N’Golo Kante got the unlikely tag of match winner as his strike was enough to secure Chelsea a 1-0 win over 10-man Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup quarterfinal at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
Kante’s strike after 51 minutes was enough to give manager Antonio Conte a second victory over Jose Mourinho this season after United Ander Herrera got sent off in the 35th minute for a second yellow card – both for rash fouls on Eden Hazard.
Herrera red’s swung the tie
It wasn’t a happy return for Mourinho to the Bridge as Chelsea fans delighted in chanting the name of his successor Conte much as they did when United were hammered 4-0 in the Premier League last October.
Short of striking options as a result of the suspension of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and injuries to Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial, United, who face a Europa League last 16 tie on Thursday against Russian club Rostov, made a confident start with Henrikh Mkhitaryan firing wide from the edge of the area early on.
The Blues then roared into life as Hazard skipped past a number of players before forcing David De Gea into a fine save with an angled drive.
De Gea pulled off a number of smart saves
Hazard was a thorn in the United side, forcing Herrera to take matters in his hand with two needless fouls in a matter of minutes, giving referee Michael Oliver little option but to send him off.
The hosts dominated possession and could have scored more goals after Kante broke the deadlock on 51 minutes, though FA Cup holders United had a big chance when Marcus Rashford forced a smart save from Thibaut Courtois after leaving the Chelsea defence trailing.
10-man United battled on, with De Gea pulling off a number of saves to keep them in with a chance, though Chelsea expertly saw off the tie to set up a semifinal clash with London rivals Tottenham Hotspurs.
Arsenal will take on Manchester City in the other semifinal following Monday’s draws.