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Ba wondergoal wins Cup replay for Chelsea

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The FA Cup quarter final replay between Chelsea and Manchester United was a gritty affair decided by two moments of world-class brilliance. They both came from Chelsea players. Demba Ba's brilliant volley turned out to be the deciding goal; Petr Cech's instinctive save from a Javier Hernandez header ensured that was the case.

Apart from these memorable moments, neither side produced much in the way of fluency, with team selections and fitness affected by the crowded Easter fixture list which meant both had played Premier League ties just 48 hours earlier.

Ba's goal justified his signing, as he turned Rio Ferdinand to connect perfectly with a Juan Mata chipped pass to direct his volley precisely into the corner of the net. Minutes later Cech's save had many observers in raptures.

A delighted Rafael Benitez acclaimed his players. Despite being out of the title race, Benitez claimed Chelsea still had the chance of making the season memorable. "We're in the top four with a game in hand," he said. "We're in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the quarter-finals of the Europa League. It's a great season. It could be even better."

For United, already al but assured of the title, the rest of the season could be a little anticlimactic. Out of Europe and out of the FA Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson will hope for a win in the upcoming Manchester derby and then use the remainder of the season as a chance to rotate his squad and ponder his personnel for a more convincing Champions League campaign next season. "We have to forget all about it and move on to the game against City next Monday," Ferguson said. "We are in a good position and I think a positive result for us on Monday will just about seal the title."

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