English FA Cup

May 19, 2007



1 - 0

Manchester United

English FA Cup

14:00 +00:00, May 19, 2007

Wembley Stadium, London, England

Referee: S Bennett

After Extra Time

  • 123'

    Thanks for joining us for an extraordinary end to what look for a while like being a poor game. Chelsea add the FA Cup to the League Cup and deny Manchester United their fourth league and cup double. All the reaction to follow on ESPNsoccernet!

  • 123'

    But it doesn't matter! The final whistle has been blown and Chelsea win the FA Cup 1-0!

  • 122'

    Kalou tears down the pitch with glory in his sight, but his shot is high and wide.

  • 122'

    Solskjaer is denied a chance brave defending from Bridge.

  • 121'

    I'd love to tell you about all the bookings, but there have been too many!! Cole and Smith have seen yellow as tempers fray

  • 121'

    Foul on Cech from Vidic as United throw everything at Chelsea

  • 120'

    Three minutes of added time is signalled. There is time yet - for United...

  • 119'

    Petulant clip on Drogba's heels from Ronaldo who has been poor today

  • 119'

    United look bantamweight in the middle while Chelsea are clearly at light heavywieght - this is a mismatch and try as United might Mikel, Makelele and Lampard are in control

  • 118'

    There will be some time to add on because of those subs, but will it be enough?

  • 117'

    Chelsea won the last FA Cup at Wembley - will they win the first on the competition's return to the famous venue

  • 116'

    Not long left - but long enough for a United goal - don't count out pens yet!

  • 115'

    With 5 minutes to play in extra time Drogba breaks his duck against United. He collect a ball from Mikel, flicked it to Lamaprd who played a neat return pass to Drogba who turned to collect the ball before poking it beyond he on-rushing VDS. Great goal!

  • 114'


  • 113'

    Smith with a strong, but fair tackle on Mikel; Chelsea didn't think so, and nor did the fans, but tghe ref did.

  • 113'

    Kalou wins the ball and bears down on the goal. Great chance but he can only steer his shot wide

  • 112'

    That leaves United's midfield understrength in my opinion, but what do I know, right?!

  • 111'

    Brown is injured but going off are Giggs and Carrick and coming on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and John O'Shea

  • 110'

    Consusion on the bench as two United subs ready themselves. Is Brown, Giggs, or Carrick to come off?

  • 109'

    Rooney's first touch lets him down as he meets a great ball from Scholes. After beating Essien Rooney was clear through but the poor touch allowed Cech a split-second to close the gap, and he bravely smothered the ball before Rooney could shoot.

  • 108'

    Boos from the United fans meet Cole as he joins the fray. Funny. Sorry, but it is. Robben shares a hug with Mourinho. I think Jose will sell him in the summer. You heard it here first.

  • 107'

    Well, man of steel Arjen Robben finally succumbs to the inevitably. He tumbled early in the second half and has struggled ever since, so the sub is subbed and Ashley Cole replaced him.

  • 106'

    The second period is underway. Credit to both sides, they are trying to win the game and are not just prepared to gamble on penalties.

  • 105'

    Phew. That was rather exciting. Halftime in extra-time. Right, 15 more minutes to come.

  • 104'

    What a chance!!! Smith and Giggs between can't quite reach a ball across the goal mouth from Rooney. Giggs comes closest but can only get a knee on the ball as he slides in. Giggs and Cech then mash together as the keeper saves. Giggs tried to claim a goal as Cech is right on the line. And it was over, but only because Giggs' momentum forced Cech back across the line. Probably a foul rather than a goal.

  • 103'

    Robben leads a Chelsea break but his weak ball is cut out and United counter

  • 102'

    Smith is chasing the game like the possessed Yorkshire Terrier he is; even when up ended and sat on the deck in the Chelsea area he tired to take-on three men and the keeper - great stuff

  • 101'

    Drogba tries and fails to beat VDS with a lame shot. School report reads: Has talent, but must try harder.

  • 100'

    Giggs is feeling a whack on his ankle after a tackle from Lampard. But don't feel bad, Lampard is now winded after taking a knee in the base of his back thanks to former West Ham chum Rio. Nice retribution.

  • 99'

    Scholes picks up the ball 35 yards out after a ball inside from Ronaldo. Scholes tried his luck from range but Terry does just enough to put him off his shot by rushing out to block

  • 98'

    Impressive stuff thus far in extra-time from United. They are on top - but can they make it pay? They didn't in the second half!

  • 98'

    Another poor United corner, but Rooney's graft and invention alomst carves an opening

  • 97'

    Another corner for United - the Red Devils getting lots of joy from the cross-field diagonal ball, Chelsea just don't have an answer for it

  • 97'

    Ignore me, mania is setting in.

  • 96'

    As United are going for their fourth double would that make it their double-double double?

  • 95'

    Giggs take but Lampard head clear and Vidic lumbers back into defence

  • 95'

    Corner to United - up comes the giant Serbia Vidic.

  • 94'

    Both those changes could be viewed as positive, as Kalou and Smith are basically both strikers. Does this mean that Fergie and Jose are after winning it in ET or are they just getting strikers on ahead of the seemingly inevitable shootout?

  • 93'

    And Chelsea make thier second sub: off goes SWP and on comes Salomon Kalou.

  • 92'

    A change for United two minutes into extra-time: thanks and goodbye to Fletcher, hello and welcome to Alan Smith

  • 92'

    So here we go, 15-minutes each way then penalties.

  • 92'

    In fairness, the tension will mount and the next 30-minutes will be enthralling, but don't bet against penalties.

  • 92'

    Brilliant. That's fulltime. Extratime will follow. I can hardly wait.

  • 92'

    Vidic gets his head to Giggs' cross and his glancing header is too strong and it goes over the bar.

  • 91'

    Last chance time. Freekick to United 10 yards in from the corner flag. Rio and Vidic up...

  • 91'

    One minute to go and then extra-time.

  • 90'

    Giigs takes and Drogba of all people heads clear - Chelsea survive

  • 90'

    United break and Rooney wins a corner off Essien - is this the moment?

  • 89'

    Chelsea press: SWP wins a throw-in off Rio in a deep position, but Ronaldo wins it and feed it to Giggs in a central position

  • 88'

    Two minutes of added time will be played before, joy of joys: EXTRA TIME!!! Whoo-hoo...

  • 87'

    Freekick to Chelsea: floated in by man of steel Robben, United eventaully clear, though not convincingly.

  • 86'

    Ronaldo - remeber him? - pulls a shot into the side-netting. Where's he been in the second half?

  • 86'

    Neat play by Lampard inside the United box, he takes on Ferdinand but his touch is just too heavy and he can't quite hit his shot with enough venom to beat VDS

  • 85'

    Frankie's effort slaps into the wall just below waist height (if you know what I mean), a poor effort by his high standards

  • 84'

    Another booking, this time for Vidic after he held back Lampard, who will fancy his chances from the freekick 35 yards out in a central position

  • 83'

    A booking for Makelele for a foul on Scholes. The United players are angry that play was halted by the ref so he could give the booking - they were poised to break

  • 82'

    Robben shows great skill and spirit to battle back after some great skill was undone by Ferdinand. I was harsh on him earlier, and he deserved it, but that was good from the Dutch international

  • 82'

    Did I mention I didn't really want extra-time?

  • 81'

    A clear handball against Fletcher is not given and Chelsea's players and fans are rightly annoyed

  • 80'

    Ferreira shows Giggs a quick pair of heels and neat step-over/ check-back to buy himself some space on the wing

  • 79'

    We're into the last ten minutes... really, please no extra time!

  • 78'

    Giggs flings a hopeful freekick into the Chelsea area which comes to nothing. They'll have to do better than that to breach Terry and Cech's well-marshalled defence

  • 77'

    Please no extra time...

  • 76'

    Vidic and Drogba clash on a 50-50 ball. VDS takes exception and has a little word with Drogba. Drogba takes exception and Ferdinand steps in. More football vernacular: Handbags.

  • 75'

    SWP tries to tackles Giggs but bounces off him. Giggs feeds Heinze, and lo and behold, he loses it. Well I never, and he was having such a good game... NOT!

  • 74'

    Robbem, the brave little soldier, flights a ball toward the back post looking for Drogba, but a combination of Vidic and Ferdinand is enough to cancel out the danger

  • 73'

    The pitch is cutting up quite badly leaving a lot of divots on the surface. So what you say? Well, it means the sharp, quick, one touch passing game both sides favour is being undone as the ball hits the various pieces of turf. Or in football vernacular - taking a bobble.

  • 72'

    Robben watch: He's pulling a face that suggests pain and keeps glancing hopefully at the bench with the pleading eyes of a small child. Pathetic.

  • 71'

    Twenty minutes left and over the last ten minutes United have been in charge - but they have not made the most of it. Will they live to regret that profligacy?

  • 70'

    The corner was utterly wasted and Chelsea press and Robben looks to be OK after riding another strong challenger

  • 69'

    With electric pace Essien challenges Giggs to concede a corner after Rooney released the Welshman - neat play from Untied, great defending by Essien

  • 68'

    Know then, this is interesting becuase I understand that the reason we've not seen much from Robben this season is that Mourinho has been unhappy with Robben's reluctance to play through the pain barrier. I guess we'll see if the player can prove his manager wrong.

  • 67'

    Oh dear, oh dear. Robben is on the floor in a pathetic heap after that challenge by Brown. It was a fair tackle, he took the ball, but Robben looks to have twisted is ankle.

  • 66'

    Brown with a brilliant tackle to halt Robben on a blistering run

  • 65'

    Ronaldo blasts the freekick into the wall and I'm gald I wasn't in it, it would have hurt.

  • 65'

    Freekick to United 30 yards out on the left hand corner of the Chelsea box - trouble for Chelsea.

  • 64'

    Drogba with some impressive back-tracking pestering Scholes in midfield and giving him a good old fashioned shoulder charge - the sort that sees him on the floor whimpering when on the receiving end!

  • 63'

    Great run from Rooney and an equally great save at his feet from Cech

  • 62'

    Robben brings a save out of VDS with a shot from a narrow angle. Credit to Jose - Robben has changed things since he came on. That's why he's millionarie European Cup winning manager and I'm sat here...

  • 61'

    Lampard brings the ball deep into United territory before feeding it to Robben, his pull back into the box is met by Vidic and United clear - the game is finally alive and kicking

  • 60'

    Anguished cries from the Chelsea fans as Drogba's shot from the freekick clips the outside of VDS's near side post. The keeper reacted late and if the shot has been on target I think it would be 1-0 Chelsea

  • 59'

    Chelsea freekick on the left corner of the United penalty area after a bad foul by Scholes on Lampard gets the man in red booked

  • 58'

    Vidic with a great covering tackle after that man Heinze is again caught out... sell him, Fergie!

  • 57'

    Signs of United upping the attacking ante this half - with Ronaldo seemingly having gotten the better of Ferreira after an even first half.

  • 56'

    Great volley from Giggs from a tight angle. It was a first time effort from Scholes cross

  • 55'

    On the pitch Robben's corner for Chelsea is headed clear and leads to a threatening run from Rooney who ran half the length of the pitch before being halted just before he could shoot

  • 55'

    Fact time: Drogba has never scored against Manchester United... I was saving that little gem for a moment like this.

  • 53'

    Nearly ten minutes into the second half and the game is much brighter. Though not because of the sun, which is proving elusive.

  • 53'

    Ferdinand again beats Drogba to a ball, this time in the air from a clipped cross from Mikel

  • 51'

    There is a really spicey little battle developing between Mikel and Scholes, both a getting a little tired of the other and niggly little tackles are being exchanged

  • 50'

    Two great peices of defending from Ferdinand thwarts a promising attack from Chelsea - first Rio stopped Drogba after a neat ball from SWP and then blocked a Robben shot. Good stuff.

  • 49'

    No sun so far this half. In case you wondered

  • 48'

    So, a question for you all: How does dropping Cole for Robben change the tactics? That's why Jose's done the subsitution. If the formation is the same, which it is, he's brought on one quick and tricky left winger for another. Very odd.

  • 46'

    Rooney stings the hands of Cech after gathering a loose ball, beating Essien and shooting from the edge of the box. Giggs collected the parried ball and was himself denied by Cech - though the Welshman's effort was deemed offside

  • 45'

    Robben takes the left wing role vacated by Cole - who it seems has been taken off for tactical reasons, which will be sad to hear for Cole who after an injury-hit season had targetted this game as his back game of the season

  • 45'

    Right Chelsea kick off the second half and the news is that Robben has indeed come on and Joe Cole is the man to make way.

  • 45'

    It must be said the pitch is cutting up and looks a little uneven as a result. Strange given this is basically the turf's first and only real test.

  • 45'

    Arjen Robben is warming up on the pitch. Does Mourinho think the Dutchman can unlock the game for Chelsea - if so who will he come on for? Both Cole and SWP have played well enough and shown plenty of running.

  • 45'

    OK, a bit of analysis. Because both sides are playing 4-5-1 they are cancelling eachother out, stifling eachother. If they were playing 4-4-2, for example, there might be more room for inventive players to create those killer openings the game has lacked.

  • 45'

    Halftime. Thank God. Right, it's time for you people to go and get some more beer and me to get a cup of tea, because, much as I'd like beer, it doesn't really help live commentaries!

  • 44'

    A corner for United is headed clear. Poor.

  • 43'

    It says something about the game, for me at least, when Makelele is noticed he's had a lot of ball and is being asked to create play rather than act as a conduit spreading it to others

  • 42'

    A rampaging Drogba is muscled off the ball - that doesn't happen often

  • 41'

    A great 'Hollywood' ball from Scholes finds Fletcher on the right wing, but Wayne Bridge defends well to nudge the winger off the ball and prevent any danger

  • 40'

    Makelelelelelele (acurate spelling) fouls Giggs on the halfway line.

  • 39'

    Again Rooney is ruled offside, again it was a marginal call and again, for the record, he pulled his shot wide of Cech's far upright

  • 38'

    Oh surprise surprise Heinze is beaten, this time not by a player but an awkward bounce. Amazing

  • 36'

    Frank Lampard unleashes a trademark drive from around 25 yards out, just to the left of the penalty area. Van der Sar (henceforth VDS) had it covered and the ball ended up grazing the roof of the net - teasing some Chelsea fans into thinking there'd been a goal

  • 35'

    The size of the stadium become obvious when the sun graces us with its presence as the tall stands cas enormous shaddows over half the pitch

  • 34'

    In fairness to the two managers the cautious approach is a tactial decision and it has resulted in neither side conceding a goal, and they'd take that. The problem is that we're not really seeing the best from these two sides who are wonderful attacking units

  • 33'

    Brown fouls Cole - sun not fully present, sort of a half-light. No need for sunscreen I'd say

  • 32'

    Oh, no wait - the sun's gone in again.

  • 31'

    The sun has come out. That's the most interesting thing I can tell you.

  • 30'

    Van der Sar saves a soft shot at close range from Lampard. Decent chance created by a great run from Ferreira, who was allowed into the box by Heinze who mis-timed a tackle and was sat on his backside as Ferreira stepped past him before finding Lamps

  • 29'

    SWP is looking lively for Chelsea, buzzing around in pesky, annoying kind of way

  • 28'

    Lampard begun and ended a half decent move for Chelsea... ok, Chelsea lost possession during the move, but Frankie was there throughout.

  • 27'

    Terry steps in front of Rooney to block a hopeful long-ball - meat and drink to a defender of his class

  • 26'

    Great tackle - for once - by Scholes to prevent Wright-Phillips (hence forth SWP) from getting one-on-one with Edwin van der Sar

  • 24'

    A quick word for Heinze who has just fouled, or should that be barged, Drogba. What has happened to the Argentine - since his injury earlier tihis season he's been a shaddow of his former industrious, reliable self

  • 23'

    So far Paulo Ferreira has only been beaten by Ronaldo once, which isn't too bad for a defender facing one of the world's most gifted attacking players

  • 23'

    The game has sprung into life in the last two minutes with possession being lost in the final third by both sides leading to some quick-break attacks

  • 22'

    Wright-Phillips ran across the front of the rampaging Didier Drogba, buying enough time and space for the striker to try a shot from range. It went wide - but that was a sign of life in the game and a decent chance for Chelsea

  • 21'

    Ronaldo with some good work down the left, but his cross is headed clear and Chelsea break

  • 20'

    I hope there isn't extra-time and penalties. I have plans in London tonight...

  • 19'

    God bless football fans. The game is not yet alive as a spectacle, but they are trying their best to keep the atmosphere exciting

  • 18'

    A friend of mine joining me via the miracle of cyber-space says I should say '20min nothing happened so far, stay tuned'. I'm too professional to do that, but he has a point. It's not really been a classic yet.

  • 17'

    Carrick over-hits a clipped ball for Rooney, but the former Evertonian gathers is on the byline before being clattered over by Essien

  • 15'

    A long ball from the back is hit first time by Rooney who had seen Cech off his line; that's one-nil to Rooney in what looks to be a battle between him and Michael Essien, playing in defence alongsige John Terry

  • 14'

    A clever cushioned header by Fletcher finds Rooney in the clear one-on-one with Petr Cech, but alas for the Shrek-a-like striker he is judged offside. For the record his shot across the goal went three feet wide of the post.

  • 13'

    Will it be the big match players who win the day? Or will they be amrked out of it giving us a surprise hero?

  • 12'

    It looks to me like we have two teams playing basically 4-5-1 formations, meaning we have a very busy central area of the pitch, leading to some scrappy exchanges and the two sides cancelling eachother out - they are saying to eachother 'What have you got?'

  • 11'

    A clumsy foul by Heinze - who has been short of his very best form this season. The ref has another word. One more bad foul and he'll be brandishing yellow.

  • 10'

    A the modest tempo continues; the game has the feel of latter stages of the Champions League game. There is a cautious European approach to what is, afterall, a high stakes game.

  • 9'

    The ref blows for a late sliding tackle by Joe Cole on Wes Brown. Brown was up quickly, but Cole is lucky to get a way with just a talking to - a booking might have been justified.

  • 9'

    Scholes tries his luck pulling the trigger from range - his shanked it wide for a goal kick

  • 8'

    Boos greet Cristiano Ronaldo's first touch on the United left wing

  • 7'

    Pitch-side mics pick up Makelele calling Obi Mikel to pass inside, the wise old pro getting the young buck out of trouble on the halfway line

  • 6'

    Scuffed shot and a deflection from Shaun Wright-Phillips after a cross from Joe Cole. Slight danger for United but Ferdinand and Wes Brown had it covered - close though

  • 6'

    Scholes, Darren Fletcher and Carrick exchange passes across the middle of the pitch, probing the Chelsea midfield

  • 5'

    Mourinho is already prowling his technical area - Ferguson is sat stoically observing

  • 4'

    Giggs corner was met near-post by Michael Carrick, the ball ended up back with Giggs via Paul Scholes; Cheslea stood up to the first challenge on their backline

  • 4'

    Giggs forces a corner to howls of joy from the United fans

  • 3'

    First impression of the venue and you have to say the noise is impressive, the acoustics are really working well holding in all the noise from the 90,000 spectators

  • 2'

    Gabriel Heinze does just enough defending to unsettle Didier Drogba who leapt highest to meet the first real cross of the game. Goal kick

  • 1'

    Rio Ferdinand covers Joe Cole as the Chelsea man tries a run down the left

  • 1'

    Not a very fast tempo yet - the ball being pinged around in what is an understandably cagey start

  • 1'

    Foul by Giggs on Claude Makelele - I thought it was the other way round!


    Ryan Giggs rolls the ball to Wayne Rooney and the 2007 FA Cup final is underway - back at its spiritual home of Wembley


    Referee Steve Bennett shakes hands with the two captains and we are just moments away from kick-off


    The players, led by their managers, take the field to rapturous applause. Spine-tingling stuff.


    We've had the cup final hymn 'Abide with me', Prince William has brought the cup onto the pitch, the Red Arrows have done their fly-by and the players are in the tunnel. Ladies and gentlemen, the 126th FA Cup final is upon us...


    And for Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Heinze, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs. And on the Subs bench: Kuszczak, Evra, Smith, Solskjaer, O'Shea.


    The teams are in. Lining up for Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Essien, Terry, Bridge, Mikel, Makelele, Lampard, Wright-Phillips, Drogba, Joe Cole. And the Subs: Cudicini, Ashley Cole, Robben, Kalou, Diarra.


    At £757 million it's not only over budget but it's a few years late as well. Worth it? Not sure, but it looks amazing. The twin towers are gone but the 133-metre high arch is the new feature and is rather splendid. And one last fact, the venue has over 2000 toilets - more than any other building in the world. The stadium's architect Sir Norman Foster told me!


    And unless you've been in outer space for seven years you'll know it's a return to Wembley for the famous old tournament - the most storied and celebrated cup competition in the world, it's 126th edition this year.


    But today Chelsea will be aiming for cup double of their own having already lifted the League Cup and leading the line will be Didier Drogba - 32 goals in 59 appearances this season so the Blues should have the required fire-power.


    United are going for the glorious League and FA Cup double, the fourth in their history and the omens are good; in each of their three previous doubles United have beaten Chelsea en route to FA Cup glory, the final in '94, the semis in '96 and the quarters in '99.


    It's an hour and a half before kick-off so there'e no team news just yet, but a few facts will keep you entertained, hopefully... so here goes:


    Not only is it the first FA Cup Final at the new Wembley, it's Chelsea v Man Utd - the top two teams in the land - it's Mourinho v Ferguson, plus it's the player of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo, v Didier Drogba, the Premiership's top scorer. What more could you ask for?


    If you're not excited about today's FA Cup Final check your pulse, because, quite frankly, you're not well.