Manchester United’s dream of a league and cup double ended after a Demba Ba strike gave Chelsea victory in the quarter-final replay of the English FA Cup.
The Blues, who scrapped back from 2-0 down against United at Old Trafford last month to earn the re-match, will now play Manchester City in the semi-final at Wembley on April 14. Chelsea could even record a double of their own, as they remain in contention for the Europa League title.
United were without the injured Wayne Rooney and started with Dutch marksman Robin Van Persie on the bench. That left the main goal-scoring responsibilities to Javier Hernandez, who was kept at bay by an inspired goalkeeping performance from Chelsea’s Petr Cech.
Chelsea’s Senegalese striker Ba broke the deadlock in the 49th minute, hooking in a delightfully floated pass from Spanish team-mate Juan Mata.
United manager Alex Ferguson threw on Van Persie and Ryan Giggs in the latter stages in an attempt to force a penalty shoot-out but Chelsea held on and are two wins away from an eighth FA Cup crown.