Chelsea’s cup triumph over Liverpool
Written By: Robert Halter
Liverpool were unable to repeat their Carling Cup success at Wembley as the Reds faced Chelsea in the 2012 F.A. Cup Final at a later kick off time of 5.15pm on Saturday, May 5. On eleven minutes, Chelsea opened the scoring when Juan Mata’s through ball split open the Reds defence and Ramires ran through to strike a shot off Pepe Reina’s foot into the left hand side of the net. Liverpool responded three minutes later when Branislav Ivanovic’s header from inside the box found Craig Bellamy in error, whose strike rebounded off Petr Cech and away for safety. On the quarter of the hour mark, Reina had to claw from under his own crossbar, a chip by Ramires from outside the area. The Blues stepped up their game on thirty eight minutes, when Frank Lampard set up Didier Drogba from long range but his low drive drifted wide of the left post. Four minutes into the second half, John Terry skied a Lampard corner as the Blues captain was in close distance of the target. Although it was Chelsea with one hand on the trophy in the fifty second minute, when Lampard cleared the path for Drogba, who cut inside Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson, before drilling a low strike past Reina into the bottom right corner. The Reds looked to get a stranglehold on the game two minutes later, when Luis Suarez turned Terry but could not find a way past Cech, who comfortably stopped his effort. A Suarez clip on Drogba gave Lampard a chance at a free kick on sixty one minutes but the ball missed the goal. Although Liverpool found a way back into the match in the sixty fourth minute, when Jose Bosingwa lost possession to Stewart Downing, and as the ball found second half substitute Andy Carroll, he won the tussle with Terry, as the bullish Reds striker drove the ball into the roof of the net. Liverpool rallied again in the seventy second minute, when Suarez’s low strike was turned away by Cech at his near post. Carroll had another effort three minutes later, but he put his header over from Johnson’s cross. It looked as if Liverpool had produced a dramatic equaliser on eighty one minutes, but Cech managed to touch Carroll’s header onto the underside of the upright from Suarez’s cross, and after consulting his linesman, referee Phil Dowd adjudged that the ball had not crossed the line. A tug on Drogba by Reds captain Steven Gerrard, gave Lampard a free kick opportunity deep into stoppage time but Reina blocked his effort, however by that time Chelsea had done enough to hang on and record their fourth F.A. Cup triumph at the new Wembley with match winner Drogba scoring on each occasion, with the triumph over Liverpool adding to victories over Manchester United, Everton and Portsmouth.