The draw for the FA Cup semi-final has been made and once again Liverpool have been drawn against Chelsea. The two sides have already met nine times since the start of last season, this will be the second time they’ve met at a neutral venue. The venue is yet to be decided, but it won’t the same venue as last time, when the sides met in the Carling Cup final at Cardiff.
Chelsea have become pretenders to Manchester United’s crown of most-hated side in England, not because of their new-found wealth or their recent success, but because of their attitude to everyone else in the game. There’s little need to go through it all again now, few people in the country fail to see what Chelsea do wrong. Suffice to say that Jose Mourinho will almost certainly complain about “the goal that never was”. It did cross the line, but being the goal that sent Chelsea out of the Champions League last season Mourinho has complained about it ever since. Last time the two sides met Chelsea deserved to win, but tarnished the game further with the blatant dive by Arjen Robben which got Jose Reina sent off.
Rafael Benitez isn’t worried unduly; he told Liverpool’s official site that both sides will find it is a difficult game: “It will be a difficult game for both teams. We know each other so well and when you play a cup tie you know it will always be a difficult tie. We shall see what happens. They are a very good side but so are we. We have a lot of confidence and we know it’s a game we can win.”
The biggest frustration is having to listen to the former Barcelona translator’s voice once again, and no doubt we’ll hear a lot about it in the four weeks until the tie is played, on either the 22nd or 23rd of April. The other semi will be between West Ham and the winners of the Middlesbrough-Charlton replay.