Tottenham would have come into this game hoping to reignite the fine form that had carried them for the first half of the season, but has recently faded. Chelsea had to keep the momentum going that they have established under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, who had won eight games out of eleven since taking over. Chelsea will have also wanted to maintain their impressive recent FA Cup record, aiming to win the trophy for the fourth time in seven seasons. Tottenham were aiming to get into the final for the first time since 1991, when they went on to win.
Before the game Wembley stood for a minute silence to remember the Hillsborough disaster that claimed the lives of the 96 Liverpool fans in 1989. Sadly however, certain sections of the Chelsea supporters disrupted the silence forcing referee Martin Atkinson to cut the minute short. Chelsea FC have since put out a statement saying they are “extremely disappointed” and “embarrassed” about the behaviour of those that interrupted. "Moments of respect should be honoured and we pay our full respects to all those that suffered at Hillsborough," a club statement said.
When the game started both teams looked like different beasts from those that had met last month and grinded out a dull 0-0 draw. The spirit of the FA Cup was alive and every player looked hungry for glory. The first chance fell to Chelsea. Juan Mata had a chance to open the scoring after receiving a through ball from Kalou on the counter-attack, but he couldn’t quite control his first touch. Rafael van der Vaart then had his close-ranger header saved off the line by John Terry before having another shot come off the woodwork.
But it was Chelsea that took the lead just before the halftime whistle. Didier Drogba chested down a long ball outside the box, turned around William Gallas, and brilliantly powered the ball into the back of the net. In the second half Chelsea doubled their lead when they shouldn’t have. Mata shot from close range into a bundle of bodies including Ledley King, Assou-Ekotto and his own teammate John Terry. Referee Martin Atkinson immediately awarded the goal but replays clearly show the ball didn’t cross the line. The incident has already prompted fresh calls for the much needed goal line technology in the Premier League, including from Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.
Spurs rallied and had a moment of hope a few moments later when Adebayor drove down the pitch and into the Chelsea area. Petr Cech fowled the Togolese striker, but the referee allowed play to continue and Gareth Bale slotted the ball into the empty net. The Tottenham fans went crazy as their team were back in the game again.
Their joy was short lived when The Blue’s once again extended their two goal advantage. Mata fed in Ramires who coolly chipped the ball over Cudicini. It seemed the result was now a formality but the score line wasn’t. Frank Lampard got Chelsea’s forth from a 30 yard costless kick and substitute Malouda made it five with a simple finish after shrugging of some sloppy defending.
Tottenham’s manager and team felt the game was unfairly swung in the balance after the second goal, but Chelsea can point to the commanding score line to show they were the better team on the day. They will now return to Wembley on the 5th of May to play Liverpool.