London - Chelsea withstood a late Liverpool
onslaught to seal their fourth FA Cup final victory in six seasons on Saturday with a 2-1 win at Wembley.
A goal in each half from
Brazilian midfielder Ramires and veteran striker Didier Drogba clinched a
narrowly deserved win for Chelsea, with substitute Andy Carroll scoring
The win saw Chelsea skipper John Terry enter the
record books as the first man to captain one side to four victories in
the competition having already lifted the famous trophy in 2007, 2009
The defeat denied Liverpool the opportunity to end a
largely disappointing season with a second piece of silverware following
their League Cup triumph over Cardiff in February.
controlling much of the game, Champions League finalists Chelsea were
made to work hard for their win, and Carroll was denied what would have
been a dramatic 82nd-minute equaliser when his close-range header was
parried onto the underside of the crossbar by Petr Cech.
wheeled away to celebrate thinking the ball had crossed the line but
referee Phil Dowd and his assistants remained unmoved.
Chelsea dominated a poor Liverpool side throughout a poor first half
which saw the Merseysiders struggle to get into the game.
midfielders Jay Spearing and Jordan Henderson were largely anonymous,
all too often leaving captain Steven Gerrard overwhelmed.
meanwhile looked comfortable throughout, with Frank Lampard and Jon Obi
Mikel screening the back four against an impotent Liverpool attack.
had been the first to get a shot on goal, hooking a volley just over
the bar after only 33 seconds as Chelsea started brightly.
The Blues then took the lead on 11 minutes through a Ramires strike that owed everything to poor play from Liverpool
squandered possession in midfield and Juan Mata gratefully scooped up
the loose ball and fired a pass in behind Jose Enrique for Ramires.
rangy Brazilian shrugged off his man with ease and then took advantage
of shoddy goalkeeping from Pepe Reina to lash home at the near post.
might have got back into the match almost immediately, only for
Branislav Ivanovic to thwart Craig Bellamy's fierce volley on 14 minutes
with a gutsy block.
Yet that was as good as it got for Liverpool for the remainder of the half, with Cech having little to do in the Chelsea goal.
started the second half more purposefully, with Gerrard producing one
surging run into the box and Downing looking lively down the flank.
Chelsea delivered a hammer blow on 52 minutes when Drogba pounced,
rifling home a low left foot shot after being picked out in space by
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish responded
immediately by bringing on Carroll for the ineffectual Spearing but it
was Chelsea who continued to look the more threatening of the two sides.
lashed a volley into the side netting but then the momentum shifted
dramatically when Carroll pulled one back for Liverpool.
million striker pounced after Jose Bosingwa's clearance ricocheted into
his path, wrong-footing Terry to fire high into the net.
It was all Liverpool thereafter, with the Reds galvanised by the presence of Carroll in the front line.
Luis Suarez forced a low save from Cech on 73 minutes before Carroll headed just over three minutes later.
was then denied his headed equaliser eight minutes from time but
although Liverpool pressed they were unable to find a way through a
resolute Chelsea rearguard action.