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


By Charlie Henderson

  • And before that you can have your say on Radio Five Live's 606 with Alan Green by calling 0500 909 693 or sending a text to 85058. Alternatively, get involved on the 606 messageboards.

    1748: Didier Drogba is the king of the silly dances. Hopefully they will be included in the highlights on Match of the Day. You can catch that at 2250 BST on BBC One.

    1747: Five Live news hound Mike Sewell has found out why Jose Mourinho ducked into the tunnel on the whistle. He went to call his wife and family. "Everything I do is for them," he says.

    Player rater: Chelsea might have their hands on the FA Cup, but Wayne Rooney is your man of the match with a rating of 6.83. Chelsea leading player is Didier Drogba.

    1746: "We've won every title in English football and that is something the players deserve so much. And the supporters. It is a moment for everybody to enjoy and we deserve to go into the holidays with this medal." So says Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

    1745: Club mascot Stamford the Lion and Didier Drogba are high-fiving. One half of the stadium is blue. The other is near empty.

    1744: The 'Special One' has handed the trophy on to others now and his players are dancing on a stage on the pitch. Cue the champagne being sprayed. Cue the blue and white streamers fired in the air.

    1743: Jose Mourinho is not letting anyone get their hands on the trophy. Roman Abramovich looks on admiringly as "Blue is the Colour" is played over the PA system.

    1742: Cheers for each player and at the back of the line is Jose Mourinho, who is holding up six fingers to signal the number of trophies he has won at the club. A huge cheer rings out as the enigmatic boss lifts the trophy.

    1741: Lampsy gives JT a little nudge as the skipper goes for a secondary lift of the trophy after a shout of "Come On!" as if to say 'It's time to get your medal from Prince William and let everyone else get their hands on the trophy'.

    1740: Chelsea were the last team to win the old Wembley, and they are the first to get their hands on the FA Cup at the new Wembley. John Terry gives it a kiss and lifts it before sharing a little jig of delight with Frank Lampard. That picture will probably be in the Sunday papers.

    1739: John Terry, with a CFC scarf around his neck, leads his team up.

    1738: They have made it up to receive their medals from Prince Williams. Michael Carrick gives the FA Cup a wistful glance. Sir Alex Ferguson is the last in line behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

    1736: Glum faces in the Manchester United squad as they start the long climb to the Royal Box. Instead of the 39 steps at the old Wembley, Ryan Giggs is leading his team up 107 here. Each one must be painful, especially for the skipper. He really should have put the ball in the net in extra time when it was still goalless.

    1735: Chants of Jose Mourinho echo round the ground. A microphone is thrust in front of Frank Lampard: "It was a tight game and we cancelled each other out. That little bit of quality won it. We've been fighting all season, we're the best teams in the country and we edged it. These are my people and this is my club. I want to stay forever."

    1734: "This is fantastic, different class," says John Terry, who will soon become the first man to lift the FA Cup at the new Wembley.

    1733: Now Didier Drogba is being interviewed by Jonathan Pearce, but only after the BBC man has been engulfed in a jumping celebration with the striker and Chelsea skipper John Terry. "This is my club," Drogba declares.

    1732: Goalscorer Didier Drogba is back out. Maybe it was what they call a comfort break in tennis. That makes it a Cup Double for Chelsea after success against Arsenal in the Carling Cup earlier in the season.

    1731: FULL-TIME Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United
    Delight for Chelsea fans. While the blue half of the stadium celebrates, Didier Drogba and Jose Mourinho disappear down the tunnel. What's that about?

    1730: It is now or never. Paul Scholes pumps a deep ball into the box but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cannot get on the end of Rio Ferdinand's knock back. Agonising for United fans.

    1729: Manchester United send the ball into the box but Petr Cech is fouled. That eats up some of those three minutes for the celebrating Chelsea fans. Now Ashley Cole is booked for wasting time.

    1728: Yellow cards are coming out like confetti. Paulo Ferreira's name goes into the book this time for a foul.

    1727: Manchester United cannot get hold of the ball. There will be three minutes of added time. Jose Mourinho cannot believe it. Where did they get three minutes from?

    1726: Salomon Kalou is booked for time-wasting.

    1725: It is all quite scrappy, not what Manchester United want.

    1724: Just four minutes left for Manchester United to find an equaliser which will take the game to penalties.

    "The press box is situated near the Manchester United end and there is an eerie silence after the goal. United fans all around us look and sound resigned to defeat."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1723: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United
    Didier Drogba peels away with his arms outstretched after a neat one-two with Frank Lampard on the edge of the box. The Ivorian flicks the ball out to the Englishman and pokes the return pass beyond the advancing Edwin van der Sar. Jose Mourinho goes doolally on the touchline sprinting around the place.

    1722: Out of nothing tempers are fraying. Alan Smith and John Obi Mikel have been nibbling at each other for the past few minutes and a sliding tackle from the Manchester United man on the midfielder sees them back at each other.

    1721: Salomon Kalou picks up the ball on halfway and runs directly at the back-pedalling Rio Ferdinand. From the edge of the area he goes for placement but his effort arcs just wide.

    1720: Ryan Giggs goes off, handing the captain's armband to Paul Scholes, and is replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It's a double change with John O'Shea coming on for the tiring Michael Carrick.

    1719: Manchester United right-back Wes Brown goes down with cramp and needs treatment.

    1718: That thick blue defensive line is nearly breached as Wayne Rooney latches on to an incisive deep pass from Paul Scholes which just evades the jumping Michael Essien. But Petr Cech again comes out bravely to smother at Rooney's feet.

    1717: The pace is slowing as Manchester United look to find a way through the thick blue defensive line.

    1715: The substitute is substituted. Ashley Cole comes on for Arjen Robben. It could be a good call despite his efforts this afternoon. The Dutch aren't the best at penalties. Then again, neither are the English.

    1714: Cristiano Ronaldo injects a bit of pace into proceedings before finding Wayne Rooney. His effort on goal screams over.

    1712: Former Arsenal and Liverpool midfielder Michael Thomas gives a big yawn up in the posh seats as the game resumes for the final time.

    "This is very much a case of who will blink first. The crowd is quieter, almost in acceptance that this first FA Cup final at the new Wembley will end in a penalty shoot-out.
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    "It might have been over but forget about the arguments, it was a foul by Giggs anyway. Anybody bored yet?"
    BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson

    1711: HALF-TIME EXTRA TIME Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United
    The break gives a first chance to see a replay of that Ryan Giggs effort and the ball was over the line. But was it a foul anyway? You've got to think so.

    1710: Alan Smith is booked for a foul on Paulo Ferreira. Didier Drogba heads a cross into the side-netting from an acute angle at the back post.

    1709: Ryan Giggs is appealing for a goal but Petr Cech saved it right on the line. The Welshman slid in to an inviting Wayne Rooney cross from the right but did not get enough on it. He almost bundled the Czech stopper over the line as he followed the path of the ball. He should have done better.

    1707: Michael Essien steals in to take the ball off Alan Smith in the box.

    "Back into war of attrition mode in extra time. The turf has cut up and Michael Carrick appears to be feeling the strain. Lots of water being thrown to the players from the touchline."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1706: Wayne Rooney slams the turf in a mixture of frustration and anger as he fails to win a free-kick from referee Steve Bennett after going to ground chasing a throughball with England colleague John Terry in close attendance.

    1705: Rio Ferdinand launches himself to meet a header as if coming off a trampoline. He wins the ball ahead of Frank Lampard and clobbers the Chelsea man with a knee in the back. Painful.

    1704: Paul Scholes gets the ball in space in that part of the pitch from where he loves to shoot. With the ball running across him he fails to hit the target.

    1703: Wayne Rooney balloons a cross into the box and that man Michael Essien is underneath it to head clear.

    1702: Michael Essien really is quality. He nudges Ryan Giggs off the ball, sidles up the right flank, shrugs off the attentions of Wayne Rooney and then releases Salomon Kalou with a delightful flick. Kalou's pass into the centre is mopped up by the Manchester United rearguard.

    1701: A first chance for the fresh-legged Alan Smith to show what he can add to the game. He races on to a pass down the left and his cross is blocked behind for a corner off Michael Essien. Again, not a testing corner.

    1700: Neat passing from Chelsea, but there is nothing remotely probing about it.

    1659: Now Chelsea ring the changes, well, a change. Salomon Kalou replaces Shaun Wright-Phillips.

    1658: There's a bit of a lull in play compared to that cut-and-thrust second half.

    1657: A change for Manchester United. Bottle-blonde Alan Smith comes on for Darren Fletcher.

    1655: Back to the action. Manchester United get things rolling. Who will be rocking at the final whistle?

    "Wayne Rooney's the only one carrying it forward for Manchester United. Is Sir Alex Ferguson brave enough to put on a natural striker for Cristiano Ronaldo or Ryan Giggs?"
    BBC Five Live analyst Chris Waddle

    1653: It is a muggy day so there will be some tired legs out there. The masseur is working on Wes Brown and Wayne Rooney. A few Manchester United players are sitting on the turf as the teams huddle together. Chelsea are all on their feet listening intently to Jose Mourinho's instructions. Sir Alex Ferguson ambles about chewing gum.

    "Surprise surprise. Extra time. Interesting that Sir Alex Ferguson instantly went to a visibly tiring Ryan Giggs as he tried to rally his troops for another 30 minutes. Jose Mourinho looks relaxed - but given his recent Champions League disappointment at Liverpool he will not want penalties. The second half was better than the first - how could it not be? - but no amount of propaganda will propel this into the "classic final" category."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1651: END OF NORMAL TIME Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United
    Well that was much better than the first 45. Fingers crossed the high-tempo end-to-end stuff carries on in the extra 30 minutes.

    1650: Chelsea ambitiously try to play the ball out of defence. Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips make a bodge of it and concede a free-kick for a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo. Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick attack the ball at the near post from Ryan Giggs but the effort loops over.

    1649: We are in to added time. Two more minutes. Chelsea clear the corner. Not much return from deadball deliveries this afternoon.

    1648: Michael Carrick caresses a delightful pass down the left flank for Wayne Rooney. He shrugs off Paulo Ferreira has he powers to the byeline and wins a corner.

    1647: Shaun Wright-Phillips pops up on the left but he can't do much with the ball. Rio Ferdinand arrows in with a no-nonsense challenge.

    1646: Chelsea pump the free-kick into the box, but it comes back out of the mixer with interest and is soon back in Petr Cech's hands.

    1645: Nemanja Vidic cannot believe it as he concedes another free-kick, this time clattering into Didier Drogba under Petr Cech's clearance.

    1644: Cristiano Ronaldo gathers a Paul Scholes pass on the left of the box. He steps inside Wayne Bridge but drags his shot wide of the target.

    1643: Just the five minutes of normal time left and Manchester United are on the ropes but scramble the ball clear. As Chelsea come back into the box Frank Lampard goes down under a challenge from former West Ham buddy Rio Ferdinand as he looks to find Didier Drogba in the box. Nothing given.

    1642: Frank Lampard rifles the free-kick into the Manchester United wall.

    1641: Frank Lampard has a hissy-fit as Nemanja Vidic blocks his run on to a pass forward by Didier Drogba. The Serbian is booked. Lampard picks up the dummy he spat out.

    1640: Manchester United are bearing down on the Chelsea box and are incensed when play is pulled back for a foul by Claude Makelele on Paul Scholes. The Frenchman, in what many expect to be his last game for Chelsea, is booked.

    "Chelsea in charge but I'm sticking with my original verdict. The game's going to penalties."
    BBC Five Live analyst Graham Taylor

    1638: Stick or twist? Go for it or play safe? Chelsea make slow progress towards the Manchester United box. The men in red absorb the pressure with ease.

    Player rater: Just the 10 minutes to go and Paul Scholes is still leading the way - just. Nobody is shining in your eyes.

    1636: Ryan Giggs clips a free-kick to the far post but nobody gets anything on it. Goal-kick to Chelsea.

    1635: Play finally resumes with a drop ball. Nemanja Vidic hoofs it up field where Ryan Giggs is hauled down by Paulo Ferreira.

    1633: Didier Drogba is going in search of that goal. He surges forward, shrugging off the attentions of Darren Fletcher and roaring past Rio Ferdinand, but the Nemanja Vidic steps in with a blocking tackle. Drogba gives him a snide little kick as they tangle and things flare up a bit. Nothing serious. You know the scene, a bunch of footballers acting like prima donnas.

    1632: Just 15 minutes left on the clock. It's beginning to resemble a match in the school yard and before long the shout of "next goal wins" could go up.

    1631: Rio Ferdinand heads a Shaun Wright-Phillips cross clear. Darren Fletcher's secondary headed clearance is not so good. He gets a mouthful from Ferdinand for his troubles as a result.

    1630: Cristiano Ronaldo on the right means he has finally escaped the clutches of Paulo Ferreira, but Wayne Bridge is up to the task. The Player of the Year twists this way and that but can find no way past Chelsea's left-back. The change also means Manchester United are playing more of a 4-3-3 now with Ryan Giggs on the left.

    "This is more like it. Away from the prying eyes of the cameras, we've finally got the Jose and Fergie show. Mourinho was very unhappy with a handball given against Claude Makelele and Ferguson is out of his seat at last making tactical adjustments and taking the opportunity to berate the officials. Ronaldo on the right is apparently the answer. A football match has finally broken out."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1628: Nothing comes from the corner.

    1627: Ryan Giggs breaks the offside trap and is in an ocean of space inside the box on the left. He dawdles a bit as he turns to pick someone out and Michael Essien - Chelsea's all-action man for all positions - comes steaming in to concede a corner.

    1626: A miraculous recovery from Arjen Robben. A bit of water squirted on his ankle and he is back on the pitch.

    1624: Wes Brown comes in with a thumping tackle on Arjen Robben which has knocked the wind from the Dutchman's sails. It was not a great tackle but it was fair. After trying to carry on Robben topples over and needs attention.

    1623: Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs stand over the ball as Darren Fletcher trots towards them with instructions from Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot cannot have advised Ronaldo to fire the ball into the wall. Wasted.

    1622: Promising for Manchester United as Claude Makelele is pinged for handball as Cristiano Ronaldo looked to clip a forward pass round the Frenchman. This free-kick is in a dangerous area outside the box on the left.

    1621: Wayne Rooney goes down in the box after another solo run deep into Chelsea territory. He flings his arms skywards as he sits on the turf appealing for a penalty but there is not a sniff of one. It was fine goalkeeping from Petr Cech who bravely dived at the striker's feet to claim the ball.

    1620: Wes Brown majestically edges Arjen Robben off the ball in the box. The surprise of it is the Dutch flyer stays on his feet in the box.

    1619: Arjen Robben flings a low cross into the box but there are no blue shirts in the box.

    1618: Uh oh! Paul Scholes nearly heads into his own net.

    The rare sight of both teams venturing into the opposition penalty has brought the crowd to life. It is still a game with every ounce of inspiration drained from it, but at least Manchester United and Chelsea are finally showing attacking intent. Wembley is a wall of sound at last - there is still time for this FA Cup final to save itself.
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1617: The flag's up for offside as Ryan Giggs releases Wayne Rooney who is looking to escape off the last defender. One of these times he'll break free. Chelsea need to stay alert to that.

    1616: Paul Scholes is renowned as a poor tackler and that is a classic example. He scythes down Frank Lampard on the left corner of the area and gets a booking. Didier Drogba whips a low free-kick right footed round the wall which clips the base of Edwin van der Sar's left post.

    1615: John Obi Mikel spins away from a Paul Scholes tackle and releases Shaun Wright-Phillips down the right. Nemanja Vidic is alert to the danger and slides in to tackle.

    1614: Who put what in the half-time drinks? This is miles better.

    1613: A wonder run from Wayne Rooney gets United buzzing. Paul Scholes flights a cross to Ryan Giggs - wonderful vision - and the Manchester United skipper cracks a volley just over the Chelsea goal.

    1612: A first corner for Chelsea which is headed clear by Rio Ferdinand. Ballet's loss is football's gain.

    1611: Chelsea are looking the stronger.

    1610: John Obi Mikel strides forward - "he's running the game" according to Five Live's Chris Waddle - and his arcing cross is cleared by Rio Ferdinand ahead of Didier Drogba.

    1609: Arjen Robben and Darren Fletcher tangle deep in Chelsea territory on the left flank before the ball runs out for a goal-kick. Robben's throwing it about which is good to see. Having thrown himself to the turf he urges Steve Bennett to brandish a yellow card for Fletcher, which is not so good to see.

    1608: Did you know Rio Ferdinand had a scholarship at the London School of Ballet?

    1607: Didier Drogba is crowded out on the edge of the box, but Chelsea maintain possession. Arjen Robben cracks a shot away which is blocked by Rio Ferdinand.

    1606: Still lots of empty seats. The first half might not have been good but that is a poor show from the corporate brigade. As well as that speedy beer service they must be testing out the prawn sandwiches.

    1605: Arjen Robben arches his neck on the edge of the area but cannot get a header on target from a flattish cross from the left.

    1604: That is a good sign of things getting better. Wayne Rooney pounces on a mistake from Claude Makelele and his venomous shot is parried away by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech. A second shot on target.

    1603: Jose Mourinho is on the touchline. Nothing urgent in his casual demeanour as punters pile back in, although there are still a lot of empty seats.

    1602: Chelsea get the 'action' back up and running.

    1601: Manchester United are also out. No change in playing staff. Hopefully there will be a change in mentality.

    1600: Chelsea are coming out. Where's Joe Cole? Where's Didier Drogba? There's the Ivorian striker so it must be Cole who is making way for Arjen Robben.

    "Chelsea players are nervous because they know they're the ones who have to do something. United have the capacity to change the pace at any time - Chelsea don't have that so they can't control the game. Robben has to come on for Chelsea."
    BBC Sport TV pundit Marcel Desailly

    1558: Arjen Robben is still warming up and there are whispers he might come on for the second half. Jose Mourinho winked at the Dutchman before the break. What's in a wink? We'll wait to see.

    1556: It is only the third time the top two teams in the table have met in the FA Cup final. The good news is that there were goals in those games. Aston Villa beat Sunderland 1-0 at Crystal Palace 1-0 in 1913 and 21 years ago Liverpool saw off Everton 3-1.

    1554: In the myriad of facts and figures about the new Wembley here's a good one. Every single person there could have had a pint of beer at half-time as facilities mean 8,256 pints can be poured in a minute. Not everyone might want one, but some might need one!

    "Didier Drogba is not getting a lot of support: they're knocking long balls to him but he's not been able to keep it, while United haven't got their passing game going. We're looking for someone to take a gamble."
    BBC Sport TV pundit Alan Shearer

    "Give credit to Chelsea. They're playing a very good side and have slowed it down. Jose Mourinho will be very pleased. There's no doubt we've got a slow pitch and the ball's not zipping across the pitch. The ball has never moved as quickly as it should do."
    BBC Radio Five Live analyst Graham Taylor

    "Chelsea are susceptible on their right and United should exploit that more in the second half."
    BBC Sport TV pundit and Blackburn boss Mark Hughes

    Player rater: Not much to catch the eye and no surprise that no player is standing out, but you reckon Paul Scholes has edged it in the first 45 minutes with a ranking of 6.60.

    "What of Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho? The technical areas have never been so quiet. Are they satisfied or just plain bored? Some would call this cagey. Dreadful is more appropriate."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    "Unless Manchester United play high tempo they are not the same team."
    BBC Radio Five Live analyst Chris Waddle

    1546: HALF-TIME Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United
    Thank goodness. Time for a cuppa. Wayne Rooney's moaning about something to the officials. He's not the only one moaning. That was poor.

    1545: It's the battle of the little men. Paul Scholes slips as he goes into a challenge with Shaun Wright-Phillips and is holding his hip. He's still holding it as Chelsea float in a free-kick which is cleared from the edge of the area.

    1544: Chelsea comfortably clear.

    1543: That's more like it. Cristiano Ronaldo thrusts down the left flank and his cross is turned behind by John Terry for a corner.

    1542: The first half might get better with Didier Drogba on the charge. The Ivorian goes down like a sack of spuds when he's clipped by Paul Scholes.

    1541: Still awake? Hang on in there. The second half can only get better.

    1540: Chelsea fans enjoy that. Wayne Rooney is caught offside as he latches on to a Paul Scholes pass over the top but he still can't put the ball in the net. Jeers of 'Aaaarghhh!' and the like sound up.

    1539: Arjen Robben is warming up on the touchline. Time for a change already? It could be worth it.

    1538: Ryan Giggs gets the ball in space on the left of the area. He does not go for the snapshot and looks to curl a pass into the box which is cleared.

    1537: Wayne Rooney's got fed up of standing up front alone without much to do and goes in hunt of the ball. He hangs a cross into the area but the galloping Gabriel Heinze cannot beat Shaun Wright-Phillips in the box.

    1536: The net ripples as Frank Lampard picks up a sideways pass from Wayne Bridge wide on the left and drills a shot just over Edwin van der Sar's crossbar.

    1534: Paul Scholes drops deep and floats a lofted pass forward for Cristiano Ronaldo. He momentarily escapes the clutches of Paulo Ferreira but his effort on goal is poor. In fact, it is not 'on goal', it's wide.

    1533: John Arlott once fell asleep while commentating on a county cricket match.

    1532: Chelsea are bossing possession.

    1531: And a second - although this one is not on target. Shaun Wright-Phillips shoots over from the edge of the area. Is this fizzling into life? The sun's back out. Not for long.

    1530: A shot on goal. Do not fall out of your seat, but it is worth repeating, we have had a first shot on target. Frank Lampard swivels inside the box on the right but Edwin van der Sar is down well to smother his low shot.

    "The two teams have successfully thrown a wet blanket over the celebrations surrounding new Wembley - and over each other. Too much respect, not enough intent. Never mind the watching world, behind closed doors is the best place for this game so far."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1527: Is this game any better on the automated text commentary? No. Check out all those defending throw-ins by Paulo Ferreira.

    1526: It is Joe Cole on the left. He is closing in on the box but his clipped cross is easily cleared.

    1525: Didier Drogba goes down theatrically after being barged from behind by Gabriel Heinze. Chelsea are happy to play the free-kick sideways and pass the ball about in their own half before eventually trying to conjure something.

    1524: Cristiano Ronaldo jinks and jives on the left but goes nowhere before Paulo Ferreira pops up to dispossess him.

    1523: Anyone got any paint to go and watch dry?

    1522: The blue-booted Didier Drogba has the ball with runners ahead of him. Never mind them, he goes for goal. He drags the effort well wide. But it's something. Can it spark something else?

    1520: This is utter rubbish. These two are the best in the land. Never mind a good advert for cricket, it's a terrible advert for English football with an estimated 500 million watching around the world.

    "This is a good advert for the cricket season."
    BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson

    1518: The whole pitch is in shade now and this game is a shadow of what we were expecting. Ponderous.

    1517: Cristiano Ronaldo has drifted in field, but Paulo Ferreira mirrors his every move. Just as the Portuguese winger shapes to shoot, his compatriot is in to take the ball off his toes.

    1516: Another bad clearance from Michael Essien. He lazily side-foots a long Paul Scholes pass to Wayne Rooney. Maybe the Manchester United man was surprised by the chance, but his effort on goal is equally lazy and weak.

    1515: Darren Fletcher nods a poor acrobatic clearance from Michael Essien to Wayne Rooney, but he is in an offside position. It's getting better.

    1514: That might help. Some blood and thunder tackling in the middle of the park. That could pep a few players up.

    1513: Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo have yet to score against Chelsea.

    1512: Didier Drogba has never scored against Manchester United. At this rate he won't today either.

    1511: Shaun Wright-Phillips shows his worth as he threatens to escape the clutches of Gabriel Heinze before being chopped down by the Argentine. The free-kick is easily cleared.

    "Sir Alex Ferguson is already in the fourth official's ear. And to be fair he has a point as referee Steve Bennett, normally so keen to show yellow cards, lets Joe Cole get away with an horrendous tackle on Wes Brown."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1510: Joe Cole crunches into Wes Brown. Cole escapes a yellow card but gets a firm lecture. He apologetically puts his hand on Steve Bennett's shoulder which is brushed off. Nice to see. Respect the man in black, don't go chummily patting him.

    "It's a bit more Community Shield than FA Cup final at the moment."
    BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson

    1509: Is this a first threat from Manchester United? No. Darren Fletcher's cross is easily cleared and Paul Scholes fails to make a good connection with the ball outside the area.

    1507: Here comes something. Joe Cole crosses from the right and finds Shaun Wright-Phillips at the back post. A poor shot but shouts for a penalty as it seems to strike Wes Brown's arm. Nothing given by referee Steve Bennett.

    1505: Incredibly slow start. Not much to get excited about.

    1504: The Chelsea goal is in the shaded part of the pitch and that's where the focus is now. A first corner of the game and it is to Manchester United. Chelsea easily clear.

    1503: Wayne Bridge whips a cross in which Didier Drogba heads over under pressure from Gabriel Heinze.

    1502: Chelsea dominating the early possession. Cautious and composed before Frank Lampard lumps a long ball forward down the left for Joe Cole.

    1501: Manchester United are going with a 4-4-2 with Darren Fletcher out on the right... for the time being.

    1500: We're off.

    "New Wembley is a different proposition from the England under-21 curtain raiser against Italy. This is a real game and the stadium now looks and sounds like one of the best in world sport."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1459: Chelsea are in a huddle and John Terry leaves rival skipper Ryan Giggs waiting before jogging over for the toss of the coin.

    1458: Someone's cracked a good gag on the Manchester United bench. Gary Neville is roaring with laughter. Good to see since he's missing out on a grand occasion.

    1456: FA Cup final day is often sunny and today is no different. May's malevolent weather has parted for the time being and the sun is searing down on Wembley. Sir Alex Ferguson squints as he looks into it.

    1455: Sir Alex Ferguson and Prince William share a laugh before the Scot introduces his team. A break with tradition there. Normally it's the skipper. Jose Mourinho does likewise for Chelsea.

    1454: Prince William is back on the pitch and Russell Watson, a Manchester United fan, leads the singing of the National Anthem.

    1453: Sir Alex Ferguson leads his team out sporting a vivid red rose in his lapel. Nothing of the sort for Jose Mourinho, although he has had a shave.

    1452: Finally, after hours of build up and years of building, two teams emerge to play an FA Cup final at Wembley. Not the long walk of old. This one's very short.

    1450: The FA Cup is left centre stage on a plinth. Up above the Red Arrows give it the big fly by. Legends.

    1448: The FA Cup is marched out across the red carpet ahead of Prince William who is the guest of honour. The Prince declares the stadium "officially open". No cutting of a ribbon, just a shake of hands with FA supremo Brian Barwick before he disappears back down the tunnel.

    1445: Lesley Garrett leads the traditional pre-match singing of "Abide With Me". Sarah Brightman soon joins in. That's the sign things are getting serious - and ceremonial.

    "I'm watching it on a Canadian sports station in the Caribbean. Instead of the build up I'm subjected to a discussion of why men prefer virgins!" David in TCI via text

    "Just bumped into F1 mogul Eddie Jordan in the Wembley concourse with a Chelsea scarf wrapped round his neck. Most people are supping beer, but EJ is sticking with coffee for the time being."
    BBC Sport's Owen Phillips at Wembley

    1440: The stadium is filling up nicely and there's a shot of Lord Attenborough. Looks as if he may be struggling with a cold today. He'll be hoping Chelsea do not get caught cold.

    1438: That parade of players ends with Marcel Desailly walking out. He was preceded by Peter Schmeichel which gave fans in the stadium a chance to cheer and boo to the full. That's the vocal chords warmed up for the pre-match songs then.

    "The parade has really got the atmosphere going - with Manchester United supporters giving Liverpool's FA Cup heroes Ian St John, Ian Rush and John Barnes the treatment. Sorry to be a spoilsport, but why do Dennis Wise and David Seaman have their children with them? A pointless modern trend. Neville Southall looks like a Mafia hitman these days."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1436: Bad news for Chelsea now. They last beat Manchester United in the FA Cup in 1950 and each time Manchester United have won the Double they have beaten Chelsea in their FA Cup run.

    1434: Bad news for Manchester United is that they have never scored more than a single goal against Jose Mourinho's Chelsea. They last scored more than one against the London outfit in a league match at Stamford Bridge in August 2002.

    1432: Back to the present day. Jose Mourinho boasts a good record against Manchester United, from his Porto days but more pertinently as Chelsea boss. Since the 'Special One' arrived in England these teams have met eight times with the Blues winning four and losing just one.

    1429: A huge cheer for former Manchester United player Denis Law. Ex Liverpool man Ian St John does not get such a warm reception as he is introduced to the crowd. The Scot milks it.

    1426: Also coming out of the tunnel now are a host of former players representing former winning teams. First out is Peter McParland who played for Aston Villa against Manchester United in their 1957 FA Cup win.

    1423: Chelsea are out to warm up.

    1419: All sorts of glowing tributes have been given to the new Wembley, but Peter Schmeichel's verdict took the biscuit. The former Manchester United keeper described it as "nice".

    1417: Manchester United have discarded their suits and are out on the pitch warming up in white training kits. First exercise is jogging to and fro across the turf. Not a bad place to go for a run!

    1413: And if it is "tight", as Mark Lawrenson predicts, we could be heading for a third successive shoot-out in an FA Cup final. Bring on that early goal Pat Nevin has called for.

    1410: On paper everything is set up for a humdinger of an afternoon, but a word of warning. When the big clubs have met in this match in recent seasons they have not exactly set the world alight. Anyone remember Arsenal v Manchester United two seasons ago and Liverpool v United in 1996?

    1406: Three knights of the realm, Bob Geldof, Henry Cooper and Geoff Hurst, are introduced to the crowd as 'Wembley greats' with Des Lynam playing the role of MC.

    "Sir Bob Geldof has clearly mellowed with age. Instead of the colourful language he used at Live Aid in 1985 he wants Wembley to wish his old auntie a happy 98th birthday. Not very rock and roll."
    BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley

    1405: First things first, let's confirm and reflect on that team news...

    Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Terry, Essien, Bridge, Makelele, Mikel, Lampard, Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole, Drogba.

    Manchester United: Van der Sar, Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Heinze, Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Ronaldo, Rooney.

    "Manchester United have more match-winners than Chelsea."
    Alan Hansen, BBC Sport TV pundit

    "Jose Mourinho has said he wants this to be a final to be remembered and he has given us a wide player, fantastic. This 4-3-3 is Chelsea's best formation and this makes them difficult to beat."
    BBC Five Live analyst Graham Taylor

    "I think Sir Alex Ferguson is concerned about Chelsea's three in midfield which is why Darren Fletcher is in. Jose Mourinho has won the tactical battle at the minute, but it's a gamble to play Wayne Bridge against Cristiano Ronaldo."
    BBC Five Live analyst Chris Waddle

    1400: Great work from Caroline who is heading for a dark room to recover after giving a mouth-watering match the big build-up for hours on end. Being back at Wembley's got everyone bubbling and it is the top two teams in the country going head-to-head.

    FA Cup final photos
    19 May 07 |  FA Cup
    Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United
    19 May 07 |  FA Cup
    Countdown to the FA Cup final
    19 May 07 |  FA Cup
    Ferguson v Mourinho
    17 May 07 |  FA Cup
    The new Wembley Stadium
    16 May 07 |  Football
    FA Cup final select XI
    16 May 07 |  FA Cup
    Where are they now?
    17 May 07 |  FA Cup
    Road to Wembley photos
    17 May 07 |  Football
    FA Cup final Ten to Tackle
    17 May 07 |  Fun and Games


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