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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Chelsea Football Club: FA Cup Winners 2007 in the new Wembley Stadium

Congratulations to Chelsea Football Club to have won the double of the League and FA Cups this season. The game proved to be a very tight contest with little given away by both sides. The essence appeared to be that either side would close down their opponents very quickly and restrict as much as possible the room and speed which both are renowned for utilising in their attacks. The game went into extra time goalless, such was the extent both sides defended their goals, and it was Didier Drogba, who at times has been the one to forge something out of nowhere in the remaining moments of matches, who created a one-two with Frank Lampard, the ball chipped over the Manchester United defence for Drogba to touch ahead of Edwin van der Sar.

The goal came in the 26th minute of extra time, therefore four remaining minutes of extra-time and three more of injury time. But Manchester United had had the suffering knocked from them by then to convert any attacks into an equaliser, which allowed Chelsea to be crowned the winners of the first FA Cup final in Wembley since it was last played there in 2000, also won by London Blues. They made Saturday a Blue day.



Blogger T said...

Thanks Redsman and I ditto the congrats to Chelsea on completing the domestic cup double.

Overall it was a very poor game: Ferguson met Mourinho's 4-5-1 set-up with his own 4-5-1 set up and they cancelled each other out to the extent where I tend to agree with Ferguson that neither side deserved to win on the day.

And for me, it was a typical Chelsea triumph of recent times- a grinding victory that does not inspire thoughts that you have just watched great football. Maybe this is just me and I'm too harsh- but with all the money spent at Chelsea in the last four years I would expect to see more than a winning team, but one that wins with some style.

Mourinho is a pragmatist- he is all about the end result. But some people want more from their football. I wonder if Abramovich now wants something more- a winning team that plays eye-catching football like Wenger has achieved at Arsenal or Rijkaard at Barca. For me this is the next level for Mourinho - but does he want to reach it? My feeling about Mourinho is that he is such a pragmatist about getting 'the win' that he doesn't care about achieving stunning football.

As for Man Utd- they already had the title in their bag and seemed to turn up as if their minds were half-way in the summer holidays. There was no zest to their play- and to play Rooney as a lone striker was baffling... wasn't this the same tactic that Eriksson was heavily criticised for in the last World Cup. For me Chelsea NEED to be attacked by central two strikers- and Man Utd have had the 4-4-2 nearly all season. Why not Smith and Rooney up front as we saw against Roma?

Man Utd are deserving champs but they didn't finish the season like great champions- being humbled in Milan and putting out virtual 'B' teams in the league at Stamford Bridge (for me as champions they should have played their best team and proven themselves against the runners-up) and at home to West Ham, before being beaten yesterday in lacklustre style. For me, Ferguson's cautious selections and tactics in these closing games were incorrect and possibly contributed to the lack of vitality in the Man Utd performance yesterday.

A closing mention for Drogba's goal- he is an excellent striker and team-player who plays with great heart. If he cut out some of the hystrionics in his game he would probably have more supporters- but I have liked him for a long time now and it was great one-two that he worked with Lampard to win the game. Well done DD.

5/20/2007 4:11 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Great comment, T, practically sums up my understanding of the final. this was the second time SAF had played the 4-5-1 to no avail in an important cup game, the previous time was in Milan. Ronaldo had two against him whenever he was on the ball though sometimes even thathas not been enough in the league. Giggs was on the right with Ronaldo left again, as in Milan, with Rooney alone and the likes of Solskjaer and Smith on the bench. Was SAF trying to influence something else out of this formation, strengthen Utd's approach within it?

Both teams cancelled out each other and it was a match where one mistake at the back would possibly separated the winner and loser, and such an error came at a crucial moment of just before the end of extra time. Is this a new phase where a team like Utd may realise they have not the resolve or conviction to carry on the fight and can only react when a really good chance opens for them? Their dangermen may be Rooney and Ronaldo but Chelsea's was clearly Lampard and Drogba, the same two who combined to score. The same two who hardly give up.

Mourinho wants to take the credit for the victory. Credit goes to Drogba and Lampard.


5/21/2007 11:39 am

Blogger T said...

Redsman, my friend, that is elitefootballtalk!

5/21/2007 10:40 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can i interupt the love in to say that this years FA cup final was the worst i've seen in many a year and i actually nodded off twice. Congrats to chelsea but im not sure if thats really the right word. great to see that money doesn't always get you the title.

good site.

5/22/2007 10:37 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Thanks Anon.


5/22/2007 5:16 pm

Blogger T said...

LOL... interrupt anytime anon, and thanks for your comment.

5/22/2007 7:08 pm


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