Olivier Giroud's wonderful goal and an Alvaro Morata header earned Chelsea a 2-0 win against Southampton on Sunday and a return to the FA Cup final.
Antonio Conte selected Giroud over Morata in attack and the France forward rewarded that faith with the opening goal in the first minute of the second half.
Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard combined superbly to find Giroud in the box but he still had a lot to do, jinking away from a series of challenges before prodding past Alex McCarthy.
Shane Long wasted a golden opportunity to grab a leveller for Mark Hughes' men, the Southampton striker's heavy first touch preventing him getting a shot on goal, while he also saw a penalty shout turned away by referee Martin Atkinson.
Conte's tactical nous has been questioned in what has been a difficult season but his decision to replace Giroud with Morata with 10 minutes to go proved a masterstroke, Morata heading in a Cesar Azpilicueta cross 88 seconds after his arrival.
The win sees Chelsea advance to a meeting with Manchester United on May 19 and the chance to avenge last year's defeat to Arsenal in the Wembley showpiece.
Hazard, looking refreshed after being left out of the starting XI for Thursday's win at Burnley, rifled just over the angle in the fifth minute as Chelsea started on top.
The Belgium winger then drove through the centre of the pitch, teeing up Willian to crack an effort against the top of the crossbar.
Willian's 14th-minute free-kick was too high to worry McCarthy and Mario Lemina failed to seriously test stand-in goalkeeper Willy Caballero with a hopeful strike at the other end.
Fabregas was running the midfield and, when Giroud flicked his chipped cross into the air, the striker twisted to direct an acrobatic volley wide of the post.
Giroud - who scored twice from the bench in a comeback Premier League win at Southampton last weekend - found the net 27 seconds into the second half, though.
Another cute Fabregas ball into the box was plucked out of the air by Hazard, who regained balance and composure to play in Giroud, the target man brilliantly dribbling past three Southampton defenders before stabbing home.
22 - Olivier Giroud has had a hand in 22 goals in his 26 FA Cup appearances (15 goals, 7 assists), more than any other player in the competition since his debut in January 2013. Dancing. pic.twitter.com/CiB4xUSZLZ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018
Southampton had barely threatened but Long found himself through on Caballero's goal after Charlie Austin dummied Wesley Hoedt's pass, the striker's control badly letting him down.
Atkinson rejected Long's weak penalty appeals and there were boos from the Chelsea fans for Conte's decision to bring on Tiemoue Bakayoko in place of Willian, who walked straight down the tunnel.
Former Chelsea player Hughes introduced attacking duo Nathan Redmond and Dusan Tadic in the 63rd minute in search of an equaliser, Caballero brilliantly denying the English winger with his legs.
But it was a Chelsea change that proved decisive, Morata heading home his third goal of 2018 from a precise Azpilicueta centre, although Charlie Austin almost pulled one back only to be denied by the post.
9 - Alvaro Morata has scored nine headed goals in all comps; two more than any other Premier League player. Bonce.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 22, 2018
Key Opta stats:
- Mark Hughes is just the second manager to be eliminated from the FA Cup as manager of two Premier League teams (Stoke and Southampton) in a single season, after Glenn Hoddle in 2000-01 with Southampton and Spurs.
- Since losing 3-1 to Southampton at home in October 2015, Chelsea have gone on to win the following six games against them in all competitions – their longest ever winning streak against the Saints.
- The Blues have reached the FA Cup final in successive campaigns for the first time since 2009 and 2010, and the 13th in their history; only Arsenal (20), Man Utd (20) and Liverpool (14) progressing to the final on more occasions.
- Chelsea have won seven of their eight FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, with their only loss coming against Manchester City in 2013.
- Olivier Giroud has had a hand in 22 goals in his 26 FA Cup appearances (15 goals, 7 assists), more than any other player in the competition since his debut in January 2013.
- Alvaro Morata has scored nine headed goals in all competitions this season; two more than any other Premier League player.
- All seven of Cesar Azpilicueta’s assists this season have come for Alvaro Morata (Premier League 6, FA Cup 1).
24 de enero 2019
|Nadal plays tennis from a different dimension, says stunned Tsitsipas|
|Van Bronckhorst to step down as Feyenoord boss|
|Osaka unfazed by Nissin ad controversy as Australian Open final looms|
|Mikel joins Middlesbrough on short-term deal|
|New serve, new Nadal – Aus Open may be start of unexpected hard-court assault|
|Starc takes landmark wicket as Aussies dominate day one|
|Skriniar close to new Inter contract|
|Imperious Nadal blasts past Tsitsipas into Melbourne final|
|Former Cardiff boss Solskjaer praying for good news on missing Sala|
|Sanchez to face Arsenal as Solskjaer backs Gunners fans to spur him on|
|I did nothing wrong! - Pliskova stunned by ´unbelievable´ Osaka|
|Solskjaer optimistic about De Gea, Martial contracts|
|Young ready to lead Pacers in Oladipo´s absence|
|Kvitova breaking down mental barriers in Melbourne run|
|Neymar has ´painful recurrence´ of foot injury, PSG confirm|
|Sala search begins for third day|
|Pochettino fears VAR will ´annoy´ Premier League fans|
|Osaka through to Melbourne decider after Pliskova thriller|
|Tsitsipas Souvlaki official as Australian Open star is honoured in Melbourne|
|Pacers earn big win over Raptors, Oladipo injured|
|Harden pleased to entertain Knicks fans in 61-point display|
|Kvitova overcomes extreme heat for spot in Aus Open final|
|Man United have their club back – Scholes revels in Solskjaer revival|
|Harden matches another Chamberlain feat with 61-point game|
|Capitals give up fourth hat-trick in five games|
|Durant leaving Warriors would be ´great´ for NBA, says McGrady|
|McEnroe: Serena choked in Australian Open loss|
|De Jong an ´important addition´ at Barca, says Valverde|
|´Better outcome than we originally feared´ – Agent on Anthony Davis injury|
|Pacers sweating on Oladipo injury after Indiana star leaves on stretcher|
|De Jong: I spoke to PSG and City before signing for Barca|
|Guardiola wants finals habit at Man City|
|Lakers star LeBron won´t face Timberwolves|
|Valverde doesn´t regret resting Messi despite Barcelona loss|
|In my heart and in my prayers - Ben Yedder pays tribute to missing Sala|
|Real Madrid reclaim world´s highest-earning club title from Manchester United|
|Messi absence no excuse for Barcelona loss, says Suarez|
|Humble Higuain excited by Sarri reunion|
|He must not come and cry after – Goncalves unapologetic over Neymar injury|
|Serie A record-breaker under Sarri - the Opta numbers behind new Chelsea striker Higuain|
|PSG boss Tuchel ´worried´ after Neymar sent to hospital with another foot injury|
|Coles commits to New Zealand and Hurricanes until 2021|
23 de enero 2019
|Guardiola praises City mentality on ´dangerous´ Burton pitch|
|England won ´attritional´ battle, says Anderson after latest landmark|
|AEK, Brose Bamberg secure last-16 spots|
|Sevilla 2 Barcelona 0: Resting Messi backfires for Copa del Rey holders|
|Sarri: Chelsea players agree with me on motivation comments|
|Morata asked to leave Chelsea a month ago, says Sarri|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2 Strasbourg 0: Neymar suffers injury scare in Coupe victory|
|Anderson´s four-wicket haul rocks Windies|
|Burton Albion 0 Manchester City 1 (0-10 agg): Holders coast through to clinch Wembley return|
|PSG´s Neymar hobbles off in Coupe de France clash|
|De Ligt bored of Ajax departure rumours|
|Piatek completes AC Milan move after Higuain exit|
|Super Bowl LIII: Rams RBs v Patriots RBs|
|Chelsea seal Higuain loan|
|Ismaily kicked out of CAF Champions League after fans throw stones, bottles|
|England star Itoje pens new Saracens deal|
|Palace keeper Hennessey charged over Instagram post|
|Chelsea warn supporters over anti-Semitic chanting ahead of Tottenham EFL Cup tie|
|Joshua primed to make call on next opponent|
|Super Bowl LIII: Brady v Goff|
|Sala search suspended as Cardiff chairman confirms club wanted different travel arrangements|
|Cruyff, Koeman, Kluivert - De Jong following pantheon of Dutch Barca greats|
|Sarfraz apologises for comments picked up by stump mic|
|Djokovic: Pouille deserves top-10 spot|
|Hazard must be more demanding if he wants to leave Chelsea, says Ballack|
|Celtics´ Kyrie Irving to sit out Cavs game with flu-like symptoms|
|Barcelona seal €86m De Jong deal|
|Vietnam v Japan: Moriyasu happy to keep doing just enough|