23 Apr 2017

Chelsea edge Spurs in thrilling FA Cup semi

8:22 am on 23 April 2017

Late goals from Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matric have sealed a 4-2 victory for Chelsea over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a high-octane FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard applauds the fans.

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It was only the fourth time in the competition that a semi-final had featured the current top two in the top flight and it did not disappoint as the title rivals produced a sizzling contest.

Brazilian Willian, surprisingly selected ahead of Hazard in the starting line-up, twice put Chelsea ahead, first after four minutes with a free kick and then close to half-time from the penalty spot.

Twice Tottenham roared back with Harry Kane heading them level after 18 minutes and Dele Alli making it 2-2 with a superb finish seven minutes after the break.

Tottenham, who are four points behind Chelsea in the league after a brilliant run of form, dominated at times but their hopes of a first FA Cup final since 1991 were sunk late on.

First Hazard, who replaced Willian with half an hour remaining, buried a low shot past Hugo Lloris after 75 minutes, then Matic's 30-metre piledriver sank Spurs who have won only one of their last nine matches at Wembley and have now lost in seven successive FA Cup semi-finals.

Hull, Swansea win to lift survival hopes

Hull City and Swansea City earned valuable victories in their battle for English Premier League football survival but Middlesbrough slid further towards the drop zone.

Ten-man Hull earned a priceless 2-0 home victory over Watford to keep themselves just above the Premier League relegation zone.

Things looked bleak for the Tigers when Oumar Niasse was surprisingly shown a straight red card after 25 minutes by referee Bobby Madley for a challenge on M'Baye Niang.

Hull had to weather some Watford pressure but went to the break on level terms and took the lead just past the hour when Liverpool loanee Lazar Markovic scored from close range after his header had bounced down on the goal line.

With relegation rivals Swansea also picking up points with a 2-0 win over Stoke City, Hull made sure of the points nine minutes later when Sam Clucas found the top corner with a superb 30-metre shot.

With four games remaining 17th-placed Hull have 33 points, two more than the Swans.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth boosted their chances of staying in the Premier League with a crushing 4-0 win over 10-man Middlesbrough that pushed their opponents towards the relegation precipice.

West Ham and Everton played out a dull 0-0 draw in their Premier League encounter at the London Stadium.

- Reuters