Sports

FA Cup: Sterling seals Man City semi-final spot

*Wins for Chelsea, Arsenal

Holders Manchester City will face Arsenal in a strong FA Cup semi-final line-up after showing class and patience to beat Newcastle at an eerily quiet St James’ Park.
Shorn of a fervent home support, Newcastle struggled in the first half against their opponents who are aiming to complete a cup treble after conceding the Premier League title to Liverpool this week.
After wasting several good chances, City opened the scoring from the penalty spot when Kevin de Bruyne slotted past Karl Darlow following Fabian Schar’s needless push on Gabriel Jesus.
But after switching to a more positive formation in the second half, Steve Bruce’s team pressed higher up the pitch and the game opened up before a key turning point after the hour mark.
Although Andy Carroll caused problems of a physical nature on his first start since December, it was his replacement Dwight Gayle who had Newcastle’s best chance when he somehow skied over from six yards following Allan Saint-Maximin’s low cross.
Within two minutes, Raheem Sterling raced down the other end and slotted into the bottom corner with an exquisite curling finish for his 22nd goal of the season.
The errors by Schar and Gayle undid Newcastle’s hard work, but City kept their composure to extend their winning FA Cup run to 10 games.
Having already won the League Cup and with a lead over Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League, it could still be a memorable season for Pep Guardiola’s side.
For Newcastle, the dream of reaching an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley for the first time since 2000 was beyond them, but they can now concentrate on trying to fulfil Bruce’s aim of breaking into the Premier League’s top 10.
And Ross Barkley came off the bench to send Chelsea to Wembley as manager Frank Lampard’s half-time changes transformed this FA Cup quarter-final at Leicester City.
The Foxes held sway in the first 45 minutes at the King Power Stadium, although it took a flying save from Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel to keep out Christian Pulisic’s powerful drive.
Lampard’s discontent could be heard echoing around the virtually deserted arena – and he acted by introducing Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta at the interval for Reece James, the subdued Billy Gilmour and Mason Mount.
It had the desired effect as Chelsea improved markedly. Barkley, who was on target in the 2-0 win against Liverpool in the last round, scoring the winner after 63 minutes when he reacted to get in just ahead of Jonny Evans and sweep Willian’s clever cross past Schmeichel.
And in the first game of the quarter-finals, Arsenal remain in the hunt for silverware to brighten their underwhelming season after Dani Ceballos’ 91st-minute winner took them through to the FA Cup semi-finals at Sheffield United’s expense.
The on-loan midfielder slotted home a low, angled drive to win the tie in dramatic fashion, after David McGoldrick’s hooked finish just a few minutes earlier looked to have ensured extra time at Bramall Lane, reports the BBC.
The Gunners had led from midway through the first half when Nicolas Pepe had slotted home a penalty after Alexandre Lacazette had been fouled in the box by Chris Basham.
They had earlier had a reprieve when John Lundstram’s close-range header following a corner was ruled out because the scorer was offside.
The home side also had another effort chalked off in the second half when John Egan poked the ball in after McGoldrick had strayed beyond the last defender.
There was further bad news for Lundstram and Sheffield United with the midfielder having to be substituted before the break because of a shoulder injury.
Arsenal also failed to make it through the game unscathed, with centre-back David Luiz – who had only just returned from suspension – limping out to add to their already lengthy injury list.
The win adds another fixture to Arsenal’s already crammed post-restart schedule but they will welcome it as they continue their pursuit of a European place.
RESULT
Newcastle 0 – 2 Man City
Sheffield United 1 – 2 Arsenal
Leicester 0 – 1 Chelsea

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