Chelsea’s hopes of winning the double remain on track after the Blues beat Manchester United 1-0 in a tense and tetchy quarter-final clash at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea started strongly with Eden Hazard shining from the off.
Indeed, the fleet-footed Belgian found himself on the wrong end of a number of fouls before eventually, with just 35 minutes of the game played, Ander Herrera was sent off for a second bookable offence after felling the winger.
Although the second yellow was more a result of persistent fouling of Hazard by the United players than the actual challenge itself.
The decision to give Herrera his marching orders not surprisingly incensed Jose Mourinho, with the former Chelsea boss eventually getting into a heated exchange with opposite number Antonio Conte on the sideline.
David De Gea was in superb form for the visitors, making a number of outstanding saves to keep the game goalless.
However, the only goal of the game eventually came, on 51 minutes, with the outstanding N’Golo Kanté beating De Gea from outside the box.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic unavailable due to suspension, Marcus Rashford took the central attacking role for United, and the youngster had his side’s best chance of game, seeing his effort saved by Thibaut Courtois after a superb run.
In a bad-tempered affair, defender Marcos Rojo was also lucky not to be punished for an apparent stamp on livewire Hazard. Although the Argentine centre-half could still find himself in hot water over the incident.
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While N’Golo Kanté was outstanding for the Blues, Paul Pogba struggled to rise to the big occasion, even before the sending off.
United did threaten the Chelsea goal late on but overall, the hosts were well worth their controversial win, as their season goes from strength to strength.
As for the Red Devils, they must now focus on their Europa League Last 16 second-leg clash with Rostov on Thursday, as well as finally moving clear of sixth place in the table.