Chelsea earns spot in FA Cup final
LONDON -- Chelsea sealed a meeting with Liverpool in the FA Cup final after thrashing London rival Tottenham 5-1 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday thanks to some ruthless finishing and a controversial goal that will reignite the debate over goal-line technology.
The decision to award a 49th-minute goal to Juan Mata, putting Chelsea ahead 2-0, appeared to be wrong after video replays suggested the ball hadn't crossed the line when it was cleared away by Tottenham defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Mata's disputed goal added to Didier Drogba's superb opener just before halftime and although Gareth Bale pulled a goal back in the 56th, Chelsea sealed the victory through classy strikes by Ramires, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda in the final 13 minutes.
"That second goal was a disaster," Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said. "It was an honest mistake but when you look at it, it was nowhere near over the line."
Despite eventually losing by a four-goal margin, Redknapp said referee Martin Atkinson's awarding of the second goal proved crucial as it forced him to go on the attack in the final 20 minutes, leaving his defense open.
"We need goal-line technology, surely. You can't have situations like that," said Redknapp, who revealed that Atkinson had acknowledged his mistake when the pair spoke after the match. "I'm not going to sit here and say we would have won. But if you aren't behind, you don't go and open up as we did."
Atkinson made the decision, not his linesman, even though there was a mass of bodies on the line after a number of players fell in a heap after competing for a high ball in a melee in the six-yard box.
"I find it hard to believe he could see it from where he was," Spurs defender Ledley King said.
When asked if Mata's goal proved to be the turning point in the match, Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo said: "I'm not sure. We had scored one by then and scored more afterwards.
"Sometimes you get a decision, sometimes you don't. But I can understand their frustration."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
- Ribery, Benzema charged with soliciting minor
- Ex-U.S. coach denies Solo's shoving allegation
- Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta UEFA award finalists
- Kompany: Van Persie would boost any team