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Paul Pogba powers Man Utd past Chelsea and into FA Cup quarter-final

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Paul Pogba helped Manchester United return to winning ways and heap further pressure on Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, playing a decisive role in his side’s FA Cup fifth round win at Stamford Bridge.
United surrendered their unbeaten start to life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer almost a week ago against Paris Saint-Germain but were too good, even without the injured Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, for a Chelsea side bereft of confidence under their increasingly beleaguered boss.
Last season’s final between the two teams was a cagey, conservative affair but the opening 20 minutes here produced more goalmouth incident than the Wembley showpiece in its entirety back in May, which was decided by solitary Eden Hazard penalty.

Sergio Romero could only shovel away a swerving David Luiz free-kick early on and had to be alert to repel Pedro’s follow-up.
Hazard fizzed a shot narrowly wide after smart exchange with Marcos Alonso, while Gonzalo Higuain should have at least directed his header on target after he was picked out by Cesar Azpilicueta.
Having failed to affect the game in the opening half an hour, Pogba suddenly burst into life, clicking through the gears and delivering a perfectly flighted cross which located an unmarked Ander Herrera at the far post and the Spaniard planted his header back across a flat-footed Arrizabalaga.

The creator turned goalscorer on the stroke of half-time, picking out Marcus Rashford on the right flank before motoring into the penalty area to meet the England forward’s cross and power his header beyond the Chelsea goalkeeper.
Chelsea responded after the interval and upped the tempo and would have hauled themselves back into the contest but for the last ditch interventions of Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof.
At the other end, Rashford’s pace on the counter was a constant threat and one electric surge almost teed up a goal for Romelu Lukaku, only for Luiz to swoop in and clear the danger at the last moment.
With 20 minutes remaining the home crowd began to chant the name of young winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, but Sarri refused to bow to the demands of his own fans and was roundly booed when he almost immediately brought on Ross Barkley for the peripheral Mateo Kovacic.
United steeled themselves for a late storm which failed to materialise and inflicted a defeat on Sarri which could prove to be the final nail in his coffin.

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