United were poor for most of the match. A twenty minute period before half time where we looked comfortable was probably our best spell. Lets give Chelsea credit, over the two ties, they deserve to go through.
United started the match with Antonio Valencia right back and Tom Cleverley on the left. Nani, who had a really poor game started on the right but he might as well have had a blue shirt on. Danny Welbeck played just off Chicarito. Wayne Rooney missed out due to injury, and Robin Van Persie was on the bench.
It was a quiet first half that lacked in quality. The less said the better really. Danny Welbeck was a lone bright spark in attack. His direct running was on point and was the only threat to the Chelsea defense. Javier Hernandez had a shot from distance that Cech struggled to pick up, saving with his legs due to the massive deviation of the ball.
The second half was worse to be honest. It was Chelsea who broke the deadlock with a wonderful goal. Juan Mata was not closed down and when given time he is deadly. About forty yards from the penalty box he dropped a lovely pass onto the stretching right boot of Demba Ba who had lost Rio Ferdinand. The Volley hit the top corner and David De Gea was rooted to the spot. Nothing he could do. I know Rio lost Ba, but I personally would blame the lack of closing down from the midfield on the goal. Having said that, sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say well done. It was that good.
United pressed for an equalizer and we almost struck when Cech denied Hernandez. It was a save from another planet. Welbeck flashed a ball across the six yard box with bundles of pace. Chicarito dived for it and guided it back from where it came, using the pace off the cross. The outstretched hand tipped the ball over. A truly stunning save.
Further chances fell to RVP when he came on. A header that he just missed making a connection on. The far better chance however was when Patrice Evra blazed a cross in from the left and RVP lent back on the volley to send it over the bar by a mile. RVP from four months ago would have burried that, I have no doubt.
Chelsea threatened constantly as we chucked players forward, but they could not add to their tally. A disappointing way to exit the cup, and yet another year when we won't be getting our hands on it.
The damage was done in the first tie when we let slip a two goal lead at home. That tie was played a few days after the Madrid debacle. I can't help but think that Fergie fired the boys up before in the dressing room, because we certainly started like a house on fire. Perhaps when the adrenaline had stopped pumping the pure emotion took over and we hit a brick wall in the second half. Maybe I am reaching. But I can't be too hard on the lads. Fifteen points clear in the league is a dream come true and I am very happy that, bar a catastrophe, we will be lifting the Premier League once more