said Palmer had been asking to leave City for two years before joining Chelsea, where he has scored 23 goals in all competitions, including 11 in his last six games.

Palmer remained a constant threat for Chelsea, scoring four times in Monday's 6-0 thrashing of Everton, but ultimately it was his team's lack of lethal instinct that proved decisive.

guardiola relief

Palmer's pin-point pass sent Jackson racing into the City area early, but his strike lacked the accuracy to beat Stefan Ortega, which mirrored Chelsea's fortunes.

Jackson missed a golden opportunity to give Chelsea the goal they deserved.

Enzo Fernandez's pass split the City defence, but Jackson opted to get around Ortega rather than shoot and the chance went wide as Nathan Ake made a swift recovery.

Playing with more purpose and quality than City, Pochettino's team threatened again as Palmer cleverly slipped past Rodri for a low drive from 12 yards, which Ortega saved well.

It was the first time since the game against Everton in February that lethargic City had failed to have a shot on target in the first half.

Jackson, in the midst of a dreadful debut season, headed clean through with a goal by Conor Gallagher shortly after the interval.

But the much-maligned striker's shot was palmed away by Ortega, who snatched a header past Jackson seconds later.

City eventually tested Djordje Petrovic through Phil Foden's snap-shot, but the Serbian was equal to his powerful strike.

Chelsea appealed in vain for a penalty when Jack Grealish's hand blocked Palmer's free-kick, while Moises Caicedo was fortunate to escape a second booking for a hard tackle which left Grealish limping away. Compelled to.

Grealish's replacement Jeremy Doku made an immediate save from Petrovic with a near-post blast.

Doku's presence energized City and the Belgian played a vital role in sealing the victory in the 84th minute.

Moving with intent towards the Chelsea area, Doku played a pass to Kevin De Bruyne, whose low cross was pushed by Petrovic for a close-range finish to Silva, who turned home as Guardiola took the lead in relief. Punched the air.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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