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Cup Final Redemption?

By Gary Watton
May 19 2018

This may well be sulky Conte's last match in charge, and he has managed to bow out with more silverware. In doing so, Antonio (a self-proclaimed "serial winner") has emulated fellow-countryman Carlo Ancelotti by winning both the Premier League and the FA Cup, albeit not in the same season. This eighth FA Cup triumph (third only behind Arsenic and ManUre) goes some way towards salvaging the wreckage from a car crash season. It's always sweet to get the better of ManUre and especially Mourinho, leaving them empty-handed, but truthfully this was an awful final, even though most Chelsea followers won't be complaining.

Our Portuguese ex-missus claimed that his little team deserved to win, but they were so inept in the final third against a solid Chelsea rearguard that they rarely looked like scoring. However, José does for once possess the moral high ground, as his team did the lion share of attacking, and indeed for the first thirty minutes of the second half, did all of the attacking. Giroud was a virtual spectator while Chelsea camped nine players plus goalkeeper behind the ball. Nevertheless, if ManUre had taken the lead, they too would most probably have attempted to shut up shop and happily maintain a one-nil lead until the final whistle. Therefore it's also satisfying that the arch bus-parker got a severe dose of his own medicine.

I do however take strong exception to Chelsea emulating Huddersfield Town with a horrible display of anti-football. The manager's decision to jettison the skilful Willian in favour of the clumsy Bakayoko spoke volumes for team tactics. It was merely a case of trying to 'stop' ManUre. That's a very limited strategy and doesn't bode well for the future. After Chelsea took the lead, I spent the rest of the match waiting for the ManUre equaliser. Fortunately they were ineffective in the final third, but I don't relish a future of Chelsea clinging on to the ropes against major opponents. It's ghastly football and doesn't seduce me in the slightest. Maybe it would be best after all if Conte were to quit while he's 'ahead'.

 

CHELSEA 1 Manchester United 0; half time: 1-0

CHELSEA goal scorer: Hazard (penalty)

CHELSEA: Courtois; Cahill; Rudiger; Azpilicueta; Kante; Alonso; Fabregas; Moses; Bakayoko; Hazard; Giroud. Used substitutes: Morata; Willian

 

CHELSEA leading scorers:

Hazard seventeen

Morata fifteen

Willian thirteen

Batshuayi ten

Alonso eight

Pedro seven

Giroud five

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19/05/2018 17:37
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