Chelsea beat Liverpool in the 2012 Football Association (FA) Cup Final in a dramatic game at Wembley Stadium in London. Chelsea veteran Didier Drogba again proved to be the match winner as he scored the decisive second goal for the Blues which was enough for them to survive a late Liverpool fight back after a controversial goal line decision, which could have seen Liverpool equalise.
Drogba set a record to become the first player to score in four separate FA Cup finals, as Chelsea, who's season seemed to be in turmoil just a few weeks ago, have been rejuvenated under the guidance of interim manager Roberto di Matteo and picked up the silverware which is now the seventh time the Blues have won the trophy. Interim coach di Matteo, who now must be a serious contender for the permanent mangers job at Stamford Bridge, also joined the elite club of those who have won the FA Cup both as a player and as a manager, after his cup successes as a Chelsea player in the 1997 and 2000 seasons.
Despite a disappointing Premier League seasons for both teams, this was an excellent opportunity to win a major trophy. After a cautious start to the game by both sides, the game burst into life in the eleventh minutes when Ramires broke clear and beat Pepe Reina at the near post to give the Blues an early lead. The Liverpool goalkeeper was clearly disappointed to be beaten by a shot he should probably have saved. Drogba who is now synonymous with the big occasion scored Chelsea's second goal early into the second half after a sublime pass from Frank Lampard, slotting the ball coolly passed Reina into the corner of the goal.The second goal and a the introduction of Andy Carroll finally roused Liverpool from their slumber as they attempted to make yet another cup final fight back. Chelsea had been relatively untroubled for the first hour of the game as the usually inspirational Steven Gerrard was kept quiet and inform Luis Suarez was kept quiet, but a poor clearance from Blues captain John Terry gave Liverpool their chance and some clever footwork from Carroll allowed him a shot on goal which gave Petr Cech little chance. The Reds could now sense a second goal and laid siege to the Chelsea goal for the remainder of the game.
Controversy was to follow shortly afterwards as a cross from Suarez, which was headed towards goal by Carroll but goalkeeper Petr Cech brilliantly deflected the ball onto the crossbar of the goal and it was cleared away. In scenes reminiscent of Luis Garcia's goal in the Champions league semi-final of 2005, which left the Reds fans at Wembley as equally delirious, the ball was adjudged not to have crossed the line as referee Phil Dowd waved play on, despite the protests of the Liverpool players who were convinced the ball had crossed the goal line.
Chelsea survived the onslaught to lift the trophy for the fourth time in six years and they can now focus on the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in two weeks time, if Chelsea can lift that elusive trophy it will make their disappointing Premier League season a distant memory.
Steve Goodwin is an expert author, football fan and retailer of football gifts from the English Premier League and all items are available to ship worldwide.
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