Chelsea and Leicester City reached the Emirates FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, completing the line-up for the final four.
Southampton and Manchester City had already qualified for the semi-final stage, beating Bournemouth and Everton respectively on Saturday. In what was set to be an all-Premier League quartet, attention turned to west London and the east midlands for the conclusion of the quarter-final.
Chelsea welcomed Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge, looking to make it 14 games unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel, while the visitors were led by new interim manager Paul Heckingbottom.
The Blades started brightly, continuously finding themselves in the final third but unable to capitalise on their chances. Meanwhile, Chelsea were dominating possession and looking to seize control of the game, but to no avail.
Chelsea struck first after 24 minutes - albeit through an own goal, as Blades midfielder Oliver Norwood guided Ben Chilwell’s effort into his own net. An unfortunate moment but a significant one in shaping the game, as Tuchel’s men took the lead at the Bridge.
The hosts should have doubled their advantage, but Aaron Ramsdale did well to save Christian Pulisic’s chipped attempt. It was the American who came close again after the break, this time squandering the rebound from close range after Ramsdale had denied him for the second time.
Sheffield United were knocking on the door, appearing a far greater threat as they grew in confidence. David McGoldrick missed a glaring chance as his diving header went wide, before Kepa Arrizabalaga’s stretching save denied Oli McBurnie from long range.
Deep into stoppage time, Chelsea hit the visitors on the break and worked it to Hakim Ziyech, who controlled the ball magnificently and drilled it past Ramsdale. It was the Moroccan’s second goal in two appearances, confirmed their appearance at a fourth semi-final in five years.
From London to Leicester, the final instalment of the quarter-finals saw Leicester City host Manchester United at the King Power Stadium. Separated by just one place and one point in the Premier League, it was a fitting finale to a wonderful weekend of football.
Kelechi Iheanacho broke the deadlock for Leicester, pouncing on Fred’s loose backpass before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home. His opener made it eight goals in the Nigerian’s last nine appearances across all competitions, drawing first blood for the Foxes.
However, it didn't take long for Manchester United to respond, equalising through Mason Greenwood’s sweeping finish. Paul Pogba played the key pass, but it was Donny van de Beek’s intelligent dummy which set Greenwood up for the equaliser.
Leicester restored their lead seven minutes into the second half, as Youri Tielemans struck his shot hard and low into the bottom corner. Iheanacho added a vital third for Leicester, guiding his powerful header home from the back post, proving too ferocious for Dean Henderson as the Foxes confirmed their semi-final berth.
The semi-final - for which the draw was made on Sunday evening - sees Leicester City face Southampton, while Chelsea and Manchester City will battle it out in a blockbuster tie. The semi-final ties will be played in mid-April at Wembley Stadium, with the final dates yet to be confirmed.
It's not the first time the Blues have met the Citizens at this stage of the competition, with Manchester City prevailing in the 2013 FA Cup semi-final. Meanwhile, Leicester are aiming to reach their first FA Cup Final in 52 years, but it will not be an easy task against a Southampton side yet to concede on the road to Wembley.