De Gea gifts Chelsea FA Cup final spot

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BRITAIN SOCCER ENGLISH FA CUP SEMI FINAL

Chelsea were the beneficiaries of some goalkeeping errors from Manchester United's David de Gea

At least David de Gea was spared having a crowd inside Wembley to witness his latest mistakes in the Manchester United goal.

Chelsea will be returning to the national stadium on August 1 to face Arsenal in an all-London FA Cup final after they were gifted their goals in a 3-1 victory over United 3-1 on Sunday,

De Gea's first mistake came in the 11th minute of first-half stoppage time.

Olivier Giroud's close-range deft touch from Cesar Azpilicueta's cross should have been kept out but de Gea could only push the ball into his own goal.

United, who were rocked by Eric Bailly being hospitalised with a first-half head injury, returned to the field early for the start of the second half but were just as sloppy.

A minute into the second half, de Gea made a hash of a routine low save when he inexplicably allowed a Mason Mount long-range strike to squirm through his hands.

"David knows he should have saved the second goal but that's done now," United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.

"It's hard for a keeper to make amends, apart from David making two or three fantastic saves after."

It summed up United's misfortune that the third goal in the 74th came from captain Harry Maguire accidentally turning the ball past de Gea at the near post when under pressure from Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger.

With three years remaining on De Gea's contract, United have a quandary over the future of one of their highest-paid players who was once considered the world's top goalkeeper.

United earned a 19th spot kick of the season - converted by Bruno Fernandes in the 85th after Anthony Martial was fouled by Callum Hudson-Odoi - bit it could not spark a late comeback.

It means Frank Lampard's first season as Chelsea manager will end with a cup final.

It will be a harder route to a second final in August, with Chelsea trailing 3-0 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League round of 16.

"We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves," Lampard, who won the FA Cup four times as a Chelsea player, said.

"But we can certainly enjoy the performance and the result."

In this pandemic-delayed conclusion to the season, Solskjaer is chasing continental glory through the Europa League with United.

Chelsea and United will be hoping to secure Champions League spots in the upcoming final week of the Premier League season - and not be relying on winning continental competitions to qualify.