Olivier Giroud has admitted that David De Gea should have saved his opener in the FA Cup semi-finals, and that he was a “bit lucky”.
Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners against Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday, thanks to goals from Giroud, Mason Mount and an own-goal from Harry Maguire.
Frank Lampard’s men were good value for their victory as they dominated possession while stifling their opponents’ attacking threat, but they also benefitted from De Gea’s horror show between the sticks.
Giroud put the Blues 1-0 up on half-time when he turned home a Cesar Azpilicueta cross, with the United goalkeeper guilty of failing to keep the ball out at his near post.
The Spanish shot-stopper’s afternoon got even worse when he allowed a tame Mason Mount effort from distance to slip through his gloves less than a minute into the second half.
Chelsea increased their advantage when Maguire put through his own net in the 74th minute, before Bruno Fernandes scored a late consolation for the Red Devils from the penalty spot.
Giroud concedes that he benefitted from a huge slice of good fortune to score his eighth goal of the season, as he told the Blues’ official website: “I try to stay in front of my defender and Azpi had time to cross the ball well, and I like to take it with the outside of the left.
“I was a bit lucky in the end because it was a bit on David De Gea, it was so close, but it went quick and I think that is why he didn’t save it.”
United had beaten Chelsea in all three of their previous meetings this term, but Lampard got his tactics spot-on as he watched his side book a place in the final against Arsenal on August 1.
“It is true we lost three games against them, even if we played sometimes very well,” said Giroud as he reflected on the victory.
“We have been punished for different mistakes and the team took the chance to do something about it by not making the same mistakes again, with a lot of discipline, focus and aggression in the pressing. We have done well, even if we have not played the 3-4-3 for a while.
“We were very committed to work all together and we have seen it on the pitch, we have been good in finishing also so it was a good afternoon for us.”
The Frenchman added on the prospect of facing his former employers’ Arsenal in the showpiece event and his impressive record in English football’s oldest competition: “I was lucky I won four FA Cups and hopefully this is going to be the fifth one.
“It is going to be another tough one against Arsenal so it is going to be a special one this time, and we are looking forward to this final.
“It is going to be special like last year in the Europa League final but it is true I have a nice record here at Wembley playing in the FA Cup, kind of unbeaten, and I try one more time to be the lucky charm.”