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Man City captain excited about crunch Chelsea fixture

Manchester City captain Steph Houghton is relishing a battle with holders Chelsea for a Wembley place after the teams were drawn against each other in the SSE Women's FA Cup semi-finals.

Houghton is excited about the prospect of facing Chelsea. Credit: PA

For the second year in a row the teams will go head to head in the last four of the competition, and City will be seeking revenge at Chelsea's Wheatsheaf Park home after being defeated 1-0 by Emma Hayes' Blues 12 months ago.

The semi-finals will be played on April 17, with Arsenal having home advantage against Sunderland in the other tie. The final takes place at Wembley on May 14.

Houghton, who is preparing to skipper England in a Euro 2017 qualifier against Belgium on Friday night, said:

We know when you get to the semi-finals you can play anyone, and we always try to concentrate on ourselves.

Any game at this level will be tough and we want to be in the final. If that means having to go to Chelsea and beating them, and performing as well as we have previously against them, that'll be one we'll be up for and looking forward to.

– Man City and England captain Steph Houghton



Diego Costa avoids action over alleged gesture to Everton fans

Chelsea striker Diego Costa. Credit: PA

Chelsea's Diego Costa will not face any action following a gesture he made to Everton supporters during Saturday's FA Cup game at Goodison Park.

The Spain striker had been given until 6pm on Wednesday by the Football Association to explain the gesture towards home fans at half-time of the match, which Chelsea lost 2-0.

A charge, and a one-match ban, could have followed, but there was some welcome relief for the 27-year-old when the FA issued a statement which read: "Having considered the evidence and Diego Costa's observations in relation to a gesture the Chelsea forward made towards Everton supporters at half-time of Saturday's FA Cup sixth-round tie, the FA is satisfied no further action is required."

Costa has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to a misconduct charge for his reaction to his 84th-minute dismissal by referee Michael Oliver in the same game.

Traore shows promise up front for Chelsea

Chelsea striker Bertrand Traore. Credit: PA

Bertrand Traore has earned his chance to lead the Chelsea attack, according to manager Guus Hiddink.

Diego Costa was missing from the side which drew 1-1 with Stoke to rest a minor tendon injury but is expected to be fit for the Champions League crunch against Paris St-Germain on Wednesday.

French striker Loic Remy was left on the bench in favour of Traore against the Potters. And the 20-year-old grabbed his chance on only his second Blues start by firing in a memorable goal from 20 yards.

"You see in parts of the game that he has quality," said Hiddink.

"It's a little bit different when you start at Stamford Bridge from the beginning. You can see he has quality but young players have to try to control and dominate their nerves and you could see that at the beginning.

"But he showed with the goal that he has the capacity to do a lot.

"The strikers compete amongst themselves in a healthy way. If they show what they do in training then it will be rewarded."

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