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MATCH REPORT

Five-Star Chelsea Book Return to Wembley

Didier Drogba ran the show today, as Chelsea completed a five-star rout over neighbours Tottenham, to set up a showcase final with Liverpool in the FA Cup Final.

The first half was extremely cagey, until the Ivorian hitman hit a wonder-strike minutes before the interval, to send Di Matteo’s side in ahead.

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Didier Drogba ran the show today, as Chelsea completed a five-star rout over neighbours Tottenham, to set up a showcase final with Liverpool in the FA Cup Final.

The first half was extremely cagey, until the Ivorian hitman hit a wonder-strike minutes before the interval, to send Di Matteo’s side in ahead.

Spurs would have been aggrieved going in one-nil down, especially after they had struck the woodwork, and had one cleared off the line. However, they were soon to be more incensed, as referee Martin Atkinson gave Chelsea a second, despite the ball not even reaching the line.

Nonetheless, this seemed to spark Tottenham from their lacklustre display, and Gareth Bale, so influential for Spurs this year, was on hand to slot home after Cech had taken down Adebayor in the area. 

The Blues then slowed the game down more, as they tried to weather a storm of pressure from the opposition. However, it would be Chelsea who finally but the game to bed, with composed finishes from Malouda and Ramires, while a Lampard pearler was sandwiched in between.

Despite the very contentious second goal, Chelsea looked good value for their win, with a superb second half performance, although they were definitely given a few scares early on in the game.

John Terry was at his usual best, clearing fantastically off the line from Van Der Vaary early on, before a curling cross from the Dutch man left Cech grasping at air, only to see the ball bounce back out off the woodwork, seemingly in slow motion.

Drogba was a nuisance all half for Gallas though, and when the Frenchman gave him time to chest down 25 yards out, there was no looking back, as the big man took one touch, before unleashing a thunderbolt past former blue Carlo Cudicini.

Chelsea started the second half on top, and doubled their lead in controversial fashion, as Juan Mata struck goal wards, only to see the ball bundled out from Assou-Ekotto, only to see Martin Atkinson signal for a goal. Scott Parker and co. were stunned, but Atkinson seemed confident of what he had saw, and carried on.

The noise in Wembley kicked up a notch, and as Chelsea seemed to be looking for a third to kill off the game, Emmanuel Adebayor raced through the centre, was taken down by Cech, only for the referee to wave play on as Gareth Bale completed the easiest of tap-ins.

Tottenham seemed to push too quickly for a winner, and with 13 minutes left, it was all over, Ramires was in acres of space, as he lifted the ball over an on-rushing Cudicini to restore the two-goal lead.

Spurs came forward, and wanted a penalty as Cahill blocked with his shoulder, but when Drogba raced away on the counter, he was taken down around 30 yards out, giving Frank Lampard the chance to hit the sweetest of free-kicks into the bottom corner, and within seconds, half of Wembley was gone.

The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for Tottenham, but it was left to Florent Malouda, a late sub, to put another nail in the FA Cup coffin of Spurs, as he slid the ball home from 10 yards.

It could well be a lot more than a repeat trip to Wembley for Chelsea, as it is yet to be seen what psychological impact this will have on Spurs, as they battle out the remaining five league games, with two spots in Europe still available.

By Brad Smith

 

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