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Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK
Roads to Wembley

Flo stretches during Chelsea's semi-final against Newcastle
Third round

They might both have started in a very non-traditional fashion before Christmas but at least the two FA Cup finalists began their campaigns at three o'clock on a Saturday.

Chelsea and Aston Villa both began their Roads to Wembley against third division opposition in December.


Chelsea: Click on scores for match reports
Hull City (a) 6-1
Nottm F (h) 2-0
Leicester (h) 2-1
Gillingham (h) 5-0
Newcastle (w) 2-1
For Chelsea there was a 6-1 thrashing of Hull, with Gustavo Poyet scoring a hat-trick at Boothferry Park.

Chris Sutton, Roberto Di Matteo and Dennis Wise gt the Blues' other goals.

At the same time Villa were infamously beating "lucky losers" Darlington, 2-1.

The north-eastern side had already lost in the second round to eventual quarter-finalists Gillingham, but were brought back into the competition due to Manchester United's controversial withdrawal.

Benito Carbone and Dion Dublin scored the goals for a Villa side which at that stage had not won a league match in three months.

Fourth round

Gareth Southgate was Villa's hero in a 1-0 home win over Southampton on 8 January.

John Gregory and Gareth Barry celebrate Villa's final place

It was the defender's third goal of the year and at that stage no other Villa player had netted this century.

Southgate has not scored since, and the victory on this day should have been much more comfortable but for a number of wasted chances.

Chelsea played their home tie with Nottingham Forest 11 days later, and also struggled to see off opposition they dominated.

Frank Leboeuf and Dennis Wise scored second half goals as Gianluca Vialli got the better of his old friend, the Forest manager David Platt.

Fifth round

The two sides occupied the main Sunday television slots for the third round, with Carbone's heroics seeing off Leeds 3-2 in the tie of the round at Villa Park.


Villa: Click on scores for match reports
Darlington (h) 2-1
Southampton (h) 1-0
Leeds (h) 3-2
Everton (a) 2-1
Ian Harte and Eirik Bakke's goals had given Leeds a 2-1 half-time lead.

But Villa came from behind with what became January's BBC Goal of the Month and then a headed winner which saw Paul Merson badly bleeding from a clash of heads in the build-up.

A few hours later Poyet and George Weah, with his first FA Cup goal, helped beat Leicester 2-1 at Stamford Bridge with Matt Elliott scoring a consolation for the Foxes.

Quarter-finals

Sunday was the date again for both clubs, with Chelsea first out of the traps this time in a comfortable 5-0 win over second division Gillingham.


Villa heroes
Carbone, 5 goals
Dublin, Southgate and Stone: 1 each
Shoot-out strikes for Hendrie, Stone, Barry and Dublin
2 penalty saves from James
The Stamford Bridge crowd saw Tore Andre Flo open the scoring before a rare strike for young defender John Terry.

Weah headed the Blues 3-0 up, before Gianfranco Zola and Jody Morris each scored in the last 10 minutes.

An hour later Villa were on live television again, facing up to an Everton side which had not lost a home Premiership match all season.

Steve Stone headed Villa ahead before Joe-Max Moore's equaliser and Carbone got the eventual winner on the stroke of half-time after a breakaway run and shot from Merson.

Villa hung on for their 2-1 triumph with Richard Gough hitting a post late on.

Semi-finals

This time it was Villa who led their way, although their nervy 0-0 draw with Bolton was no treat for the neutrals.


Chelsea scorers
Poyet, 6 goals
Weah and Wise, 2
Sutton, Di Matteo, Leboeuf, Flo, Terry, Zola and Morris: All 1 goal
David James was the eventual hero, saving two penalties for Villa as Steve Stone, Lee Hendrie, and Gareth Barry all scored their efforts.

It was left to striker Dion Dublin to seal Villa's first cup final appearance in 43 years.

A week later Chelsea saw off an unlucky Newcastle side 2-1 at Wembley, with Poyet scoring both goals after Rob Lee's equaliser for the Magpies.

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See also:

11 Dec 99 | FA Cup
Poyet sparks Chelsea romp
11 Dec 99 | FA Cup
Carbone lights up Villa Park
08 Jan 00 | FA Cup
Southgate strikes again
19 Jan 00 | FA Cup
Blues eventually make it count
30 Jan 00 | FA Cup
Carbone magic kills off Leeds
20 Feb 00 | FA Cup
Chelsea crush Gills
20 Feb 00 | FA Cup
Villa destroy Goodison's dream
02 Apr 00 | FA Cup
Villa book Cup final place