Chelsea ran out worthy 2-1 winners in the FA Cup final in this afternoon’s Wembley showpiece.
Records galore were broken at Wembley as Didier Drogba became the first player to score in four separate FA Cup finals, as the Ivorian inspired Chelsea to their 4th FA Cup win in six years. The 2-1 victory also saw Ashley Cole pick up a record seven winners medals, while John Terry is the first captain to lift the trophy four times.
The FA Cup win was no more than Chelsea deserved who dominated for the first hour and appeared to be in cruise control, until Andy Carroll came off the bench for Liverpool. The Reds £35m striker came on in Dalglish’s last throw of the dice and his towering presence unsettled the Chelsea backline throughout the last third of the game and not only did he score to put the Merseyside club back in the game, but had a goal controversially chalked off that would have put Liverpool all-square in the final.
Although replays proved inconclusive at the time, Petr Cech is convinced that it didn’t cross the line:
“I don’t think it was over the line. If the ball was behind the line I couldn’t have put it out,
“I’m sure it was not behind. I haven’t seen it but I’m persuaded it wasn’t in and I knew it from the first moment.” BBC
Chelsea managed to weather Liverpool’s late storm and the FA Cup win has once again added to the clamour for Roberto Di Matteo to be installed as permanent manager at Stamford Bridge. John Terry has lauded the contribution of the Italian during his time at the helm and the confidence he has instilled back into the players:
“At times people have slated us as being too old, past it or not together as a squad, but as a team we come together and unite when our backs are against the wall.
“We’ve done that superbly in the last 16 or 17 games under the manager. We’ve done Robbie the world of good with this win, and it can do him no harm [in his efforts to secure the position on a permanent basis]. We’ve still got a massive trophy, the Champions League, to come and that’s been the target for the owner [Roman Abramovich] from day dot. That’s the priority now.”
Roberto Di Matteo was delighted with the victory, but insisted that former manager AVB had played his part in this season’s cup success:
“AVB should get some credit for this victory as well because he started our run in the FA Cup, but I’m very happy for the players. We’ve had a difficult season and a lot of criticism, but the players responded today to all the adversity we’ve faced this season.
“I don’t think many people have the opportunity I’ve had. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to play for this club and win the trophy, and now I’ve been able to lead the team out today and win the trophy as a coach. It is special. It doesn’t happen too often. But the players did really, really well today. I’m very happy with them.”