Ramires and Didier Drogba scored as Chelsea won the FA Cup at Wembley, where Liverpool were controversially denied a late equaliser.The irrepressible Ramires put his team in front before Drogba scored his eighth goal in nine appearances on the hallowed turf – justifying boss Roberto Di Matteo’s decision to select him rather than former Reds frontman Fernando Torres.But Liverpool rallied and substitute Andy Carroll reduced the deficit, setting up an anxious final 25 minutes for Di Matteo’s men.And the Merseysiders thought they had completed a remarkable comeback when Carroll’s late header from Luis Suarez’s cross looked like it may have crossed the line before being pushed onto the underside of the bar by keeper Petr Cech.Referee Phil Dowd was not convinced the ball did go over the line, and Chelsea were able to get their hands on the trophy for the fourth time in six years.
It was a deserved victory, although Liverpool did well to make a fight of it after Drogba had put the Blues firmly in command – and became the first man to score in four FA Cup finals.Ramires netted in recent semi-final victories against Barcelona and Tottenham and maintained his knack of scoring in important games when he put Chelsea ahead in the 11th minute.Juan Mata pounced on a mistake by Jay Spearing and threaded the ball through to the Brazilian, who got the better of Jose Enrique and then fired past Pepe Reina at the keeper’s near post.And when Chelsea doubled their lead six minutes into the second half, they looked on course for a comfortable win.
Frank Lampard skipped away from the ineffective Spearing and picked out Drogba, who shot through the legs of Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel and into the far corner.But Liverpool hit back when Carroll replaced Spearing and gave his team hope with a well taken goal on 64 minutes.Jose Bosingwa was closed down on the left flank by Stewart Downing, and when the ball came in to Carroll the striker wrong-footed Blues skipper John Terry before slamming a left-footed shot into the roof of the net.Unsurprisingly, Chelsea then had to withstand a period of pressure as Liverpool pushed for an equaliser.
Cech did well to keep out a low shot from Suarez, before Carroll headed over following a cross from ex-Chelsea man Glen Johnson.Liverpool, who benefited from a goal-line decision when Luis Garcia’s Champions League semi-final winner stood in 2005, will argue that they should also have been awarded a goal after Carroll’s effort.
Chelsea may be able to thank Lady Luck on this occasion, but they can also thank Cech who, it should not be forgotten, did brilliantly to get a hand to the ball.