FA Cup news

Chelsea-Man U replay set for April 1

March 13, 2013
By Press Association

Chelsea and Manchester United's FA Cup quarterfinal replay will take place on April 1, the England Football Association said.

The Premier League duo played to a 2-2 draw last Sunday, resulting in the need for replay, per FA Cup rules.

The winners of the Stamford Bridge contest will play Manchester City in the semifinal.

"Following consultation with all relevant stakeholders, The FA can confirm that The FA Cup with Budweiser Sixth Round Proper Replay between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge will take place on Easter Monday 1 April, live on ITV. Kick-off is at 12.30pm," the FA statement said.

The decision means Chelsea's Premier League match with Southampton, which had been due to take place on April 1, will now take place a day earlier, March 31, and with a 3 p.m. kick-off.

Finding a suitable date for the fixture proved challenging due to Chelsea's involvement in the Europa League and the confirmed FA Cup semifinal dates of April 13 and 14.

It had been expected the FA would wait to see if Chelsea advance in the Europa League Thursday before determining a date.

Chelsea must overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to the Romanians to reach the Europa League quarterfinals.

The rescheduling means Chelsea and Manchester United, who visit Sunderland on March 30, play their Premier League matches on the same day, but the decision has irked Southampton.

A statement on Southampton's official website read: "The game had already been moved once for the purposes of live Sky TV coverage -- to Sunday, March 31 -- however, the Premier League have deemed it acceptable to move the fixture once more.

"The club is extremely disappointed that this decision has been taken; not least because of the significant inconvenience a second change to the fixture will cause our supporters."