Saturday, 15 May 2010
The FA Cup Final 2010 (Sponsored by Eon)
When Didier Drogba stands over a free kick, posing, puffing out and buffing up, people will fearingly prophesy "goal" at their television sets. Had he idiosyncratically fought his team mates, Lampard and Alex, off the first two Chelsea set pieces of promising potential, Drogba could have left Wembley with a brace, perhaps even the match ball. There are few players in the world who have perfected their personal, dead-ball technique as Drogba has done. Dislike or hate him, you can't help but wonder at the Ivorian's twin, physical-technical address. It was hard to believe it when the first half ended 0-0: two open goals missed, several spots of post and bar hit, and a Cup Final played at a thrilling pace.
Into the second half, and Pompey briefly became more resiliant, and less dependant on the generous woodwork that framed a splendid David James. James's form and clean bill of health is of course timely: how can Capello justify selecting the ordinary Robert Green ahead of the superior James or the recently stunning Hart? Unfortunately - for the bulk of British football fans, and for every defendant of history over brand - brave (patronised) Portsmouth would rue Piquionne's sitter and Boateng's bottled penalty as the favourites ran out 1-0 winners. So Chelsea retain the FA Cup and do the double for the first time. It took 105 years and a bottomless pit of money, but footage of Terry, Cole, Drogba and company, laughing and singing, will make for a proud archive. Surely?