Soccer FA Cup Chelsea Smashes Tottenham in Semifinal With 5-1 Triumph

Goals by Didier Drogba and Juan Mata either side of halftime put Chelsea in command before Gareth Bale replied for Spurs. But Ramires, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda struck again for the Blues who will meet Liverpool in the final next month.

LONDON - Chelsea reached the FA Cup final for the 11th time with a comprehensive, if controversial, 5-1 thrashing of London rival Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Sunday.

Goals by Didier Drogba and Juan Mata either side of halftime put Chelsea in command before Gareth Bale replied for Spurs. But Ramires, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda struck again for the Blues who will meet Liverpool in the final next month.

Chelsea’s Ramires celebrating after scoring April 15, 2012.Reuters

Mata's goal in the 49th minute proved the major talking point as his shot appeared to have been blocked before crossing the line, only for referee Martin Atkinson to award the goal.

In the end the decision did not prove decisive, as Chelsea ran out the easy winner to give itself a boost before hosting Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday.

Chelsea, the FA Cup winner in 2009 and 2010, took the lead against the run of play in the 43rd minute when Drogba controlled Lampard's lofted pass, held off William Gallas and thrashed an unstoppable shot past Carlo Cudicini, one of three former Chelsea players wearing Spurs shirts.

Bale scored into an empty goal after Petr Cech had sent Emmanuel Adebayor tumbling after 56 minutes to give Spurs hope. However, Ramires dinked home a third for Chelsea after 77 minutes, and Lampard's superb free kick had the Spurs fans heading for the exits long before the end.

Malouda completed the rout in stoppage time.