Interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo gave his chances of being appointed Blues boss on a full time basis, a huge boost as his Chelsea side defeated Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool side 2-1 in the 2012 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium as he saw Chelsea go on to lift the prestigious football trophy for the seventh time in their history.
With both teams experiencing turbulent league campaigns this year marred by erratic form, they have both interestingly found good fortune in cup competitions with Liverpool having already won the Carling Cup and Chelsea reaching the European Champions League final in Munich. Liverpool would hope to make this their second trophy of the year and another trophy win might redeem their disappointing league form. Chelsea however would be looking to hit the ground running and continue their recent momentum and set themselves up in a positive manner for their forthcoming European Cup final against Bayern Munich. For both teams, this result could also have determined the future of both their managers. With Kenny Dalglish having spent millions this year on new recruits, the Kop’s poor league form might be forgotten if he were to guide them today to a second trophy for this season. Roberto Di Matteo on the other hand has shown fantastic ability in adapting to this new interim role thrust upon him. Surely if the Italian was to guide Chelsea to an FA Cup win and a Champions League win, Di Matteo must be given the job on a full time basis?
Winning the game 2-1, Roberto Di Matteo’s men got off to a flying start with their Champions League semi-final hero Ramires making it 1-0 to the Blues when the Brazilian midfielder scored at the near post after just eleven minutes of play. Chances came both teams’ ways until it was striker Didier Drogba who put Chelsea within touching distance of winning the final when Frank Lampard put the Ivorian through and a left footed drive from him past Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina made it 2-0. This was also Drogba’s fourth goal in a Wembley FA Cup final, a fantastic achievement for a striker synonymous with the West London club. Liverpool, in their first FA Cup final since that memorable 2006 final against West Ham where they staged a heroic comeback from 2-0 down and again at 3-2 to go on to win the final on penalties, looked to be on the brink of another comeback when controversial striker Andy Carroll brought back the deficit to 2-1. Controversy hit when it was Carroll again who saw an effort of his deemed to not have gone over the line. The Liverpool striker met strike partner Luis Suarez’s cross only for Chelsea keeper Cech to parry the ball onto the bar and convince Carroll that he had grabbed the equaliser for Liverpool. This was not to be as officials saw it not to have gone completely over the line much to the annoyance and protest of Liverpool. Chelsea held on despite the added five minutes of extra time to go on and record their seventh FA Cup final win.
The result sets Chelsea perfectly up to take this fortune into their remaining league fixtures and further into their final game in Munich against Bayern Munich for the greatest prize of all, the European Champions League. Liverpool on the other hand will go home feeling they were robbed of a clear goal and Kop manager Kenny Dalglish now faces an uncertain future.
On Saturday 5th May 2012, WinkBall video reporters were at Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup final to speak to both sets of fans before and after the game.