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FA Cup final - Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd
Wembley, Saturday 19 May 2007




By Andrew McKenzie

Didier Drogba scores the winner for Chelsea
Didier Drogba got the 33rd goal of his season
A Didier Drogba goal late in extra time was enough to secure victory for Chelsea over Manchester United in the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley.

Drogba produced a rare moment of brilliance in a game that failed to live up to expectations to complete a cup Double for the Blues.

With penalties looming, he played a one-two with Frank Lampard before poking the ball past Edwin van der Sar.

Ryan Giggs missed a good chance to win the game for United in normal time.

The 90,000 fans inside the stadium were treated to a fantastic pre-match build-up featuring some famous faces from Wembley's glorious past.

But aside from Drogba's late winner, the two best sides in the country produced a game that is unlikely to live long in the memory.

That is unlikely to bother Chelsea, who won the last FA Cup final at the old Wembley in 2000.

606: DEBATE
Manufan87
A cagey opening 20 minutes set the pace for a match that at times seemed more like the Community Shield than the first FA Cup final at an immaculate new stadium.

The first effort on target did not arrive until after the half-hour, with Paulo Ferreira venturing forward and slipping a pass in for Frank Lampard, who forced Van der Sar to make a smart low save.

That was about the extent of the first 45 minutes as both teams looked heavy-legged after a season in which they have each played over 60 games.

The pitch, which looked in fabulous condition at the start, began to cut up and so did not aid the footballing spectacle or the weary players.

Joe Cole looked one of the few players capable of livening things up before he was surprisingly replaced at half-time by Arjen Robben.

WEMBLEY CUP FINAL FIRSTS
The Red Arrows were part of the pre-match build-up
31 mins: Shot on target (Lampard)
46: Substitution (Robben for Cole)
59: Booking (Scholes)
116: Goal (Drogba)
Paul Scholes picked out Giggs to volley just over the top as Sir Alex Ferguson's men showed the odd glimpse of the stylish side that dominated the Premiership.

The pace picked up slightly after the break, with United looking the more likely to score the new Wembley's first FA Cup final goal.

Wayne Rooney emerged from his first-half shell to bring a first save out of Petr Cech and tested Chelsea's back line with a couple of bursting runs.

At the other end, Drogba was largely contained by Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, with the Premiership's top scorer limited to a curling free-kick that clipped the outside of the post during the 90 minutes.

Vidic could have settled the tie with the last touch of normal time but his glancing header from Giggs' inswinging free-kick was just too high.

Both sides had glorious chances to break the deadlock at the end of the first period of extra time.

Giggs somehow managed to pick out Cech with the goal at his mercy as he slid on to a Rooney cross and then Drogba headed into the side-netting from an equally promising position.

SPORT EDITORS' BLOG
MOTD editor Paul Armstrong

Salomon Kalou was agonisingly close to scoring before Drogba and Lampard exchanged passes and the Golden Boot winner capped a fabulous season with the most important goal of his campaign.

It prevented a third successive FA Cup final going to penalties and provided a memorable moment for the long-awaited return home to London for the competition.

Chelsea add the FA Cup to the League Cup, which they won earlier this season, and manager Jose Mourinho did his job prospects no harm by securing the one domestic trophy that was missing in his collection.


Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Essien, Terry, Bridge, Mikel, Makelele, Lampard, Wright-Phillips (Kalou 93), Drogba, Joe Cole (Robben 46), Robben (Ashley Cole 108).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Diarra.

Booked: Makelele, Ferreira, Ashley Cole, Kalou.

Goals: Drogba 116.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Heinze, Fletcher (Smith 92), Scholes, Carrick (O'Shea 112), Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs (Solskjaer 112).
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Evra.

Booked: Scholes, Vidic, Smith.

Att: 89,826.

Ref: S Bennett (Kent).



SEE ALSO
BBC pundits on the FA Cup final
19 May 07 |  FA Cup
Mourinho treasures FA Cup medal
19 May 07 |  FA Cup
Chelsea-Man Utd as it happened
19 May 07 |  FA Cup
FA Cup final photos
19 May 07 |  FA Cup
The new Wembley Stadium
16 May 07 |  Football
Player of the Round section
18 May 07 |  FA Cup
Road to Wembley photos
17 May 07 |  Football


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