Manchester United are through into the FA Cup’s final eight after seeing off Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. First half goals from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba sealed a dominant victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men, who turned in one of their most impressive performances of the season so far.
United were on top from the off, forcing Chelsea into a handful of early mistakes with the kind of high pressing scarcely seen under José Mourinho. However, it was the Blues who had the first real chance, coming when a dipping David Luiz free-kick was parried into the path of Pedro by Sergio Romero. The Argentine keeper, however, made a superb save on the rebound, holding onto the Spaniard’s volley from point-blank range.
Chelsea began to see more possession as the first half ticked on, but United never looked under serious pressure. The visitors’ quality told just past the half-hour, when some tidy link-up play from Juan Mata bought Pogba the space to swing a deep cross into the Blues’ penalty area. His ball sailed over the head of Marcos Alonso and straight onto the onrushing Herrera’s, who capped his lung-busting run with a well-placed header to open the scoring.
By halftime, United were two up and cruising. For all of Chelsea’s possession, it was United that looked by far the most dangerous team, and Pogba was at the heart of everything they did. He both started and finished the second goal, sending Marcus Rashford surging down the right before ducking to head his low cross past Kepa Arrizabalaga. The travelling supporters were buoyant, and Solskjær looked just as delighted.
Chelsea cranked up the pressure early in the second half, but still United held firm. The game gradually grew scrappier, with Nemanja Matić lucky to avoid being sent off for two meaty tackles in quick succession.
Eden Hazard could’ve pulled one back just past the hour, though Victor Lindelöf threw himself in front of the Belgian’s shot to divert the ball over the crossbar. It proved to be the Blues’ last real opportunity of the match, with United’s defence holding impressively firm in the face of sustained Chelsea pressure. It was, in both planning and execution, an almost perfect performance from the Reds, who are rewarded with a place in the FA Cup quarterfinals.