Back in the 1990s when Blur's Damon Albarn, a Chelsea season ticket holder, and Man City fan Noel Gallagher of Oasis were vying for Britpop supremacy, their football clubs were scarcely rivals for football's top honours.
A fortnight before Chelsea faced their hated neighbours Man United in the 1994 FA Cup final, Maine Road fans wished their southern counterparts all the best after a 2-2 draw. 'Do them for us,' they pleaded.
Although Glenn Hoddle's team lost at Wembley, much like Blur's 'Country House' single eclipsed Oasis's 'Roll With It' the London Blues were soon on a trajectory to success whereas City suffered three relegations before returning to the top flight for keeps in 2000.
Now, just as Albarn and Gallacher have buried the hatchet by playing together at the Royal Albert Hall (and we'll gloss over the fact Chelsea fan Paul Weller was on drums), up crops the biggest cup match between the two sides for 42 years.
What is now more potent, Chelsea's historic passion for the FA Cup, or City's desire to salvage the last available trophy of a disappointing season?
Chelsea are appearing in our sixth FA Cup semi-final in eight seasons and Man City their second in three. Despite a spluttering defence of their league title, the Citizens have yet to concede a goal in the FA Cup this season and have hit form in the last few months.
Yet Chelsea's recent dominance in this competition - the Blues have not lost in open play since defeat at Barnsley five seasons ago and have won six of the last 10 finals - is the greatest in the competition's history.
The first winners, Wanderers, enjoyed five successes in seven years, but one defence involved a bye all the way to the final.
The Pensioners are unbeaten in seven FA Cup matches at the national stadium since its redevelopment. Our last defeat there was in that 1994 FA Cup final to City's neighbours, Man United.
Chelsea can lay claim to Wembley being our second home: this is our 12th game there since 2007. We have played at Old Trafford and Anfield seven times in league and cup over the same period. We have won eight (including one on pens) and lost three (one on pens).
City's three games at the new Wembley have seen two FA Cup wins (against Man United and Stoke) and a defeat to Man U in the Community Shield, all in 2011.
A child born into a Blues-supporting household in 1905 would have witnessed three semi-finals by the time they reached the age of 21, while a 1970 babe would have enjoyed just four before reaching maturity.
How fortunate for the Chelsea child born in spring 1991. By the time they were 21 they seen the Blues reach no fewer than 25 semi-final matches, the majority successfully navigated through to the final.
Chelsea's major semi-finals (by decade)
1911 FA Cup
1915 FA Cup
1920 FA Cup
1932 FA Cup
1950 FA Cup
1952 FA Cup
1965 League Cup
1965 FA Cup
1966 FA Cup
1966 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
1967 FA Cup
1970 FA Cup
1971 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
1972 League Cup
1973 League Cup
1985 League Cup
1991 League Cup
1994 FA Cup
1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
1996 FA Cup
1997 FA Cup
1998 League Cup
1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
1999 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
2000 FA Cup
2002 League Cup
2002 FA Cup
2004 UEFA Champions League
2005 League Cup
2005 UEFA Champions League
2006 FA Cup
2007 League Cup
2007 FA Cup
2007 UEFA Champions League
2008 League Cup
2008 UEFA Champions League
2009 FA Cup
2009 UEFA Champions League
2010 FA Cup
2012 FA Cup
2012 UEFA Champions League
2012 FIFA Club World Cup
2013 League Cup
2013 FA Cup
2013 UEFA Europa League
(You will not find minor semi-finals such as the Full Members Cup on that list, but you can read about the 1986 final against Manchester City by clicking the 'We Have History' tab.)
There is something else of lesser significance about the second Sunday in April. Don't worry, you haven't forgotten Mothers' Day, it's just that the FA's suspension deadline passes. After this weekend 10 accumulated bookings no longer results in a two-match ban. David Luiz has received nine cautions so far.
If the scores are level after 90 minutes on Sunday, 30 minutes extra time will be played. If there is still no winner the tie will be decided on penalties.
Chelsea have won three of our last five penalty shoot-outs, the last being at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Manchester City have not faced a penalty shoot-out since March 2009, when they won 4-3 against Aalborg in the UEFA Cup. Since the turn of the century they have only been involved in four, winning two and losing two.
Most FA Cup wins
Man Utd 11, Arsenal 10, Tottenham 8, Aston Villa 7, Chelsea 7, Liverpool 7, Blackburn 6, Newcastle 6, Everton 5, Man City 5, The Wanderers 5, WBA 5, Bolton 4, Sheffield Utd 4, Wolves 4, Sheffield Wed 3, West Ham 3.
Chelsea and City meet for the fourth time this season. We will meet again in the US for two post-season friendlies at St Louis on 23 May and New York on 25 May.
Chelsea have played 15 more games and scored 43 more goals than Manchester City this season.
|Chelsea and Man City's season in all competitions|
Most Chelsea goals in a season
142 in 2009/10
125 in 2012/13
121 in 1964/65
117 in 1960/61 and 2006/07
112 in 2011/12
110 in 2008/09
Most Chelsea games in a season
68 in 2012/13 (minimum)
64 in 2006/07
62 in 2007/08
61 in 1999/00 and 2011/12)
60 in 1965/66
The other semi-final is between Championship Millwall and relegation-threatened Wigan. The Latics, who only joined the Football League in 1978, have never been beyond the quarter-finals in the competition before. Their south London opponents reached the final in 2004 under player-manager Dennis Wise, who had previously lifted the trophy as Chelsea skipper; Man United ran out 3-0 winners.
Tottenham do not play this weekend as they were due to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Arsenal v Norwich 3pm
Aston Villa v Fulham 3pm
Everton v QPR 3pm
Reading v Liverpool 3pm
Southampton v West Ham 3pm
Millwall v Wigan (FA Cup semi-final, Wembley) 5.15pm - ESPN
Newcastle v Sunderland 12pm - Sky Sports
Stoke v Manchester United 2.05pm - Sky Sports
Chelsea v Manchester City (FA Cup semi-final Wembley) 4pm - ITV1
Arsenal v Everton 7.45pm - Sky Sports
Click on tabs above for more briefing.
WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea and Manchester City are drawn together for the fourth occasion in the FA Cup. The most recent was in 1971, a 3-0 win for City in the fourth round - the first occasion in seven seasons the Blues had not progressed past that stage.
The only semi-final between the two sides came over two legs in the same season's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
The first game at Stamford Bridge was young South African forward Derek Smethurst's greatest moment. The Chelsea youngster, partnering versatile defender Dave Webb in the absence of Ian Hutchinson and Peter Osgood, scored the only goal of the game at the start of the second half.
Webb's lobbed pass met Smethurst's clever run behind the City defence and he finished neatly.
For the second leg Dave Sexton's depleted men (again minus regulars, including Tommy Baldwin, Eddie McCreadie, Hutchinson and Osgood), returned to the city that staged the wonderful 1970 FA Cup replay victory a year earlier to complete the European job.
A similarly patched-up City side capitulated meekly at Maine Road, their goalie Ron Healey fumbling an innocuous Keith Weller free-kick into his own net, so that Chelsea triumphed 2-0 on aggregate. Chelsea went on to beat the mighty Real Madrid in the final.
The only cup final between the Pensioners and the Citizens was in the Full Members Cup in 1986. In silverware terms it was of minor significance, but as a spectacle it was epic.
A massive crowd of 68,000 turned out on the Sunday at Wembley to witness Chelsea dominate most of the opening hour, despite City's Steve Kinsey opening the scoring inside 10 minutes.
Despite missing top scorer Kerry Dixon, the Blues roared back to take a 4-1 lead. David Speedie (pictured below) hit the first hat-trick at Wembley since Geoff Hurst in 1966 and Colin Lee, playing upfront for the first time in three years, rolled back the years to net twice.
Lee's second came with 10 minutes remaining and made it 5-1 to the Londoners. Chelsea's success-starved followers were exultant, City's were already traipsing home. Then a flurry of goals for the Mancunians threatened to turn the game on its head.
Blues manager John Hollins watched in horror as his players repeatedly hit the self-destruct button. In the closing five minutes of normal play Mark Lillis converted Paul Simpson's cross. Three minutes later accident-prone full-back Doug Rougvie turned into his own net and just before the whistle Nigel Spackman fouled Andy May in the area and Lillis hit his second.
Finally Chelsea regained composure and saw out stoppage time to the claim the trophy with a 5-4 victory.
In all our clubs have met nine times in various cup competitions with Chelsea successful in six of them.
City have won six of the last nine meetings in all competitions between the clubs since December 2009.
|Chelsea v Manchester City in the FA Cup|
|1914/15||Third round - Hyde Road||Chelsea won 1-0|
|1947/48||Fourth round - Maine Road||City won 2-0|
|1970/71||Fourth Round - Stamford Bridge||City won 3-0|
OUR LAST MEETING IN THE FA CUP
Saturday 23 January 1971
Chelsea 0-3 Manchester City
Chelsea Peter Bonetti, John Boyle, Ron Harris (c), John Hollins, Marvin Hinton, David Webb, Keith Weller, Charlie Cooke, Peter Osgood (John Dempsey 78), Ian Hutchinson, Peter Houseman.
Manager Dave Sexton
Manchester City Joe Corrigan, Tony Book (c), Arthur Mann, Mike Doyle, Tommy Booth, Alan Oakes, George Heslop, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee (Neil Young h/t), Ian Bowyer, Derek Jeffries. Manager Joe Mercer
Scorers Bell 54, 56, Bowyer 75
|Other cup meetings|
|1984/85||Fourth round||Stamford Bridge||Chelsea won 4-1|
|1993/94||Third round||Maine Road||City won 1-0|
|European Cup Winners' Cup|
|1970/71||Semi-final 1st leg||Stamford Bridge||Chelsea won 1-0|
|1970/71||Semi-final 2nd leg||Maine Road||Chelsea won 1-0|
|Full Members Cup|
|1985/86||Final||Wembley||Chelsea won 5-4|
|1987/88||Second round||Maine Road||Chelsea won 2-0|
Other meetings this season
12 August 2012 FA Community Shield, Villa Park
Man City……..….…3 Chelsea………..……2
Y Touré 52 Torres 39
Tévez 58 Bertrand 79
25 November 2012 Barclays Premier League
Chelsea………..……0 Man City.………..…0
24 February 2013 Barclays Premier League
Man City……..…..…2 Chelsea………..……0
Y Touré 62
Chelsea v Manchester City in all competitions
Games played 146
Chelsea wins 61
City wins 48
Chelsea played Man City at Wembley: 9,853
City played Chelsea in a semi-final: 15,327
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,884
Liverpool won the league: 8,379
Visit again tomorrow for part two of the Briefing.