FA Cup - Chelsea beat Liverpool to win the FA Cup

Sat, 05 May 19:12:00 2012

Chelsea edged out Liverpool to win the FA Cup final 2-1 at Wembley as interim manager Roberto Di Matteo claimed his first piece of silverware.

Chelsea's Didier Drogba (left), John Terry (second left), Florent Malouda (fourth right), Jose Bosingwa (third right), Raul Meireles (second right), Salomon Kalou (centre), Frank Lampard (third right) and goalkeeper Petr Cech (right) celebrate with the FA - 0

Ramires opened the scoring in the 11th minute with an incisive run down the right before beating Pepe Reina at his near post with a fierce strike, and Didier Drogba then secured his place in history as he became the first player to score in four separate FA Cup finals with a clinical finish to double Chelsea’s lead just after half-time.

Reds substitute Andy Carroll pulled a goal back with an emphatic shot in the 64th minute following a mistake from Jose Bosingwa, and was denied a second late on as Petr Cech palmed a stunning save off the line with replays showing it was agonisingly close to being the equaliser.

Chelsea held firm in the closing stages to seal a tight victory in a dramatic finale, and the Blues were left to celebrate a fourth FA Cup final triumph in the last six seasons with a Champions League final still to come in Munich.

News: FA cup result

It was a stunning day for Di Matteo, who became the third Italian manager in three years to win the Cup, after Chelsea's Carlo Ancelotti in 2010 and Manchester City's Roberto Mancini last year, while the result ensured that Kenny Dalglish has just the League Cup to show for his side’s campaign.

Neither Fernando Torres nor Carroll started as both clubs decided to leave their most expensive ever players - at a combined £85million - on the bench for the showpiece, with Didier Drogba and Craig Bellamy given the nod instead. Chelsea also recalled Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Ashley Cole, while Liverpool brought back Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Jose Reina and Daniel Agger, with Jamie Carragher missing out.

Ashley Cole, who won the cup three times with Arsenal and has three winners' medals with Chelsea, saw a lot of the ball early on as the Blues kept the majority of the possession in the opening 10 minutes with neither side creating a chance.

But one of the Chelsea players suspended for the Champions League final sparked the game into life as Ramires latched on to a through ball from Juan Mata before brushing aside the obliging Jose Enrique and catching Reina out at his near post with a ferocious shot.

Three minutes later, Bellamy almost capitalised on a loose ball in the Chelsea box as Branislav Ivanovic failed to clear with a stooping header, but the Welshman's shot was blocked away by the Serb, who swiftly made amends.

Chelsea, playing in the FA Cup final for the fourth time out of a possible six at the new Wembley, looked the more comfortable in the opening stages, while Liverpool’s midfield appeared devoid of ideas.

It was a fairly tepid first half, with both sides unable to stamp their authority on proceedings, Ramires’s marauding run was an exceptional moment in a simmering contest.

Jordan Henderson almost carved out a clear-cut opportunity for Suarez with a precise dinked delivery from the right, but the forward had little time to direct his instinctive header wide of the far post with Petr Cech able to shepherd the ball out of play.

The last side to win the FA Cup final after trailing at half-time were Liverpool against West Ham back in 2006 and the onus was firmly on Dalglish’s side to respond at the start of the second half.

But it was Chelsea who made a huge impact seven minutes after the restart through a familiar source: Drogba latched on to a through ball from Lampard and unleashed an unerring low drive past Reina to beat the Liverpool goalkeeper at his far post.

It was Drogba’s 11th goal against Liverpool and, excluding the Community Shield, he has now scored in all eight of his matches at Wembley.

But Liverpool responded in style as substitute Carroll turned Terry inside out inside the Chelsea box before firing an emphatic finish into the roof of the net after Bosingwa dallied on the ball out wide to squander possession.

Carroll, who has scored four goals in six FA Cup appearances this season, clearly buoyed Liverpool with his goal and Chelsea were promptly forced to weather a storm of pressure from their opponents.

There was further drama with eight minutes remaining as Carroll headed powerfully on target from the back post, forcing a stunning save from Cech, who palmed the ball off the line with it perilously close to crossing for a goal. Liverpool and Carroll were convinced that it was a goal, but replays suggested that the entirety of the ball had not crossed the line to vindicate the assistant referee’s crucial decision.

Chelsea were left to cling on desperately to preserve their slender one-goal advantage and deny Liverpool a second cup triumph this season.

The Blues, however, may yet manage to win a second cup, with the Champions League final with Bayern Munich a fortnight away.

Chelsea edged out Liverpool to win the FA Cup final 2-1 at Wembley as Roberto Di Matteo claimed his first piece of silverware as manager. - 2

Dan Quarrell - follow on Twitter @Dan_Eurosport / Eurosport

Comment 675 - 695 of 695

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  1. LFC fans are independant and have followed no one since­ the 1960's especially not the media who are­ basically home country boys looking after themselves,­ this plus the Hillsborough loss of life then trying to­ blame Liverpool fans is what they are booing at.­ Chelsea meanwhile just boo thru the Hillsborough­ silence, which is a disgrace! Chelsea just about won­ the game after a terrible hour for Liverpool. Liverpool­ need to buy decent athletic players with a desire to­ win and nothing else. Bayern Munich will win the­ European cup i think, although Chelsea have the weapons­ to do it. Should be an interesting final.

    From COLIN F, on Thu 17 May 19:54
  2. with GOD all things are possible for Chelsea GOD of ­ Chelsea

    From Stella, on Thu 10 May 7:48
  3. this is first step 2nd one is coming ok with GOD all­ things are possible

    From Stella, on Thu 10 May 7:47
  4. We're not English we are SCOUSE.

    From A.B.U. 1, on Mon 7 May 11:36
  5. if kenny let andy caroll play rather than spearing ­ liverpool could have win

    From Keith, on Mon 7 May 11:28
  6. The final is gone let us don't cry over spilt milk.­ Chelsea has been crowned winners of the cup. Whether­ the entire ball crossed the line or not is no longer­ relevant. Remember the semi final CL when mourinho was­ manager a goal was given to liverpool for a ball that­ never crossed the line. Well as the saying goes­ "what goes around comes around". This is done­ so good luck to LFC for next season.

    From michael, on Mon 7 May 11:27
  7. Chelsea FA CUP win should not be used as reason to mask­ their underperformance in the premier league.

    From sammyo, on Mon 7 May 8:57
  8. Well done Chelsea - so pleased! Di Matteo you should be­ proud! Shame about Liverpool booing thru the National­ Anthem, but hey ho. @832 do you have a clue ?!

    From louisa p, on Mon 7 May 8:03
  9. Once again Liverpool fans showed what they really are­ Scum Bags: Booing the National Anthem DISGRACE, You­ should be ashamed of yourselves.

    From , on Mon 7 May 6:04
  10. To 855 , if the ball was over the line then why isn,t­ there a single camera shot showing the whole ball over­ the line? Or didn,t you know the rule about the WHOLE­ ball having to cross the line.

    From Alvin, on Mon 7 May 1:07
  11. Great to see liverpool lose after their fans Pretty­ much claimed the have the double before actually­ playing, (typical), Best part though was the money i­ won guessing the score.

    From , on Mon 7 May 1:01
  12. As a LIVERPOOL Supporter virtually most of my life let­ me as one just say if it was (exclusively) LIVERPOOL­ supporters who booed the National Anthem, then SHAME on­ them, if you dont like it then just keep quiet. Respect­ all.

    From Michael, on Mon 7 May 0:29
  13. Neil thinks most posters here are as stupid as he is,­ he is anything but a LIVERPOOL fan.

    From Michael, on Mon 7 May 0:26
  14. How embarassing it will be for Chelski not to play in­ the CL next season after reaching the final.

    From Non, on Sun 6 May 23:36
  15. Can we have a sane,adult, explanation from some of the­ many Liverpool fans who booed the National Anthem? In­ all my years watching football, going back to seeing­ England winning the World Cup in 66, through many years­ following Chelsea at various grounds, I never heard­ anything so crass. I have admired Liverpool as a club,­ for their many achievements - Dalglish,Gerard and quite­ a few others are class acts. Perhaps Steve Gerard can­ get those odd supporters to intelligently explain their­ action? Sadly, no longer an admirer of LFC.

    From David, on Sun 6 May 20:59
  16. You might have won the FA Cup, but you will have to­ play a lot better than that to get hold of the European­ Cup, Bayern Munich are not push overs by any means.­ Good luck to you. Although I am an avid Manchester­ United supporter I still want an ENGLISH club to lift­ that trophy even if it is for a Russian to gloat over.

    From Devilinred, on Sun 6 May 19:30
  17. The better team won. Another poor team selection from­ Dalglish. Spearing and Henderson would make half decent­ Championship players. Enrique can't defend and­ Reina was woeful. Why not use the experienced players­ that he had on the bench. Suarez on his own against­ some of the country's best defenders? Come on Kenny­ use some common sense. You saw in the semi final what­ was required. Well played Carrol and I do think that­ that ball was over the line.

    From Another George 2, on Sun 6 May 18:49
  18. Not the best game ever seen but we did. Well done­ Chelsea.

    From , on Sun 6 May 17:32
  19. So the 'Blues' won! So the 'Reds' lost!­ Is this the beginning of the Tory fightback I­ wonder?????? Can Cameron now feel safe???

    From TOGster, on Sun 6 May 16:56
  20. the biggest adulterer and racist has the biggest mouth­ in the picture...guess who it is......youre right...him­ again...surely he will be silenced very soon...

    From C, on Sun 6 May 16:53
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