'Not fit for purpose' – National media slam Michael Oliver as Chelsea denied Man City penalty

Bernardo Silva of Manchester city celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Emirates FA Cup Semi Final match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on April 20, 2024
Bernardo Silva fired Manchester City into the FA Cup final -Credit:Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

The national media have reacted to Manchester City's win over Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final. Bernardo Silva put the reigning champions ahead in the final minutes of the tie after latching onto a deflected cross from Kevin De Bruyne at the back-post.

Mauricio Pochettino's side crafted numerous opportunities at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but Stefan Ortega managed to keep the Blues out. Speaking to reporters after the game, Pep Guardiola revealed what he said at half-time to galvanise his players.

"I said, ‘don’t fight against your feelings’," said the Spaniard. "You are disappointed, it’s fine. Don’t pretend to be happy all the time. You are sad? I’m sad. Once we are here, do you best. They did it.

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"In the condition, we travel to London to play against Chelsea in their best moment of the season and against these players with this pace and do what we have done today, what a season we have done.

"Football is defined like this. Manu arrived in the byline cross, Kevin up, Bernardo goal. Define one season in these details. We could lose today, Chelsea had a lot of chances I am not going to deny that. We had, too. But they did."

So, with that being said, Manchester Evening News has taken a look at how the national media have reacted to Manchester City's win over Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final.

Sam Wallace – The Telegraph

"This was a tired Guardiola team playing from memory of the old passing patterns and territorial gains, but much more vulnerable than usual. If Real had shown the way to exploit the space in behind City’s defence then Chelsea followed by example, although it will be much to Mauricio Pochettino’s regret that he does not have a goalscorer like those available at the Bernabeu."

David Hynter – The Guardian

"It was a lesson in composure where it matters the most and one that Mauricio Pochettino is desperate for his Chelsea players to learn. His team have regularly been a match for the Premier League’s top clubs, drawing twice against City and once with Arsenal and Liverpool. So they were again here, showing that they have the quality. A lack of ruthlessness is what has held them back."

Felix Keith – The Mirror

"Palmer was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty when his free-kick brushed Grealish’s hand in the City wall on the way towards goal. Referee Michael Oliver had not even given a corner initially, having not seen the touch from Grealish, but VAR did pause the game to take a look.

"The appeal was waved away after a brief stoppage, but Chelsea fans might well have felt aggrieved not to have been given a spot-kick. Grealish’s hand was close to his side – and was coming back towards his body as he jumped – but he was fortunate to get away with it.

"Others may be happy that such an incidental action didn’t help decide an important match. Whatever your opinion, most would agree that the handball rule is not fit for purpose at present."

Oliver Holt – The Daily Mail

"The dream of the double Treble disappeared with defeat to Real Madrid in that penalty shoot-out at The Etihad on Wednesday night but the dream of the double Double lives on. In English football’s era of the Manchester City Supremacy, it is a measure of their dominance that the prospect of such a feat has come to seem like an anti-climax.

"It should not be. City’s consistency is remarkable. They were far from at their best at Wembley against a Chelsea side that had enough chances to beat them twice over but they found a way to win, as they so often do, and a late winner from Bernardo Silva earned them their place in the final at the end of next month against either Manchester United or Coventry City.

"Football can be cruel but football heals, too, and there was something beautiful about Silva getting the winner. It was his chipped penalty that was so comfortably saved by Madrid keeper Andriy Lunin in the shoot-out that was the symbol of that devastating loss. Now, he was the hero again."