Ruthless Chelsea finishing and 'ghost goal' send Spurs out

Tottenham 1 Chelsea 5

Chelsea set up an FA Cup final against Liverpool after putting Tottenham to the sword with a ruthless beating at Wembley, but they were helped on their way by a goal which should never have been given.

Juan Mata put the Blues two up after the break in hugely controversial circumstances with referee Martin Atkinson awarding the goal despite replays showing the Spaniard's shot did not cross the line.

But that slice of luck could not detract from Chelsea's superiority.

Didier Drogba scored his seventh goal at Wembley to put the Blues ahead and, even though an incensed Spurs pulled one back straight after Mata's second through Gareth Bale, a cool finish from Ramires, a blistering 30-yard free-kick from Frank Lampard, and a late fifth from Florent Malouda wrapped up a huge win for the west London club and piled yet more misery on Spurs boss Harry Redknapp.

Many saw this evening's game as an audition for Redknapp at the home of English football, but his team were nowhere near clinical enough and Roberto Di Matteo's deserved the win.

Chelsea, now through to their 11th FA Cup final, raised their game to play like a team used to gracing the Wembley turf while Redknapp's team were wasteful and nervous.

Tottenham, who went in to this game with one win in their last eight league matches, will have no trophy to show for a season that started with so much hope but threatens to end with a big whimper.

Chelsea thoroughly deserved their win and will now go into Wednesday's game against Barcelona rightly full of confidence.

There was no indication this game would end up being a goal-fest during a nervy opening quarter in north London.

Drogba bustled his way past William Gallas to get on the end of a long punt from the back but he horribly mis-hit a volley and Cudicini gathered.

The Chelsea defence then backed off and allowed Scott Parker in, but Lampard put in a crucial block.

Careless defending from Kyle Walker then almost gifted Chelsea the lead. He dallied on the ball and Salomon Kalou took advantage, galloping 40 yards towards goal before finding Mata, but his touch let him down.

The Spurs fans thought their team had the breakthrough nine minutes before half-time when Rafael van der Vaart beat Petr Cech, but John Terry cleared off the line.

Emmanuel Adebayor then missed an easy chance. The former Arsenal striker slipped his marker to get in the path of Van der Vaart's looping cross but he failed to connect and the ball struck a post before bouncing to safety.

Tottenham were instantly made to pay for the mistake as Drogba fired Chelsea ahead in the 43rd minute.

The former Marseille man picked up Lampard's long ball and turned Gallas easily before firing a fierce rising shot past Carlo Cudicini.

Chelsea's second came in the 48th minute, but only in very controversial circumstances.

Ledley King's clearance from David Luiz's header fell in to the path of Mata, whose shot hit King on the line and Benoit Assou-Ekotto then cleared while laying on the turf.

The ball had not crossed the line, but referee Atkinson blew his whistle and awarded the goal, much to the fury of the Spurs players and supporters.

Van der Vaart led the vocal protests, shouting at the referee, while another group of Spurs players surrounded assistant Mick McDonough complaining at the decision.

Atkinson waved away their protests, however, and the goal stood.

Tottenham got themselves back in to the game six minutes later.

Scott Parker's brilliant slide-rule pass sent Adebayor free, he was sent tumbling by Petr Cech and Luiz, but the referee played advantage, allowing Bale to tap in to an empty goal from five yards.

Luiz was hurt in the challenge and was carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Gary Cahill.

Chelsea almost restored their two-goal cushion on the hour mark when Terry climbed to meet Lampard's corner but Assou-Ekotto cleared off the line.

King headed just wide from Van der Vaart's corner as Spurs looked desperately for an equaliser in the final 20 minutes.

Redknapp looked to Jermain Defoe for inspiration, the England striker replacing Van der Vaart with 15 minutes to go, but the game soon fell to pieces for the men in white.

Ramires latched on to Mata's through-ball after being played onside by Walker and he coolly lifted the ball over the advancing Cudicini.

The Tottenham fans fell silent for the first time and they started leaving in their droves with 10 minutes to go thanks to a brilliant 30-yard free-kick from Lampard which dipped and swerved past Cudicini to make it 4-1.

Florent Malouda replaced Ramires and, worryingly for Di Matteo, Drogba hobbled off to be replaced by Fernando Torres.

Malouda robbed Gallas and wandered unchallenged in to the box, but his looping shot just missed the goal, and Torres at the back post.

Tottenham's frustration boiled over in injury-time when Parker lashed out at John Obi Mikel after the Nigerian kicked the England captain while he was on the floor. Both were booked.

The humiliation was complete moments later when Malouda got on the end of Mata's pass and slid past Cudicini for Chelsea's fifth.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent