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Chelsea v Liverpool - FA Cup Final


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With the end of this tumultuous season in sight, Chelsea Football Club have their first chance to win a competition this season. Chelsea face Liverpool in the 131st FA Cup final, with both teams looking to cover up their domestic troubles with Cup doubles.

Road to the Final


Chelsea beat Portsmouth 4-0 in the 3rd round of the FA Cup with Juan Mata, Ramires and Lampard, all scoring in the second half. In the 4th round, a controversial Juan Mata penalty helped Chelsea see off Queens Park Rangers. Next up was Birmingham City and only a Daniel Sturridge header in the 2nd half ensured a replay where Juan Mata continued his scoring record in the Cup to help Chelsea into the 6th round. It was also, Roberto di Matteo’s first game in charge as interim manager. In the 6th round, Chelsea beat Leicester City 5-2 with Fernando Torres scoring a brace to add to goals from Gary Cahill, Salomon Kalou and Raul Meireles.

In the semi-final, Chelsea faced London rivals Tottenham. Towards the end of the first half, in which Tottenham went close on a number of occasions, Frank Lampard dumped the ball long to striker Didier Drogba who chested it down, took a touch to swivel clear of William Gallas and struck an unstoppable volley past a helpless Carlo Cudicini. A moment of sheer brilliance sent Chelsea 1-0 up heading into half-time. In the second half, controversy raged as Juan Mata’s follow-up shot was adjudged to have crossed the line although TV replays remained inconclusive. Tottenham got themselves straight back into it with Gareth Bale tapping in after Adebayor had gone clear. But Juan Mata teed up Ramires who chipped an advancing Cudicini to restore Chelsea’s 2 goal lead before Frank Lampard unleashed an unstoppable free-kick from 35 yards out to ensure Chelsea’s progress. Florent Malouda’s strike in stoppage time was the icing on a near-perfect night for Chelsea as they booked their place in the final


After drubbing Oldham 5-1 in the 3rd round, Liverpool were drawn against league winners Manchester United who had knocked out defending champions Manchester City in the previous round. The match took place in the wake of the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra racial abuse incident. After a tense game, Liverpool nicked it right at the end as Dirk Kuyt ghosted into the United penalty area to finish from a Andy Carrol flick-on. In the 5th round, Liverpool thrashed Brighton & Hove Albion 6-1. In the sixth round, Liverpool overcame last year’s finalist Stoke City after Stewart Downing scored in the 2nd half to send The Reds through.

Liverpool were drawn against Merseyside rivals Everton in the semi-finals. A howler from the Liverpool defence saw Jelavic score in the 24th minute but Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll scored in the 2nd half to send them through to the final. Carroll redeemed himself after a glaring miss at the start of the 2nd half.


FA Cup wins – Chelsea -6, Liverpool -7

It is Chelsea’s fourth FA Cup final in 6 years. They have won all 3

On the 3 previous occasions when Liverpool have beaten Everton in the FA Cup semi-finals, they have lost in the final

Chelsea haven’t beaten Liverpool since the 2-0 win at Anfield in 2010

Chelsea coach Roberto di Matteo, who has transformed their season since taking over from Andre Villas-Boas at the beginning of March, has a special affinity with the FA Cup and holds two records that can never be broken.

His goal after 43 seconds for Chelsea in the 1997 win over Middlesbrough was the fastest scored in the final at the old Wembley and his winner against Aston Villa in 2000 was the last FA Cup final goal there before the stadium was demolished.

The last 2 FA Cup winners were managed by Italians (Ancelotti – 2010, Mancini – 2011)

Previous Meeting – Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool, FA Cup Semifinals, Old Trafford, 22 April 2006

Referee – Phil Dowd

Team News

Manager Kenny Dalglish will bring back his experienced players for tomorrow's FA Cup final against Chelsea. Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Jose Reina, Craig Bellamy and Daniel Agger were all rested for the midweek defeat to Fulham. Striker Andy Carroll is pushing to retain his starting place while Dalglish has to make a decision over which two centre-backs he picks, unless Agger replaces Jose Enrique on the left as he did in the semi-final.

Chelsea will still be without David Luiz and Gary Cahill for the FA Cup final against Liverpool. The centre-backs are still missing with hamstring injuries, with caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo hopeful they could return to full training next week. di Matteo has no further injury concerns.

John Terry

He's very passionate, he's Chelsea through and through, and that's certainly rubbed off on the players.

He's obviously done very well in the league and all competitions to get us where we are today. To win (the Cup) will put himself in a very good position

Kenny Dalglish

There is an obsession with the Premier League simply because of what it holds for every club and the value financially, but there is a satisfaction from winning a cup competition which you don't get from finishing fifth or sixth

Roberto di Matteo

My players have given everything. We've been asking them to push and push and push and they've done well. We'll regroup and pick them up. We've got a big game, a great final, on Saturday and we'll go again.We'll look forward to the FA Cup final. It's a great event and the motivation is going to be there

Players to watch

Chelsea – Didier Drogba – The Wembley King almost always turns up in the big games and Liverpool should be wary of him tonight

Liverpool – Steven Gerrard – Another big game player. Like Drogba, he could turn the game on its head

The beauty of a knock-out game is such that one moment of brilliance or one moment of madness is all it takes to separate 2 sides. There are no favorites but only 2 teams who will go all out to win the Cup. It all boils down to which team handles the pressure better. Chelsea and Liverpool are familiar foes having faced each other 30 times in the last 7 years but its the first time Dalglish will go up against di Matteo. The magic of the FA Cup will once again capture the footballing world. Sit back and enjoy

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65 posts today Spike :clap:

For the record, I think I got to 100 once, and I'm certain Steve has broken that 2 or 3 times as well.

and he says he's not goin for the biggest contributor award

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