Ramires struck early, Drogba seemed to put the game away early in the second half, Andy Carroll brought a lot of hope with his goal, but that’s where it stopped. Carroll may or may have not scored a ghost goal that Phil Dowd didn’t allow, and Chlesea hung on to win the FA Cup with a 2-1 win.
It’s their fourth FA Cup title in six seasons, with a lot of the players winning it all four times. Drogba, Lampard, Terry, Cech, Cole. For Ashley Cole, it was his 8th final, winning seven of them. Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish were building their entire season on the chance of winning the FA Cup. You don’t go to the board of directors with a Carling Cup and a terrible league finish saying you did a good job.
But Liverpool only started playing when Andy Carroll came on. Jay Spearing should never have started, and Bellamy and Downing are both more effective when they play on opposite wings. Steven Gerrard hardly ventured forward. Good things happened when he did, but it wasn’t a memorable appearance for the Liverpool captain; no magical comeback like in the 2006 Final.
Chelsea? Nothing new, nothing different from the formula that has brought success since the switch of managers a few months ago. Roberto Di Matteo has found the right concoction, mostly (probably) socially that keeps this team together, that pushes them on. No great football. Just solid defending, a lot of heart and utilizing his players in the best way. Ramires is re-found as winger. He scored against Barcelona, and did again. Big stages seem to be the place for him.
And what else can you say about Drogba? He’s not one for consecutive great appearances this season. He dives as much as he can. But he loves scoring in Finals, scoring in a final for a fourth time, and he loves scoring against Liverpool. The sunset on his days as a great striker is close, but he’s still there when you need him. John Terry? The first captain to lift four FA Cup trophies.
Unfortunately, the match was another reminder of why we need goal line technology. Chelsea enjoyed a huge mistake in the Semi Final against Tottenham. They probably enjoyed one again late in the match, as Andy Carroll’s header was saved but Cech, but probably did cross the line and should have been called a goal. But it was too close to call. Even the cameras couldn’t give you a guarantee of the ruling.
The referee and the linesman aren’t to blame. It’s a gut feeling when it happen that fast, when it’s that close. Liverpool have the right to feel a bit aggrieved, but it’s FIFA and all those in charge who should feel ashamed. I’m pretty sure, unlike what the genius Michel Platini loves to say, there will be no joy in arguing about another Wembley ‘ghost goal.’