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PHOTO: http://www.thefa.com

To get the final of the FA Cup, the manager Roberto di Matteo sent out his usual starters. Didier Drogba was the man up front while Fernando Torres watched the from the bench, while Frank Lampard and Obi Mikel flanked Juan Mata, acting mediapunta. The first minutes of the London derby was marked by imprecision and a lack of goal scoring chances for both teams.

Halfway through the first half, after a magnificent counterattack led by Kalou, Mata nearly netter the first goal of the match but the opportunity was lost when the Spaniard, in an attempt to control Kalou’s pass, lost the ball. It was Chelsea’s first warning shot across Tottenham’s bow. Tottenham responded immediately thereafter, but a providential John Terry cleared Van de Vaart’s header off the goal line.

Minutes after being denied a goal, the Dutchman sent in a great cross for Adebayor. The Togolese footballer made a dummy for the ball and let it pass, Van de Vaart’s cross crashed into the woodwork. Harry Redknapp’s team was letting Chelsea off the hook and they paid for it. Drogba, Chelsea’s most incisive footballer on the day, produced a sublime goal to give the Blues the lead. After a magnificent control, the striker skipped past Gallas and buried the ball into the back of Tottenham’s net.

Chelsea kills the game off

At the start of the second half, Martin Atkinson controversially ruled that Mata had in fact scored an unclear goal. However, Gareth Bale got Tottenham on the board after Adebayor dribbled passed Cech. Chelsea came close to killing off the game with a couple of well executed counterattacks, but it was Ramires, 15 minutes from full time, brilliantly assisted by Mata, that restored Chelsea’s two-goal lead.

A majestically taken free kick from Lampard and a strike from Malouda put the definitive 1-5 on the scoreboard. The only bad news for Chelsea, looking forward to the Champions League match against FC Barcelona, is David Luiz’ injury. The player is doubtful for the clash with the Catalans.

Chelsea qualified for the final of the oldest football tournament in the world days before their Champions League semifinal match with FC Barcelona. Liverpool will be Chelsea’s opponent in the Cup final, which will be played on May 5th at Wembley.


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