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IT was more than a semifinal. It was a duel.

A duel for supremacy, a duel won by Chelsea’s doggedness and two deeds of individual brilliance, a duel with ramifications in the league war.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men didn’t just blow the chance to take Spurs into their first FA Cup Final for 26 years.

They also squandered the opportunity to put down a marker for the remaining weeks of the Premier League season as they look to overhaul Chelsea in the race for the title.

Antonio Conte even gave Spurs a helping hand, keeping Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the bench for an hour with Tuesday’s visit of Southampton seemingly higher on his list of priorities.

But just when it seemed Chelsea were there for the taking, Conte’s men climbed up off their knees to land two killer late blows to win 4-2.

It was the seven consecutive FA Cup semifinal Spurs have lost but this defeat could have deeper meaning for the Premier League title.

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