Chelsea (Drogba 21′, Lampard 72′) 2-1 Everton (Saha 1′)
Stadium: Wembley Stadium, England
Competition: F.A. Cup Finals
Date: 30 May 2009
Kickoff: 14:00 GMT, 10:00 EST
Chelsea defeated Everton to win the F.A. Cup at Wembley Stadium! Soccerlens brought you the action live! Click below for the live-blog and feel free to leave comments below!
There’s no question that this isn’t the Cup Final that Chelsea wanted to be in. They were a few moments away from eliminating Barcelona when disaster (also known as Andres Iniesta) struck. Chelsea players, already upset about a number of penalties that weren’t given, turned into sore losers as the match ended. Michael Ballack nearly assaulted the referee. Didier Drogba swore on national television. John Terry stood beside him and also berated Tom Henning Ovrebo after the match. Jose Bosingwa insinuated that the ref was a thief. Pretty much, the only Chelsea player who didn’t have a meltdown on national television was Frank Lampard, who quietly swapped shirts with Xavi. For a club that came so close to winning the Champions League last year, losing out on the chance to avenge their defeat was a bitter pill to swallow. Especially after watching Barcelona, a team that Chelsea dominated for most of the Semifinals and nearly eliminated, had their way with an overmatched Manchester United squad.
Nevertheless, winning the F.A. Cup would make for a remarkable turnaround for a season that was circling the drain in February when Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked. Additionally, it would make one heck of a farewell gift to Guus Hiddink, the man responsible for righting the ship. Chelsea looked like they were a dead team walking when Hiddink took over. Under Scolari’s Reign of Error, veteran players suddenly looked over-the-hill, over-the-hill players suddenly looked like they were one-step away from cadaver status (or playing in the Championship), and want-away players looked like they were ready to leave treadmarks on their way out of London. Hiddink came in and restored their confidence, so much so that they came within a few minutes of reaching the Champions League Final and had an outside chance at the Premiership title until a scoreless draw with their F.A. Cup Final opponents, Everton.
Now, it’s up to Hiddink to secure the club’s second F.A. Cup since 2007 and salvage what has otherwise been a lost season for Chelsea. He’ll surely try and channel Chelsea’s anger over not making the Champions League Final towards annihilating an Everton team that will be without it’s Player of the Year in Phil Jagielka. Everton will also be without the cup-tied Jo, the Manchester City striker who bagged 5 goals since coming over on load (although his last goal was in the beginning of April). Nevertheless, this is where Manager of the Year David Moyes earns his money, and the fact that he guided his team to a fifth place finish despite losing Mikel Arteta in February, Ayegbeni Yakubu in November, and Jagielka in April, all to season-ending injuries, is nothing short of incredible.
He’ll have his hands full with Chelsea, and if he wants to deliver to Everton its first piece of silverware since 1995, then he’ll need a flawless match from what’s left of his roster. They’ve done well in the month since Jagielka went down, going unbeaten and winning three of four, including a 2-0 victory against Fulham on the last day of the season. They’ve only conceded one goal in that span and will hope that Leighton Baines, Jolene Lescott, Joseph Yobo, and Tony Hibbert can show that they don’t miss Jagielka. Meanwhile, Tim Howard, Tim Cahill, Marouane Fellaini, and Phil Neville will look to cap impressive seasons with a strong effort against Chelsea. Everton have had a lot of obstacles this season and have overcome all of them, and only a fool would count them out. Guus Hiddink and his men would be wise not to overlook the Toffees, otherwise they could be staring at another trophyless season.
Who will hoist the F.A. Cup this year? Tune in and find out!
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry (c), A. Cole, Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda.
Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Ballack, Kalou, Belletti, Mancienne.
The big news is in the center of midfield where Mikel gets the start over Ballack. Hiddink says that Ballack suffered a “setback” in training. Read into that what you will. Anelka continues to be preferred over Kalou on the left, and Drogba will lead the attack for what could be this Chelsea swansong. Ashley Cole will be looking for his fifth winner’s medal, having won the competition three times with Arsenal and once with Chelsea. This is Cole’s sixth final overall, which means that only Arthur Kinnaird, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs have played in more.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville (c), Pienaar, Cahill, Fellaini, Saha.
Subs: Nash, Castillo, Vaughan, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Gosling, Baxter.
Oft-injured striker Saha will get the start as Moyes looks poised to roll the dice with the former Man Utd. man. David Moyes has never defeated Chelsea in any competition as a manager. He would love to change that today. Tim Howard is the first American to start in two F.A. Cup Finals (having picked up a winner’s medal with Manchester United), so congrats to him.
Thanks to everyone who followed along, both today and throughout the year. It’s been a wonderful season and I’ve enjoyed liveblogging it. From Euro 2008 to the EPL, from the F.A. Cup to the Carling Cup, from the Champions League to the UEFA Cup, it’s been an honor and a privilege to bring you the action. This will be my last liveblog for the foreseeable future as I won’t be able to cover the games next season. I’d like to thank Ahmed and Soccerlens for giving me the chance to do this. In this day and age, where blogs are about as common as the cold, it’s difficult for a site to distinguish itself. Not only has Soccerlens made a name for itself, but it’s excelled amid a veritable flood of like-minded sites. Ahmed deserves a lot of credit for that, and I’d like to thank him for everything. This is great site that’s full of talented people, and I wish them nothing but continued success and prosperity.
90′ + 4 They take their time setting it up and Drogba walks it over to the corner. Everton take it away, but can’t keep possession. Mikel gets it and wins a corner, and that should just about do it. Sure enough, Malouda touches it to Drogba and there’s the whistle! Congratulations to Chelsea for winning the 2008-2009 F.A. Cup! It’s been a great season for both clubs, and in the end, Chelsea deserved to win the F.A. Cup.
90′ + 3 Bosingwa makes the run down the right and Baines lunges in with a tackle and is called for a foul. It’s outside the box, though, and Chelsea will have a free kick close to the right line of the penalty area.
90′ + 2 Lampard sends it through to Anelka and he looks to have gotten between Lescott and Yobo. Anelka tries to poke it past Howard, but he ends up putting it over the crossbar.
90′ + 1 Four minutes will be added on. Pienaar’s pass into the box is poor and lacks pace and is easily cut out by Bosingwa. He gets fouled and Chelsea will take their time kicking it away.
90′ Cahill sends in a hard shot from distance, and it’s a pretty good effort. It’s wide of the post, though, and ends up not bothering Cech at all.
89′ Lampard gets into the box and sets up Malouda again. His shot is easily blocked, though, and it’s out for an Everton throw.
88′ Ashley Cole is announced as Man of the Match. I would have gone with Malouda, actually.
85′ Bosingwa is down on the pitch and demands medical treatment as Everton break. Pienaar ignores it and Webb won’t stop the play. He sends a cross to Gosling, but it’s knocked out for an Everton throw. Meanwhile Bosingwa is back and running around without a trace of a limp. What a quick healer!
84′ Cole sends in a cross from deep down the left, but his cross is cleared away by Jacobsen. Lampard gets it in the box, and he goes down after some very slight contact. Webb books him for simulation, and Frank isn’t happy about that. You don’t need to be like Gerrard in everything you do, Frank.
83′ Osman will come off for Gosling, and that’s Everton’s final substitution.
82′ Vaughn sends in the cross from deep down the left and Cech wipes out as he tries to intercept it. Luckily for him, there’s no Everton player near the ball, otherwise this match would be all-square.
80′ They show the replay, and it looks like the ball went over the line. It should be 3-1. That’s why they need those laser sensors. Will that non-goal loom large? Not unless Everton score in the next ten-plus minutes.
78′ Malouda fires a shot from long range and it looks like it’s beaten Howard! It careens off the underside of crossbar and bounces off the pitch and back into the field of play. Malouda argues that it went over the line. Not sure how he could have seen that, but what else is he supposed to do? The linesman didn’t see it, because it happened so fast.
77′ Vaughn comes on for Saha as Everton make their second substitution.
76′ Pienaar is down on the pitch with an injury. Meanwhile, Roman Abramovich is finally smiling.
75′ Pienaar loses it and Chelsea go on the attack. Cole does well to keep it from going out past the touchline and he sends it to Lampard at the top of the penalty area. He sends it into the box for Malouda, who is all alone with the keeper. Howard stands tall, though, and Malouda sends his shot well over the crossbar.
73′ Pienaar tries to answer but his shot from the left edge of the penalty area is well wide of the far post.
72′ GOAL!! Anelka tees it up for Lampard and he shrugs off Neville. Lampard then has space near the edge of the penalty area and he sends the shot towards the left post that just manages to elude Howard! It was a good strike, but Howard probably should have gotten that one. He’s let in a few soft goals this season, especially against Liverpool.
71′ Lampard gets fouled near the center circle and Chelsea take it quickly.
70′ Malouda gets past Osman down the left and he sends a dangerous cross to Drogba in front of goal, but Drogba can’t control it and puts it out for a goal-kick.
68′ Malouda (who’s been much quieter since Jacobsen came in) makes the run down the left and he tries to send a cross into the box for Drogba. It’s too close to Howard, and the keeper picks it out easily.
66′ Ballack is called for a foul on Pienaar, and Everton will have a free kick from about 45 yards out. They take it short and Baines whips in a great cross from the left wing. Saha gets a free header on goal and he just sends his effort over the crossbar. Saha knows he should have done better there.
65′ Fellaini with a poor decision and he gives it away in his own half needlessly. Anelka pounces on it, but Baines is there to make the tackle.
63′ Ballack sends it to Drogba on the edge of the penalty area, but Yobo is there to close him down and get it away. Meanwhile, Mikel gets booked for a fairly innocuous foul. Not sure what Webb is doing today. He’s let some serious tackles go and he’s punished some light ones harshly.
62′ Terry tries to clear it, but Cahill blocks it with his body. Terry want a handball, but it’s not given. Cahill then lashes a shot that’s right into Cech’s arms. Cahill meanwhile pulls up lame and is holding his thigh.
61′ Cahill is called for a foul deep down the left flank against Mikel. Meanwhile, Ballack will come on for Essien.
60′ Anelka with a great chance as he makes a great run into the box and beats Yobo easily. Lampard finds him and Anelka tries to chip it over Howard’s head and tuck it in at the far corner. It’s just over the bar, though, and everyone in the stadium was holding their breath there.
58′ It’s been a dull second-half thus far. All the excitement from the first half seems to have gone away. Cahill heads it down on the edge of the penalty area and Saha tries a shot from distance. It’s a poor effort that still wouldn’t have been close to the mark even if they had doubled the size of the goal and pulled the keeper.
57′ Ballack is warming up and he must be wound up over not getting the start today.
54′ Anelka nearly gets through the Everton defense but Lescott is there to hold him back. Anelka comes back with a cross from deep down the right flank, but Howard is there to intercept it. Meanwhile, the commentators are saying that Hiddink is leaving for Russia immediately after this match to resume his duties with the National Team. Wow! No rest for the weary, I guess. He won’t even stay behind for a few pints with his players? That just seems wrong.
53′ Nothing doing on the corner as Drogba is called for a foul in the box.
52′ Pienaar gets a chance in the Chelsea box, but he can’t get his shot off and ends up giving it away poorly. Chelsea counterattack and Anelka tries to chip it towards a charging Cole, who is near the left post. Jacobsen takes no chances and knocks it out for a corner.
51′ Cahill with some good work to keep possession after Neville gets wiped out from a Lampard tackle. He makes the run down the right and wins a throw deep in Chelsea territory.
50′ Chelsea with a half-chance on the corner as Lescott’s header away is poor and Malouda takes it on the volley. His shot is well over the crossbar, though, and doesn’t trouble Howard at all.
49′ Lampard sends the free kick into the box, but Malouda can’t get his shot off. Everton eventually clear it away from danger. Cole gets it and wins a corner for his club.
47′ Chelsea try to test Jacobsen early, and he does well to knock it away from Malouda down the left. Neville (who had a strong first half) lunges at Mikel and looks like he may have kicked out at the Chelsea midfielder. Neville tries to plead his case, but Webb is going to show him the yellow.
46′ Chelsea kick off and we’re underway with the second half! Are we headed to extra time and/or penalties? We’ll see!
46′ Everton will make a change as Hibbert will be replaced by Jacobsen. That’s a pretty inglorious end to what had been a decent season from Hibbert. Can’t argue with the move, though. Hibbert was suffering from third-degree burns at the hands of Malouda.
46′ Fabio Capello is in the stands. Must be scouting Phil Neville for the next round of England qualifiers. Hey, if Gary could get a recall, then Phil deserves one, right?
Everton got off to a dream start, but then Chelsea settled down and really dominated the action. They seemed to have a lot of success attacking Hibbert down the left with Malouda, and it’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, Moyes does about that during halftime. Everton seem to have settled into a pattern of defending deep and trying to hit Chelsea on the counterattack. We’ll see whether that strategy works, or whether Chelsea figure out a way to pass them to death. They’ve had chances to take the lead, and they’ll fancy their chances if the second half unfolds the same way as the first half did. Everton will need to attack more because I don’t see them shutting Chelsea out in the second half.
45′ + 3 There’s the whistle and we’re at halftime! See you in the second half!
45′ + 1 Nothing doing on the ensuing corner as Saha can’t handle Baines’ delivery into the box off the short corner. Neville tries to keep it in bounds, but it goes out for a Chelsea throw.
45′ Cole fouls Osman and Everton have a free kick from a good 45-50 yards out from the right half of the field. Osman sends in the free kick and it looks like Cech should have it easily, but he spills it and concedes the needless corner!
44′ Hibbert gets victimized down the left again as Cole gets in behind him. He looks to have a clear path to goal, but he sends his shot well over the crossbar. Very poor finish from him, but hey, they don’t pay him to score goals.
43′ Drogba makes a dangerous run towards the box, but Neville hits him with a hard tackle on the edge of the box and Drogba is flapping around like a fish out of water. No whistle, though, and Drogba continues his theatrics, much to the displeasure of the Everton fans. He finally gets up and limps around, but no one’s buying it.
41′ Wow. Chelsea have completed 241 passes to Everton’s 92.
38′ Long pass to Saha in the box, but Cech dives in and take it before Saha can get there. Back the other way as Lampard makes a run into the box, but Neville hits him with a good tackle to prevent the shot. The ball trickles harmlessly to Howard, and the keeper boots it away.
37′ Anelka tries to create some space outside the penalty area, but Neville closes him down well. Lampard eventually chips it into the box for Anelka and he looks offside. Everton keep playing, though, and Pienaar is able to get to it first. Anelka then gets called for the foul on Pienaar as they struggle for position.
36′ Saha nearly gets behind Terry after Hibbert sends a nice pass through to him. Saha tries to chip the ball past Terry with his backheel, which ends up being his undoing as he is unable to control it. Probably should chested it down instead.
34′ Lampard sends the corner to the left edge of the box for Alex, but Saha is there to clear it away. Everton counterattack and Saha passes it deep into the box for Cahill. Cech is out to collect it and Cahill draws some contact on the Chelsea keeper. No foul, though, as Cahill looked like he was trying to stop his run.
33′ Malouda, who is having a field day down that left flank, chips a pass into the six yard area for Drogba, but Lescott is able to head it away. Lampard then wins a corner for his club.
31′ Malouda gets into the box down the left and he centers it to Anelka. He tries a shot, but Yobo is there to block it.
29′ Lampard tries to play a one-two with Malouda down the left, but Lampard’s pass is too strong and Howard is out to collect it.
27′ Pienaar (who’s been very effective today), chips a pass to Saha in the box, but it’s just out of his reach. Chelsea come back the other way and Lampard tries to set himself up for a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but he can’t quite handle the pass and he ends up losing it.
25′ Cahill trips Anelka and he gets a talking to from Webb. No card, though, as it really didn’t look like a very hard tackle. Meanwhile, Essien hits Fellaini with a hard tackle across the knee and Fellaini is on the ground writhing in pain. That should be a booking as Fellaini could have been seriously hurt, but I guess Webb is letting them play.
23′ Lampard sends a shot from long range and it’s dipping but not fast enough for Lampard’s sake. It ends up going over the crossbar. By the way, Drogba has now scored in five consecutive domestic cup finals. Say what you want about the guy, but that’s one heck of an impressive record.
22′ Hibbert sends a cross from deep down the right towards Fellaini and Cahill, but they get their signals crossed and Terry is able to clear it away.
21′ GOAL! Anelka gets it and makes the run towards the box. He ignores Drogba, who is calling for the ball, and lays it off to Lampard. He sends it to Malouda, who is wide open deep down the left wing. He sends a great cross into the center of goal and Drogba unleashes a ferocious header that easily beats Howard! Drogba’s stellar record at Wembley continues!
20′ Malouda does well against Hibbert again, but his cross into the box is easily cleared away by the Evertonian defense.
18′ Chelsea have really controlled things since giving up that goal. That said, they haven’t really threatened to score just yet.
15′ Pienaar whips a dangerous cross into the box from the left wing and it’s well placed in front of goal for a charging Fellaini. Cech reacts quickly, though, and is able to corral it before Fellaini can get that ‘fro on it.
14′ Drogba gets held up in the box by Hibbert and he sends it out to the edge of the penalty area for Essien. He takes a whack at it, and even though he’s had some success from distance this year (right Barcelona?), he sends his effort well over the crossbar.
13′ Fellaini fouls Essien, and that could be the first of many fouls on the afternoon for Fellaini.
12′ Malouda makes a nice run into the box and he tries to play it through to Cole. Malouda holds it too long, though, and Cole is flagged offside.
10′ Malouda gets down the left again. He plays it to Anelka who is closed down well by Lescott. Anelka gives it to Bosingwa, but he gives it away deep down the right. Malouda seems to be having some success down the left as Hibbert has had problems staying with him.
9′ They show Saha’s goal again, and it was a world-class strike. Talent was never the question with Saha. It was always about his fitness.
8′ Lampard thumps his free kick from about 40 yards out over the crossbar.
7′ Lampard plays it long to Malouda down the left and he looks like he has Hibbert beaten. Hibbert clips him and he gets a yellow for that. Looks like it could have been inadvertent, but it was a smart foul since Malouda would have had acres of free space to run into.
5′ Dangerous cross into the box from Chelsea and Howard gets blocked off from it. Essien tries to get his head on it, but he can’t quite reach it. Lampard comes back and wins a corner for his club. Nothing doing on the ensuing corner as Everton knock it away for a throw.
4′ Bosingwa tries to a through-ball into the box for Drogba, but it’s long and Howard comes out to collect it. Back the other way and Bosingwa lives dangerously with his backpass and nearly gives it away to Saha. I’m guessing that would have been the fastest brace in F.A. Cup history.
3′ Wow! Looks like Moyes’ gamble to start Saha paid off. Chelsea still have plenty of time, obviously, but that was not the start that they wanted.
1′ GOAL!! Everton kick off and we’re underway. Howard Webb, Tottenham’s favorite referee, is in charge today. Everton start quickly as Pienaar gets it deep down the left wing. He sends a cross into the box but Mikel’s header away is poor. Fellaini gets it and heads it to an unmarked Saha on the inside edge of the box. He lashes a shot on goal that easily beats Cech! Wow! That’s the fastest goal ever scored in F.A. Cup history at 25 seconds!
0′ After all the complaints from the Semifinals, the Wembley crew have laid down a brand new pitch. It’s a perfect day in London, so rain shouldn’t be a problem. Then again, it is London…
0′ Some lady sings “God Save the Queen.” No, it’s not Susan Boyle.
0′ The teams come out of the tunnel. Chelsea are wearing their yellow kits while Everton will be sporting their usual blue shirts. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the UN, is on hand to shake everyone’s hand before the match. I’d be more excited if it were Boutros Boutros Ghali.
0′ Until Pompey won the title last year, the F.A. Cup had become the exclusive domain of the Big Four. In fact, before last year, the last non-Big Four team to win the F.A. Cup was … Everton in 1995.
0′ The big revelation this morning is that, according to Claude Makelele’s autobiography, John Terry had a hand in Jose Mourinho’s departure. So, if that’s true, then he’s killed off two out of their last four managers. Good ratio for JT there. Carlo Ancelotti better watch his back if he takes this job.
0′ What a job Hiddink has done for Chelsea. He really turned that club around. It’s too bad that he won’t stay because it would be interesting to see what he could do over an entire season. Then again, it’s admirable that he won’t go back on his commitment to coach Russia.
0′ Can Everton pull off what would be a huge upset? Or will Chelsea give Guus Hiddink a nice going-away gift? Should be an interesting match, to say the least. Let’s hope that someone scores. These two teams played to scoreless draws in both of their meetings in the Premiership this season.
0′ Welcome to Soccerlens’ live coverage of the F.A. Cup Final between Everton and Chelsea! I’m Victor and I’ll be bringing you the action live! I’m watching this match on Setanta Broadband. For information on how to access that service, feel free to consult this article about how to watch football online. Click here for free streaming options.
Chelsea suffered a terrible start to the match, but they persevered and ended up dominating this match in their own workman-like style. They really controlled things and limited Everton to a few half-chances after Louis Saha’s record-breaking opener. Malouda was a dominant force down the left and the Chelsea midfield exerted its will over their counterparts from Everton. They held possession for a lion’s share of the match and they made life easy for Petr Cech and the defense. Guus Hiddink got a great send-off and cemented his legacy in only a short time with Chelsea. With the job that he’s done, it seems like a no-brainer that Roman Abramovich should appoint a stopgap for the next season so that he can wait for Hiddink to become available after the World Cup in 2010. We’ll see what happens then, but for now, Chelsea have earned the right to celebrate.
As for Everton, they look absolutely gutted to have lost this match, but they have a lot to be proud of. They had an amazing season and their run to the F.A. Cup Final was one of the most impressive in recent memory, as they knocked off Manchester United, Liverpool, and Aston Villa. With his shoestring budget, perpetual lack of depth, and motley crew of has-beens, cast-offs, and unheralded role-players, the job that David Moyes continues to do with this club is nothing short of miraculous. In the end, though, they just didn’t have enough creativity or class to get back in this match once they went behind. They really missed Jagielka’s steely resolve in defense and Arteta’s creativity on offense. Their defense, which had been so great all season, was exposed today as Hibbert had a nightmare of a match. Despite all that, they’ve had a fantastic season, and they have the Europa League to look forward to next season.
Man of the Match:
There were several candidates for the honor, all wearing yellow. Cole had a great game and was officially named Man of the Match by the sponsors. Lampard was quiet for the first half but was very influential in the second half and scored the match-winner. Anelka had an excellent match as well, as he continued to confound his critics who think of him as a lazy malcontent who can’t contribute unless he’s up front by himself. Malouda was outstanding as he single-handedly destroyed Hibbert down the left flank and generated so many chances for his teammates. He even had a few opportunities to score and should have had at least one goal. As for Everton, Saha had the outstanding strike at the beginning and had a couple other chances that could have changed the outcome. Neville also played well as he was his usual physical self in the center of midfield. Maybe Moyes needs to raid Manchester United for a few more of their players…