As we eagerly await our F.A Cup 5th Round tie against Manchester United on Monday night I thought this was the perfect time to reflect on the F.A Cup Final encounters Chelsea and Manchester United have shared in 1994, 2007 and last season’s final in 2018.
Pictures via my own personal programme collection.
Chelsea have had many encounters with Man United over the years in various competitions including the F.A Cup, League Cup and a UEFA Champions League Final.
Picture via pinterest.com
Eric Cantona & Ruud Gullit embrace after the 1996 F.A Cup Semi Final at Villa Park
Other recent F.A Cup encounters include 1-0 home win’s in both 2013 (Replay) and 2016. There was also a 2-1 victory for Man United in a 1996 Semi Final at Villa Park. They also ran riot in a 5-3 3rd Round victory at Stamford Bridge in 1998.
Picture via bbc.co.uk
Demba Ba stretches to score the winner in an F.A Cup Replay in 2013 at Stamford Bridge.
My first trip to Old Trafford watching Chelsea was an F.A Cup Quarter Final in 1999. Chelsea fans were great that day with 7,000 blues making the trip to Manchester.
Picture via gettyimages.co.uk
A very brave Chelsea team that played a large part of the game with ten men (Di Matteo sent off) drew 0-0 to ensure a well deserved replay at Stamford Bridge. Man United won the replay 2-0 and went on to win the F.A Cup.
F.A CUP FINAL 1994:
Man United 4-0 Chelsea
Goals: Cantona 60 mins, 66 mins (both pens), Hughes 69 mins, McClair 90+2 mins
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Kharine, Clarke, Kjeldbjerg, Johnsen, Sinclair, Wise, Newton, Burley (Hoddle 68), Peacock, Stein (Cascarino 78), Spencer
Picture via dailymail.co.uk
Player manager Glenn Hoddle consoles captain Dennis Wise at the first whistle.
Unfortunately we couldn’t get tickets for the game but I remember watching it at home with the family. We started the game very well and Gavin Peacock hit the bar and we were unlucky not to go in at half time 1-0 up!
During the second half Man United scored three goals in nine minutes. Two almost identical penalties from Eric Cantona and Mark Hughes with the goals. At this point I remember being devastated and our misery was made even worse when Brian McClair scored a fourth late on.
The next day Chelsea had a parade at Stamford Bridge which many thousands lined the streets in appreciation to our team despite not winning the cup. I remember being very proud to be a Chelsea supporter on the day and couldn’t believe so many fans turned up.
This heavy defeat did however mean a European campaign in the Cup Winners Cup the following season. There was still that feeling of how long would it take for Chelsea to get to another major cup final. Luckily enough we didn’t have to wait too long.
F.A CUP FINAL 2007:
Chelsea 1-0 Man United (AET)
Goals: Drogba (116 mins)
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Cech, Ferreira, Essien, Terry, Bridge, Mikel, Makelele, Lampard, Wright-Phillips (Kalou 93), Drogba, Joe Cole (Robben 46), Robben (Ashley Cole 108)
Picture via mirror.co.uk
Having not won the F.A Cup since 2000 and it being the last one at the old Wembley it was fitting that we won the first one at the new Wembley.
The game itself wasn’t a classic but Cup Finals are often an anticlimax. If you win that’s all you remember. It was a tight game with few chances. The game after ninety minutes finished 0-0.
As the game went into extra time it was more of the same with the game being very even.
Picture via independent.co.uk
It took until the 116th minute for Frank Lampard to pick the perfect pass for Didier Drogba to flick the ball over the outrushing Edwin Van Der Saar. The ball nestled into the bottom corner to send us Chelsea fans behind that goal into ecstasy. A magical moment we will never forget.
The game finished 1-0 and we were buzzing beyond belief!
F.A CUP FINAL 2018:
Chelsea 1-0 Man United
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger, Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso, Hazard (Willian 90+1), Giroud (Morata 89)
Picture via standard.co.uk
The game was very much how we all predicted as a very tight defensive display from both teams and not easy on the eye for the neutral watching at home.
There was a fantastic standing ovation for Chelsea and Manchester United legend Ray Wilkins in the 8th minute with both sets of fans honouring him in what many called ‘The Ray Wilkins Cup Final’. A really nice touch.
With limited chances it took until the 22nd minute for the breakthrough goal. A fantastic run by Hazard who was through on goal only to be fouled by Phil Jones. Hazard approached the penalty with ease and placed the ball in the bottom left corner sending De Gea the wrong way. This sent us into raptures.
Picture via express.co.uk
To be honest Man United had many good chances but just didn’t take them. It wasn’t a classic but we didn’t care and when the referee blew his whistle at full time the celebrations could really start!
A recent poll on twitter clearly showed a large majority of you have fonder memories of the 2007 F.A Cup Final than last season’s win. I have to say I completely agree!
Now we wait in anticipation for another F.A Cup tie between Chelsea and Man United at Stamford Bridge under the lights!
Come on you blues!
Written by Chris Wright