Chelsea Still Best Team in World After Draw in FA Cup Final Rehearsal

Barney CorkhillSenior Writer IApril 22, 2009

LONDON - APRIL 18:  Didier Drogba of Chelsea in action during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON Semi Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on April 18, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) saw another defence today as champions Chelsea took on Everton at Stamford Bridge.

The match was a dress rehearsal of the FA Cup final, with both teams coming into this match on the back of victories in their respective semifinals.

Everton had overcome Manchester United on penalties, extending their recent record to just one loss in 12 games. They were hoping to overhaul an out-of-form Aston Villa for fifth place by the end of the season, and so could not afford to rest people in the build up to the FA Cup final.

Chelsea, on the other hand, dispatched of Arsenal, making it one loss in their past 15 games. They knew that the title was unlikely, but still within reach, especially with Liverpool dropping points the night before. A win would send them within one point of second place.

For all their possession, however, Chelsea couldn't get that crucial goal, and the match ended 0-0.

Everton remained stout in defence throughout the first-half, as they had done at Wembley, limiting Chelsea to ambitious long range efforts.

Despite Chelsea controlling the ball for large parts of the half, it was Everton who had the best chances. Jo was twice sent through on goal, but twice failed to hit the back of the net.

His first effort was shot straight at Petr Cech, while he lost his footing on his second chance at the vital moment. Leighton Baines was brought down in the box not too long after, but referee Mark Halsey waved away Everton's claims, despite the replays showing a spot-kick should have been given.

The second half went much the way of the first. Chelsea were seemingly in control, but Everton had the best chances. Tim Cahill came close with a diving header which was well saved by Cech not long after the second-half began.

As the seconds ticked down, Chelsea began pushing harder for a vital goal. John Terry hit a 40-yard pile-driver which had to be tipped round the post by Tim Howard before Frank Lampard and Salomon Kalou both came close.

It looked as if Everton had held out for a draw as the clock ticked into stoppage time, but then, in the 93rd minute, Didier Drogba unleashed a brilliant effort which cannoned back off the crossbar, much to the relief of Tim Howard.

The 0-0 final score will give much heart to Everton, as they now know that they can compete with Chelsea, and winning the FA Cup is a very real possibility.

56.3 per cent of voters in the poll said that Everton wouldn't be able to beat Chelsea and claim the UWCC title so well done to the majority!


Chelsea's run

Liverpool 1-3 Chelsea (Chelsea become new champions)

Chelsea 4-3 Bolton Wanderers

Chelsea 4-4 Liverpool

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

Chelsea 0-0 Everton


(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship)


Chelsea's next title defence comes on Saturday as they travel across London to face former champions West Ham. Could the Hammers once again become the best club side in the world?!