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Sunday 18 March 2012

Chelsea and Liverpool into FA Cup semi-finals

Blues hit five against Leicester City, while Reds beat Stoke at Anfield

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill heads in their opener in the FA Cup tie against Leicester

Chelsea 5-2 Leicester City

Roberto di Matteo's Chelsea became the first team to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup courtesy of a comfortable victory at home against Leicester.

The Blues took an early lead when Gary Cahill rose highest to head in a ball from Juan Mata, before Salomon Kalou doubled their advantage by converting Fernando Torres' cross.

Spanish striker Fernando Torres slotted in after a Raul Meireles pass to make it 3-0, before Jermaine Beckford smashed in a loose ball from a rebound for Championship side Leicester.

A late flurry of goals continued when Torres flicked in a header, and after Leicester's Ben Marshall drove in from outside the box to make it 4-2, Torres squared unselfishly for Meireles to wrap up the scoring.

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke City

Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool remain on course for a second cup final of the season after beating Stoke to reach the last four of the FA Cup.

The home side took the lead in the first half when Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez curled in from the edge of the box, but Stoke hit back straight away when Peter Crouch nodded in a corner.

Liverpool ensured their name was in the hat when winger Stewart Downing scored the winner in the second half, thumping in from 12 yards after cutting in from the right.

FA Cup semi-final draw

Tottenham/Bolton v Chelsea
Liverpool v Sunderland/Everton

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Key Points

  • Chelsea thrash Leicester to reach FA Cup semis
  • Liverpool beat Stoke thanks to Downing winner
  • Semi-final draw: Spurs or Bolton v Chelsea; Liverpool v Sunderland or Everton