Wembley Wizards: Can Chelsea build on a superb decade here?
Chelsea may have lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the pair’s last meeting, but Blues fans will surely be going into Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final clash against Spurs in confident mood. And that’s because the Blues have an outstanding record at the new Wembley Stadium.
Since its opening in 2007, the West London club have played in eight Emirates FA Cup games here, winning seven of them – including four Finals.
That’s an FA Cup record no other club comes close to matching, with Arsenal’s two triumphs during the past decade the next best feat.
So, with their crucial clash with Spurs on the horizon, we look back on the Blues’ previous Emirates FA Cup triumphs in North-West London.
Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United (Final; 2007)
These two had produced a thrilling race for the Premier League title, which United eventually edged. But it was the Stamford Bridge outfit who came out on top here. A tight and tense encounter was eventually decided by Didier Drogba’s 116th-minute winner – the first time an FA Cup final had ever been decided by extra-time.
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (Semi-Final; 2009)
This one showed the Blues’ fighting spirit, as they once again came out on top against Arsene Wenger and co. Theo Walcott opened the scoring with a deflected effort, but Florent Malouda levelled before half-time with a tidy finish.
Step forward again: Didier Drogba. With the scores level and 83 minutes on the clock, the Ivorian finished off a superb counter-attack by rounding Lukasz Fabianski and slotting home.
Chelsea 2-1 Everton (Final; 2009)
Louis Saha may have made history with the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history – 25 seconds into this tie – but it was the Blues who fought back from behind to win here once again.
No surprises as to the source of Chelsea’s equaliser. Drogba powered home a bullet header to level on 20 minutes, and Guus Hiddink’s men continued to pile on the pressure until Frank Lampard’s stunning long-range strike settled the matter in the 72nd minute.
Aston Villa 0-3 Chelsea (Semi-Final; 2010)
The West London outfit were rarely more ruthless than in the final third of this game. With the scores level heading into the last half-hour, they suddenly ramped things up.
Drogba (yep!) scored the opener, before the Villans threw men forward – only for Florent Malouda and Frank Lampard to pick them off on the break in the final moments.
Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth (Final; 2010)
It may have been settled by just a single goal, but ‘one-sided’ would be something of an understatement for this game. Chelsea racked up 24 shots, freshly-relegated Pompey managed just two.
The difference on the day? A goal from Drogba, of course. His stunning second-half free-kick settled it, though only after a dreadful penalty miss from Portsmouth’s Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea (Semi-Final; 2012)
The Blues may have won the Champions League in 2012, but this was arguably their most complete – and most swashbuckling – display of the season.
It may have taken 40 minutes for this game to get going, but when it did, this was breathtaking stuff. Drogba added to his incredible Wembley tally before the break, followed just after the interval by Juan Mata’s clinical close-range strike, only for Gareth Bale to reduce the deficit to one.
But, as Tottenham tired, Chelsea pounced. Ramires finished off a flowing move to make it three. Then Lampard fired home a sensational long-range free-kick, before Florent Malouda capped off a five-star display in injury-time. Fans of Antonio Conte’s men will be dreaming of a repeat this weekend.
Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool (Final; 2012)
It may have been a fourth successive final win by a single goal, but this was the most comfortable of those Wembley successes. Florent Malouda’s mazy run and neat finish put the Blues ahead early on, before their Ivorian powerhouse slotted home his sixth and final goal under the famous arch.
Andy Carroll pulled one back for the Anfield outfit, but this one rarely looked in doubt.
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