We continue our build-up to Saturday’s FA Cup Final by taking a look at another FA Cup Blue Day. Jack (@isoncfc) recalls our FA Cup Campaign in 2007, which culminated in lifting the trophy for the very first time at the New Wembley Stadium.
After completing back to back Premier League Trophies in 2005 and 2006, the 2007 season was considered by some at the time to be a disappointing one. Injuries plagued Chelsea and kept them from being awarded a third successive League Title, ultimately finishing six points behind Manchester United in second place.
This season was only deemed a disappointment as a result of the extremely high standards set in the two years prior, as the team already had one trophy having won the League Cup back in February. The FA Cup provided another release from inconsistent league form, culminating in victory in the first final at the New Wembley.
Road to the Final
Third Round: Chelsea 6-1 Macclesfield Town
A hat-trick from Frank Lampard was the highlight as Chelsea brushed past fourth-tier Macclesfield Town with ease.
Fourth Round: Chelsea 3-0 Nottingham Forest
A rare goal from John Obi Mikel was the moment to remember in another routine victory over Nottingham Forest.
Fifth Round: Chelsea 4-0 Norwich City
Yet another goalfest at Stamford Bridge in the Fifth Round, this time putting four past Championship side Norwich City.
Quarter-Final: Chelsea 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham were very nearly the first side to breach José Mourinho’s unbeaten domestic home record at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Dimitar Berbatov, Aaron Lennon and Hassem Ghaly propelled the Lilywhites into a 3-1 lead, but late goals from Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko forced a replay at White Hart Lane.
Quarter Final Replay: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea
In a less eventful game, goals from Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko secured Chelsea’s place in the final four.
Semi Final: Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Chelsea (AET)
Mark Hughes’ Blackburn provided a stern test at Old Trafford, with an extra-time winner from Michael Ballack needed to take Chelsea to Wembley.
Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United
Goalscorer: Didier Drogba
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Referee: Steve Bennett
Cech, Ferreira, Essien, Terry, Bridge, Makelele, Mikel, Lampard, Wright-Phillips, J. Cole, Drogba
Now in May, Chelsea headed to the “New Wembley” for the first domestic cup final played in London since the side’s victory over Aston Villa at the “Old Wembley” back in 2000. Whilst the season didn’t go to plan for José Mourinho, this game gave him and his chance the perfect opportunity to get revenge for being pipped to the league title by their opponents.
I wasn’t able to get a ticket for this final, but my dad was able to in my absence leaving me to watch the game at a friends house. Manchester United would probably have been considered favourites for the tie having already won the League in the weeks prior, but Chelsea had established themselves as a dominant cup side in the decade leading up to this game that left a mouthwatering clash for any neutral.
In its opening game, the “New Wembley” Stadium provided the perfect stage with it full to the brim. Chelsea were again forced to start a somewhat makeshift defence as a result of injuries with Michael Essien partnering John Terry in defence.
Chelsea started the game looking pretty positive throughout an otherwise extremely uneventful first half, but none of their shots were really able to test Edwin van der Sar in goal for Manchester United. All in all, the first half was not one that really lived up to the magnitude of the occasion with the pitch looking absolutely enormous to the 22 players on it.
Early in the second half, Petr Čech made a brilliant double save to deny first Wayne Rooney and then Ryan Giggs from certain goals to keep the game level. This was a sign of things to come for the second half, as United came close on several occasions. With the scores level at full time, it would be extra time that separated the teams.
Ryan Giggs again came perilously close to giving Manchester United the lead at the end of the first half of extra time. Despite United pleas that the ball was over the line, the score remained 0-0. Salomon Kalou came close in the second half but was unable to convert a bending shot from the edge of the box. Leave the stage set for an all too familiar Chelsea legend.
A well placed from from John Obi Mikel found Didier Drogba on the edge of the box. A quick one-two with Frank Lampard on the edge of the box allowed him a free run at the Manchester United goal, and what followed next was a brilliant, deft finish as the ball slowly bounded into the back of the net. With just 6 minutes left, the game was surely won. The goal was made all the sweeter by the fact that it was scored in front of the bustling Chelsea end.
Salomon Kalou had a chance to put Chelsea two goals up deep into stoppage time but it didn’t matter. Chelsea had become the first side to win the FA Cup at the New Wembley and so began a quite beautiful relationship between both the club and the stadium. Any pain from narrowly missing out on the league was quickly forgotten thanks to the magic of the FA Cup.
Total Shots: Chelsea 18, Manchester United 12
Shots on Target: Chelsea 4, Manchester United 4
Ball Possession: Chelsea 50%, Manchester United 50%
Corners: Chelsea 1, Manchester United 6
Fouls: Chelsea 18, Manchester United 18
Offsides: Chelsea 0, Manchester United 5
Yellow Cards: Chelsea 4, Manchester United 3
Red Cards: Chelsea 0, Manchester United 0
Edited by: Dan
What do you think will happen in Saturday’s Final? Let us know in the comments below!