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A Satisfying Semi Triumph

By Gary Watton
April 22 2018

Securing their third win in eight days (albeit two of them against struggling Southampton), Chelsea just might finish the season with a flourish and even lift more silverware. Antonio Conte and man of the match Eden Hazard certainly seem desperately keen to atone for the final flop last year and potentially end their Chelsea careers on a high. They will have the small matter of a date with sourpuss's Manchester Yawnited in four weeks' time, in what will be the third Wembley final between the two clubs. The recent death of Ray 'Butch' Wilkins will render the occasion all the more poignant, as the midfield maestro played with distinction for both clubs.

Meanwhile back at the semi final, the Blues enjoyed a fairly comfortable passage through to the final, as their opponents forlornly set their stall out to defend. That policy just about paid off in the first half, assisted by Willian who does insist upon hitting the woodwork.

Fortunately the inaccurate Londoners finally found the back of the net immediately after the interval when Olivier Giroud demonstrated both composure and dainty footwork to break the deadlock with a fine goal. Southampton belatedly awoke from their slumber and asked a few questions of Willy Caballero. However Chelsea did have the lion share of possession and pressure. Eventually the pressure paid off when the Azpilicueta-Morata axis delivered another headed goal for the latter.

On the whole this was a happy outing for the Blues, apart from the substitution of Willian which prompted the Brazilian ace to stomp down the tunnel, exasperated with Conte's baffling decision. It looks like Willian will be joining his compatriot David Luiz in looking forward to seeing the back of their Italian boss. Let's hope that Willian and Conte will reconcile before the final showdown with the demonic Red Devils.

 

CHELSEA 2 Southampton 0; half time: 0-0

CHELSEA goal scorers: Giroud; Morata

CHELSEA: Caballero; Cahill; Rudiger; Azpilicueta; Kante; Emerson; Fabregas; Moses; Willian; Hazard; Giroud. Used substitutes: Bakayoko; Pedro; Morata

 

CHELSEA leading scorers:

Hazard sixteen

Morata fifteen

Willian thirteen

Batshuayi ten

Alonso seven

Pedro six

Giroud four

Moses four

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