FA Cup: First finalists confirmed

Saturday 20 April 2024 19:15

The winners of Sunday's Emirates FA Cup semi-final between Coventry City and Manchester United will face Manchester City in the final.

Pep Guardiola's trophy holders defeated Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley Stadium this afternoon, courtesy of a late winner by Bernardo Silva - one of two players who failed to score in a penalty shootout in midweek when City were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

Silva scored in the 84th minute, just when the deadlocked tie seemed to be heading for extra-time. The Portugal international popped up at the far post to convert with a simple finish, after Kevin De Bruyne's low ball in from the left was diverted into his path by the outstretched leg of Chelsea goalkeeper Dorde Petrovic.

City celebrate Silva's goal that sends them into the final against either Coventry or United.
Despite nine minutes of injury time being added on, that solitary strike was enough for the Premier League leaders to go through and line up potentially a second consecutive all-Manchester final on Saturday 25 May.

In his post-match interview, Silva said: "It's going to be [a] tough final. Between Coventry and Manchester United, it's going to be a very good game and we're looking forward to the final."

Guardiola made four changes from the team that lined up against Real, with top scorer Erling Haaland being a notable absentee from the matchday squad. He was replaced in attack by Julian Alvarez, while three of the back five were altered - deputy goalkeeper Stefan Ortega and defenders Nathan Ake and John Stones coming in for Ederson, Ruben Dias and Josko Gvardiol.

Chelsea had the benefit of two extra days' rest, given their 6-0 thrashing of Everton took place on Monday night and Mauricio Pochettino changed just one player - Enzo Fernandez for Mykhailo Mudryk in midfield.

This was reflected in the balance of play on the pitch, as the West London club created the better chances. Senegalese centre-forward Nicolas Jackson had three himself, but he failed to pull the trigger when he found himself in a one-on-one with Ortega in the first half and twice tried to tamely beat the keeper in the same attack in the second period.

City's best chance before their eventual goal came when Phil Foden dribbled the ball around Petrovic but ran too wide of the target to bury it, and Marc Cucurella was able to head clear.

Chelsea fans may feel their side could have been awarded a penalty when a direct free-kick taken by Cole Palmer appeared to brush the arm of Jack Grealish as it passed through City's wall, but nothing was given. Palmer also forced a fine save from Ortega in open play before the break.

The 1-0 win for City means they are through to their 13th final. United are bidding to be in the showpiece fixture for a record 22nd time, while Coventry are looking to get there for only the second time in their history, having famously won the trophy against Tottenham Hotspur in 1987.

Sunday's semi-final between the Reds and the Sky Blues kicks off at 15:30 BST this Sunday afternoon and you can listen to live radio commentary on ManUtd.com, MUTV and the United App. The teams will be announced in our app one hour earlier.