Holders Manchester City will face Arsenal in a strong FA Cup semi-final line-up after showing class and patience to beat Newcastle at an eerily quiet St James’ Park.
Shorn of fervent home support, Newcastle struggled in the first half against their opponents who are aiming to complete a cup treble after conceding the Premier League title to Liverpool this week.
After wasting several good chances, City opened the scoring from the penalty spot when Kevin de Bruyne slotted past Karl Darlow following Fabian Schar’s needless push on Gabriel Jesus.
But after switching to a more positive formation in the second half, Steve Bruce’s team pressed higher up the pitch and the game opened up before a key turning point after the hour mark.
Although Andy Carroll caused problems of a physical nature on his first start since December, it was his replacement Dwight Gayle who had Newcastle’s best chance when he somehow skied over from six yards following Allan Saint-Maximin’s low cross.
Within two minutes, Raheem Sterling raced down the other end and slotted into the bottom corner with an exquisite curling finish for his 22nd goal of the season.
Meanwhile, Arsenal remains in the hunt for silverware to brighten their underwhelming season after Dani Ceballos’ 91st-minute winner took them through to the FA Cup semi-finals at Sheffield United’s expense.
The on-loan midfielder slotted home a low, angled drive to win the tie in dramatic fashion, after David McGoldrick’s hooked finish just a few minutes earlier looked to have ensured extra time at Bramall Lane.
The Gunners had led from midway through the first half when Nicolas Pepe had slotted home a penalty after Alexandre Lacazette had been fouled in the box by Chris Basham.
Finally, Ross Barkley came off the bench to send Chelsea to Wembley as manager Frank Lampard’s half-time changes transformed this FA Cup quarter-final at Leicester City.
The Foxes held sway in the first 45 minutes at the King Power Stadium, although it took a flying save from Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel to keep out Christian Pulisic’s powerful drive.
Lampard’s discontent could be heard echoing around the virtually deserted arena – and he acted by introducing Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta at the interval for Reece James, the subdued Billy Gilmour and Mason Mount.