The second match of Chelsea's six games in 16 days was one that they didn't need to play. After a rousing comeback to draw 2-2 at Old Trafford, a replay at Stamford Bridge was necessary to decide who would face Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal.
Ashley Cole left the pitch after 20 minutes, having pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Ryan Bertrand. Whilst this could have signalled an increase in the tempo of the game, United failed to capitalise on the substitution, and the score was still 0-0 at halftime.
Chelsea had more purpose about them after the break, as they surged forward in numbers with Juan Mata in particular upping his contribution. It was his ball over the top of the United defence that found Demba Ba for the only goal of the game, although the striker still had plenty to do to reach the ball and guide it into the top corner.
United brought Robin Van Persie on in search of the equaliser, but the momentum remained with Chelsea. The FA Cup holders went on to secure a semifinal against Manchester City at Wembley, meaning they will need to rearrange their crucial top-four decider with Tottenham Hotspur.
The following are the ratings for Chelsea's starting 11 plus one substitute. Every player starts on 5/10, and points are awarded or deducted based on attitude, work-rate and contribution to the game. A goal scored by a defender is weighted higher than one scored by a striker, and red cards and missed penalties get an automatic one-point deduction. Statistics are taken from whoscored.com