Frank Lampard (Getty Images)
Manchester City bounced back from ceding their Premier League crown to Liverpool to remain on course for a cup treble by beating Newcastle 2-0 to move into the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.
City will face Arsenal at an empty Wembley in the last four next month after the Gunners struck in stoppage time to beat Sheffield United 2-1.
Chelsea were 1-0 victors at Leicester thanks to Ross Barkley’s winner to set up a semi-final clash with Manchester United.
Kevin De Bruyne’s penalty and a stunning strike from Raheem Sterling got City back to winning ways on Tyneside after a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in midweek crowned Liverpool champions for the first time in 30 years.
Pep Guardiola’s men were utterly dominant before the break, but had to wait until Gabriel Jesus was pushed by Javier Manquillo inside the box eight minutes before half-time for De Bruyne to break the deadlock.
City’s eighth league defeat of the season in midweek again exposed the defensive deficiencies they have to solve if they are to add the club’s first ever Champions League and another FA Cup to the League Cup they retained in March.
Dwight Gayle missed a glorious opportunity to bring Newcastle level as the substitute somehow fired over Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross with practically the hosts’ first chance of the game.
However, City possess plenty of firepower at the other end and moments later Sterling cut inside to curl into the bottom corner from outside the box to kill the tie as a contest.
– Changes awaken Chelsea –
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard made six changes to the team that beat City and was nearly made to pay by a very slow start from his side at the King Power.
Harvey Barnes, Wilfred Ndidi and Jonny Evans wasted chances for Leicester as Lampard could be heard bellowing “liven up” at his sloppy stars.
Christian Pulisic had scored in each of Chelsea’s first two games since the restart and the United States winger led their response with a fierce strike that Kasper Schmeichel tipped over.
Lampard still wasn’t satisfied and sent on Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta at half-time.
Chelsea instantly looked more vibrant after the changes, with Kovacic dominating in midfield.
Pressing harder and breaking with purpose, Chelsea took the lead in the 63rd minute.
Willian swung in a teasing cross from the right and Barkley got in front of Evans to guide a clinical finish past Schmeichel.
“It is a learning experience. I could have taken more off. I am not pulling those out on their own,” Lampard said after hauling off Mason Mount, Reece James and Billy Gilmour.
“They will be top players for this club and have top careers. But if I have to do something in games I will do it. They will take it on the chin.
“We are fortunate they didn’t take those chances. All the subs, in their own way, livened up the performance.”
At Bramall Lane, Dani Ceballos fired Arsenal into semi-finals just as the Blades were smelling blood in Sheffield.
Nicolas Pepe put Mikel Arteta’s men ahead with a first-half penalty after Chris Basham fouled Alexandre Lacazette.
United had two goals ruled out for offside by VAR either side of Pepe’s penalty and Basham also headed a huge chance wide.
The hosts finally got their reward when David McGoldrick equalised with three minutes left before Emiliano Martinez produced a fine save to deny Billy Sharp a winner.
But in the first minute of stoppage time, Arsenal broke and on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Ceballos slotted low past Dean Henderson from a narrow angle.
Former City assistant manager Arteta will now face his old boss Guardiola on the weekend of July 18 and 19.
“This is a difficult place to get a win. We are back at Wembley. I am really happy with the attitude and performance of the players,” Arteta said.
“It is a great opportunity to try and win a title and play in Europe.”