Chelsea beat Liverpool in FA Cup final
Chelsea won the English FA Cup for the fourth time in six years on Saturday, beating Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley.
Ramires got the opener after 11 minutes and Didier Drogba added the second goal seven minutes into the second half.
Substitute Andy Carroll pulled one back and Liverpool, after an insipid opening, piled on the pressure in the final minutes. Petr Cech made a superb save to deny Carroll a second as Chelsea hung on.
“Delighted,” said Chelsea captain John Terry. “It was tough when Andy came on for them and made it difficult. We dug in, but that’s what we’re all about, digging in.”
The skipper entered the record books as the first man to captain one side to four victories in the competition having already lifted the famous trophy in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Ramires ran onto Juan Mata’s ball to smash in the opener after 11 minutes, becoming the first Brazilian to score in a Cup final.
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina seemed to anticipate a shot across goal and went down early, allowing the ball to bounce in off his knee at the near post.
Jay Spearing was also to blame having given the ball away, while Jose Enrique rather than chasing back and trying to hold Ramires up, misjudged an attempted interception to leave the Brazilian free on goal.
That aside the first half was awful, devoid of incident. Liverpool looked strangely subdued, offering next to nothing from an attacking point of view and Chelsea were able to sit off, protecting their lead without risk.
A second goal arrived seven minutes in to the second half. Frank Lampard slipped Spearing far too easily and slid in a pass for Drogba, who shot through the legs of Martin Skrcel and into the bottom corner.
It was the Ivorian’s eight goal in eight games at Wembley, and made him the first man to score in four FA Cup finals. Almost in desperation, Liverpool threw on Andy Carroll after 54 minutes and nine minutes later he scored, twisting by Terry and lashing a finish into the roof of the net.
That inspired Liverpool, and suddenly Chelsea began to look tired.
Carroll thought he’d levelled with eight minutes to go, Cech clawing his header from a Suarez cross against the crossbar and away.
Liverpool clearly felt the ball had crossed the line, but television replays suggested the whole ball did not cross the line.
“Incredible,” said Terry. “When he rose, you’re thinking goal.”© AAP 2014