Chelsea’s Super 7: We remember the Blues’ FA Cup successes
Manchester United and Arsenal may be the most successful FA Cup sides in history with 12 wins apiece, but in the last 20 years or so Chelsea have come to the fore.
The Blues have won the tournament six times since 1997, making it seven in total thanks to their 1970 victory.
And having already claimed the Premier League this season, victory this weekend would ensure Antonio Conte’s men claim a heralded double.
Ahead of the showpiece clash with the Gunners this weekend, we’ve taken a trip down memory lane…
The Blues had spent the bulk of the preceding 40 years in Division One, yet Cup success eluded them.
That all changed in 1970 however, in what was their only third appearance in the final.
In the way however, were Don Revie’s mighty, tough-tackling Leeds United. Billy Bremner and all.
But after a thrilling 2-2 draw after Extra-Time at Wembley, club legend Peter Osgood and David Webb did the business in the replay at Old Trafford as Chelsea won their first FA Cup.
It would be a full 24 years before Chelsea would be back in the showpiece, only to be hounded 4-0 by Manchester United in 1994.
Three years later however, the Blues were very much on the up.
And they didn’t take long to see off Middlesbrough. Roberto di Matteo’s 25-yard worldie came after just 42 seconds, and was the quickest Wembley cup final goal at the time.
Boro offered little in reply, especially once Fabrizio Ravanelli went off injured, and Eddie Newton completed the win late-on.
The last final at the original Wembley wasn’t exactly a classic, but Chelsea fans enjoyed it all the same.
A big obstacle had been removed with the news that Manchester United would withdraw from the competition to play in the Club World Championship in Brazil.
Chelsea faced Aston Villa in the final, and a tepid encounter was decided again by that man Di Matteo, after a David James error late on.
Fun fact – Chelsea’s strike-force in this clash was Gianfranco Zola and George Weah.
Despite Roman Abramovic’s arrival in 2003, it took Chelsea a good few years to reach the cup final under his ownership.
But for the first final at the new Wembley, we had a pukka showdown between the Blues and that season’s league champions, Man United.
In truth, it wasn’t the most memorable final, despite the array of talent on show.
Extra-time was needed, and cometh the hour cometh the man, as Didier Drogba bagged the winner with just two minutes left before penalties were required.
Chelsea were getting good at this FA Cup thing now, and in 2009 they faced Everton.
But the Toffees threw a spanner in the works thanks to Louis Saha’s goal after just 25 seconds – the fastest cup final goal in history.
As the saying goes however, Everton had ‘scored too soon’ and Drogba and Frank Lampard netted either side of half-time to claim Chelsea’s third FA Cup of the century.
Another year, another cup final.
Chelsea really were becoming the standout cup kings by 2010, and Portsmouth were the next opponents trying to steal the Blues’ now-customary Wembley win.
Pompey had won the cup two years earlier, but by now they had begun suffering the financial troubles which would see them plummet down the leagues.
It’s a credit they got this far, but with Jamie O’Hara playing as a second striker they were never really in this.
Chelsea won 1-0 – Drogba obviously – but amazingly they hit the woodwork five times and both sides missed a penalty.
So yeah, this could easily have been 6-1. The importance of this result however, is that is secured Chelsea’s first ever league and cup double.
It’s been five years since the Blues last tasted FA Cup joy, when they beat Liverpool 2-1.
Under cup hero Roberto di Matteo, Chelsea bagged their seventh cup success thanks to, yep, Drogba.
It was the striker’s fourth FA Cup final success, and set them up nicely for a certain Champions League clash with Bayern Munich a fortnight later.
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