Posts Tagged ‘FA Cup’

Chelsea’s Season: From AVB to the Champions League final via Roberto Di Matteo

The term ‘crazy season’ has been thrown about this season and rightly so, as it has been remarkable. From Swansea’s dynamic play to Liverpool’s cup runs and dismal league form and that’s before we mention the title race. Don’t forget Manchester United were 8 points clear with a month to go, City overturned the deficit but still needed the last kick of the season for the trophy to move across Manchester.

If there was one club’s campaign that could some up this crazy season it would probably be Chelsea’s, from apparent disaster to their best season ever.

So where did this epic journey begin? Well, it all started in Dublin, in a Europa League final between Porto and Braga. A young manager called Andre Villas-Boas steered Porto to their best ever campaign and was a manager who was itching to prove his skills at the top-level. Up step Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who just sacked his 6th different manager since buying the club.

Abramovich took a chance on the young Portuguese man and must have being hoping he could replicate the success of Chelsea’s former Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho. But it just wasn’t to be for AVB who seemed to lose the dressing room during the turn of the year and there was increase speculation that Frank Lampard would leave the club and up until Paul Scholes did a u-turn on his retirement it looked as if Lampard could end up a United player, something unthinkable looking back. Chelsea’s league form was suffering and looked set to be heading out of the Champions League itself in February after a 3-1 away defeat to Napoli. Abramovich then did what Abramovich does best, he sacked the struggling manager and back the dressing room. With no one in place to replace AVB, his former assistant Roberto Di Matteo took the reins until the end of the season as an interim manager.

The Robbie Revival: Roberto Di Matteo’s first task was not on the field but off it. He tried and succeeded in restoring harmony to the dressing room and by went back to the Chelsea old guard and reintroduced Drogba and Lampard to the starting a move that would richly pay off for the Italian. Chelsea somehow came through the Napoli game winning 4-1 (aet) and also continued their march towards Wembley. Di Matteo’s biggest scalp came in the form of a two-legged siege against defending European Champion’s Barcelona. A backs to the wall job, they also rode their luck at times with Barcelona missing a penalty and they also hit the woodwork on numerous occasions. But Chelsea went through to the final were they would be underdogs again, a role they relished in Europe this season. In the meantime Chelsea also found themselves in the F.A cup final, a trophy they dominated in recent years and they picked up their first trophy of the season with a 2-1 win over Liverpool. So all their was left to do was overcome Bayern in their own stadium the magnificent Allianz Arena.

Chelsea; Champions of Europe

How did Chelsea defeat the Germans? Well, they did it in a way that summed up their season. They had to defend for their lives for the most part went behind and looked destined to lose the prize they wanted the most. But for a Didier Drogba bullet header that took the game to extra time and penalties. Chelsea kept their nerve and it was the same man who got them to extra time that scored the winning penalty, Didier Drogba. A truly remarkable season for Chelsea and one that will never be forgotten by any football fan.

Here’s to many more incredible season and that the Euro’s can live up to the amazing expectation that this season has placed upon it.

Advertisements

The FA Cup Final 2012

Chelsea will take on Liverpool in the FA cup final on Saturday which has been much anticipated and will almost defiantly be a truly memorable final. Both teams will do anything to ensure victory with Liverpool trying to complete a domestic cup double and Chelsea are looking to complete the first part of a domestic and European double.

Both teams are having quite forgettable league campaigns, with Liverpool in 8th place and in trouble of finishing below city rivals Everton. Chelsea are also having a forgettable season and are four points behind both Tottenham and Newcastle in the race for fourth, but that will matter little if they over come Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on May the 19th.

Drogba celebrates his stunning strike against Tottenham in the semi-final

Chelsea started their route to the final, with a 4-0 win over Portsmouth and overcame London rivals QPR in a 1-0 win at Loftus road. The Pensioners then faced Birmingham City at Stamford Bridge and the Championship side held Chelsea to a one all draw, but Chelsea took care of business at St Andrews in a convincing 2-0 win. Roberto Di Matteo’s men then faced Leicester City in the Quarter Finals and early goals from Kalou and Gary Cahill ensured victory early on before Chelsea went on to win the tie 5-2. Gary Cahill dedicated his goal to former team-mate Fabrice Muamba that had suffered from a Cardiac Arrest days before hand.

The only team to stand in the way of Chelsea and the FA cup final was London rivals Tottenham Hotspurs. After a tight first 43 minutes it took a magnificent Didier Drogba strike to separate the sides before the break, Chelsea’s second goal was far from spectacular so unspectacular it didn’t cross the line, Tottenham pulled one back before Chelsea assured victory with three more goals in a 5-1 win.

Carroll and Suarez celebrate Liverpool’s victory over rival’s Everton

Liverpool started their route to the Final with a 5-1 victory over Oldham Athletic. Liverpool were then paired with arch rivals Manchester United and came through it with a late goal from Dirk Kuyt assured the win and Liverpool progressed with a 2-1 win. Liverpool then faced a more straight forward task against Brighton which they won 6-1. The Quarter Finals was a trickier affair for Liverpool but it was one that they came through beating Stoke 2-1 at Anfield.

The semi-final renewed the rivalry between themselves and Everton. Everton went one nil up through Nikica Jelovic but a weak backpass by Sylvian Distin provided Luis Suarez the chance to equalise one in which he took well and provided levelled the sides. The winner came through Andy Carroll headed in the winner three minutes from time and guaranteed Liverpool’s spot in the final.

Match Winners; John Terry will do everything he can to help Chelsea to victory as he will miss the Champions League final after getting sent off for a very foolish foul on Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez. Fernando Torres will also be itching to score a winning goal against his former side and the sticker has found his goal scoring form just in time.

Liverpool will be hoping that their £35million striker, Andy Carroll, will score another Wembley winning goal and make himself a legend within the club, for a couple of months at least. Liverpool’s best chance will probably come from the linking play between Gerrard and Suarez, a treat that fears all the clubs they come up against.