Chelsea: The Best Team in The World After FA Cup Success
Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) saw another defence today as champions Chelsea took on Everton in the English League season finale—the FA Cup final.
Chelsea were looking to end the season with a trophy after a turbulent nine months. Guus Hiddink had steadied the ship and was looking to end his short tenure at Stamford Bridge with an FA Cup winners medal.
David Moyes, on the other hand, was looking to add his first piece of silverware to his record-breaking third LMA Manager of the Year award, and Everton's first since beating Manchester United in the 1995 FA Cup final.
They managed a win against the odds then, but couldn't today as Chelsea ran out 2-1 winners.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Hiddink's men, however. They found themselves behind after just 25 seconds through a good Louis Saha strike.
Chelsea failed to clear Pienaar's cross, and Marouane Fellaini headed it down to Saha, who took it first-time on the half volley and smashed it past Petr Cech.
Chelsea were shell-shocked, but recovered well from conceding the earliest goal in Cup final history.
As Chelsea began to grow into the match and get accustomed to the sweltering heat and doggedness of Everton, they also began to take control of the match.
Malouda, who had looked like Chelsea's main threat, soon took advantage of Chelsea's superiority as his cross found the head of Didier Drogba, who rose well to guide the ball in and equalise for Chelsea.
Not long after this, Ashley Cole found himself an opening after a fortuitous deflection, but his shot went well wide. Cole was looking to win his fifth FA Cup winners' medal and, along with Malouda on the left, looked dangerous all game.
After the break, Nicolas Anelka came close to adding to his goal-scoring tally for the season with a clever lob that beat Tim Howard, but it also beat the crossbar.
Saha responded by coming close himself, this time heading just over after he was found by Leighton Baines.
Despite Chelsea dominating the possession and looking fairly comfortable, they couldn't find a way through an Everton defence lacking Phil Jagielka.
It looked like it would take something special, or a mistake, to change the course of the game.
And, thankfully, it was something special.
Frank Lampard collected the ball before turning past Phil Neville, recovered from a slip, and smashed a left-footed wonder-strike into the top corner.
Tim Howard got hands to it, but couldn't have done much more considering the speed of the shot and how early Lampard hit it.
Chelsea came about as close as you can get to extending the lead without actually doing it soon after.
In fact, they should have extended the lead, but a talking point which will no doubt raise the "video technology debate" again occurred when Florent Malouda's long-range strike hit the underside of the bar before bouncing down and out.
Replays appeared to show that the entire ball did cross the line, but there was room for debate as they were by no means conclusive.
To me it looked like it should have been given, but Howard Webb and his linesmen decided otherwise.
Everton couldn't take advantage of that lucky break, however, as Chelsea held out for a fairly comfortable 2-1 win.
Lampard's goal was his ninth in UWCC history, extending his lead as the top scorer, while Didier Drogba moved into second place with his seventh UWCC goal.
The match was Chelsea fourth win in a row as UWCC champions, equalling the record jointly held by Tottenham and Manchester United.
It was also the second time the UWCC has been defended in a Cup final, the first coming back in March with Manchester United's penalty win over Tottenham in the Carling Cup final.
It was the 50th time the UWCC has been defended, with Chelsea defending it in its first game and its 50th.
Of the 39 voters in the poll, 82.1 percent correctly predicted that Everton wouldn't beat Chelsea and win the FA Cup or, more importantly, claim the UWCC title.
Liverpool 1-3 Chelsea (Chelsea become new champions)
Chelsea 2-1 Everton
(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship)
The UWCC is now be on an end of season break! It has been a fantastic inaugural season and it will next be defended in Chelsea first competitive match of next season!
Quiz Question No. 6:
Who was the first player to be sent-off in an FA Cup final and who was he playing for?
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