Half-Time Report: Manchester United closing in on FA Cup semi-finals

Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez find the net for Manchester United during the opening 45 minutes of their FA Cup tie against Chelsea.

Wayne Rooney celebrated his return to the Manchester United starting lineup by scoring one of his side's two unanswered goals during the opening 45 minutes of their FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea this afternoon.

It took hosts United just five minutes to break the deadlock. Michael Carrick was the creator as he split the Chelsea defence with a lofted reverse part for Javier Hernandez, who sent a looping header over Petr Cech and into the net with what was his first touch of the match.

Javier Hernandez is congratulated by team mate Patrice Evra after scoring the opening goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter final on March 10, 2013© PA Photos

The Premier League leaders then went on to double their advantage six minutes later. Rooney sent over a free kick from wide on the left that evaded every single player inside the area and the ball nestled in the right-hand corner of the goal.

United continued to look threatening and Rooney had another opportunity with 25 minutes on the clock, but his low strike from 12 yards out was pushed clear by Cech, who then got up to turn away David Luiz's wayward clearance.

Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring his team's second goal from a free-kick against Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter final on March 10, 2013© PA Photos

From then on, visitors Chelsea dominated the half, but they were unable to make the most of their spells in possession.

On numerous occasions they got into good areas, but a combination of misplaced passing and shots off target meant that they went into the break 2-0 down.

Eden Hazard celebrates with team mate David Luiz after scoring against Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter final on March 10, 2013
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