IN PICS: Chelsea reach FA Cup final, PSG move top in Ligue 1

Sport360 staff 23:12 22/04/2017

A busy day of European football on Saturday saw Chelsea advance to the FA Cup final, while there were potentially dramatic results in the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 title races.

Here, we run you through all of the best action from across Europe.

FA CUP

Chelsea remain on course for a league and cup double after a thrilling 4-2 victory over Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. The Blues twice took the lead only for Tottenham to peg them back, but once Eden Hazard came on as a second-half substitute with the score at 2-2, the game changed completely.

Hazard scored with brilliant strike to put Chelsea in front and then set up Nemanja Matic to seal Chelsea’s spot in the final with a thunderous strike.

Earlier, Willian had opened the scoring with a sublime free-kick, only for Harry Kane to equalise with an expertly-taken header. Willian’s penalty after Son’s clumsy challenge on Victor Moses put Chelsea 2-1 up at half-time, but Christian Eriksen produced one of the assists of the season for Dele Alli to level the scores once again.

PREMIER LEAGUE

Middlesbrough’s already slim hopes of staying in the Premier League were dealt another blow as they were thrashed by Bournemouth, 4-0. Steve Agnew’s side remain 19th in the table, nine points adrift of safety.

Hull and Swansea, two teams battling to avoid the third relegation spot, both picked up crucial wins, with 10-man Hull beating Watford 2-0 and the Swans beating Stoke City by the same scoreline.

Everton were unable to rise to manager Ronald Koeman’s challenge of replicating their home form in away games as they stumbled to a 0-0 draw against West Ham. The result leaves the Toffees  in fifth, one point ahead of Arsenal having played three games more.

BUNDESLIGA

Bayern Munich were held for a second successive league game, twice battling back to earn a 2-2 draw against Mainz at home. Thiago Alcantara got a second-half equaliser after Mainz went in 2-1 up at the break. The defending champions’ inability to win allows RB Leipzig the chance to close the gap at the top of the table to six points on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Raphael Guerreiro popped up with an 87th-minute winner for Borussia Dortmund over Borussia Monchengladbach in a thrilling game at Monchengladbach’s Borussia-Park. Gladbach took a 2-1 lead into half-time despite Marco Reus putting Dortmund in front, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised for the visitors. Guerreiro’s late goal brought Dortmund to within two points of third-placed TSG Hoffenheim with a game in hand.

LIGUE 1

PSG have moved to the summit of the Ligue 1 table with a 2-0 win over Montpelier, with Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria getting the goals. The win gives PSG a three-point lead over Monaco, who have two games in hand on the defending champions.

Monaco can pull level on Sunday, but face a tough away game against Lyon.

LA LIGA

Atletico Madrid firmed their grip on third spot in La Liga by moving three points ahead of Sevilla in fourth with a 1-0 win at Espanyol. Atletico left it late to get the breakthrough, with Antoine Griezmann scoring the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute to break the home side’s resolve.

SERIE A

In Serie A, Atalanta kept their Europa League hopes alive with an enthralling 3-2 win over Bologna at home. Mattia Caldara scored the winner with 14 minutes left on the clock to move Atalanta into fourth in a match that could have been far more comfortable. Atalanta were 2-0 up thanks to goals from Andrea Conti and Remo Freuler before Mattia Destro and Federico Di Francesco drew Bologna level, only for Caldara to seal Atalanta’s win.

Elsewhere, Inter Milan beat Fiorentina to leapfrog City rivals AC Milan into sixth although Milan have a game in hand just one point back.

MOST DOMINATING WIN – BOURNEMOUTH 4-0 MIDDLESBROUGH

Middlesbrough have struggled to score all season, but their defence has managed to keep many games close. Not this one. Bournemouth scored as early as the first minute and then never let up to leave Middlesbrough’s Premier League survival hopes on life support.

BEST CONTEST – CHELSEA 4-2 TOTTENHAM

This was a classic FA Cup semi-final, featuring a feisty local rivalry, a penalty, and some great goals. Nemanja Matic’s strike to make it 4-2 was an absolute screamer, fit to win any game, and Eden Hazard’s goal that had made it 3-2 was not far behind.

It goes to show how good those two goals were that Willian’s free-kick, which opened the game, and both Spurs goals – a fantastic header from Harry Kane and smart finish from Dele Alli from a peach of a Christian Eriksen pass – were all but forgotten by the end of the game.

BEST GOAL – NEMANJA MATIC

Not a bad time to score your first goal of the season, eh? Nemanja Matic rarely ever scores, but his strike to seal Chelsea’s spot in the final was unstoppable.

BIGGEST BLUNDER – SON GIFTS CHELSEA A PENALTY

Spurs were flying after having equalised, and had the game stayed at 1-1 longer, they would have fancied their chances to take the lead. Instead, they had to hunt down another equaliser when Son went to ground clumsily in the box. Victor Moses was looking for contact and already on his way down, but Son’s poor challenge gave the referee no chance.

Willian converted the penalty and Spurs went into the break a goal behind when they could have easily ended the half in the ascendancy.

PLAYER OF THE DAY – EDEN HAZARD SPARKS CHELSEA TO WIN FROM BENCH

There were plenty of raised eyebrows when Antonio Conte left Eden Hazard out of the starting XI for Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final. Perhaps the Blues manager was worried about Chelsea’s league fixture with Southampton on Tuesday but, with the game hanging in the balance, he called upon his star Belgian, and Hazard delivered.

A brilliant goal to put Chelsea in front, and then an assist for the goal that sealed Chelsea’s progress. What more can you ask for?

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