FA Cup Final - 15 May 2010
Just six days after the Premier League triumph was celebrated Chelsea needed to beat off the challenge of Portsmouth in the FA Cup final at Wembley in order to secure the club’s first Double. Only six teams in English football history had previously won the league and FA Cup in the same season.
There were 88,335 spectators present to see an entertaining game of near-misses. Portsmouth, massively in debt and deducted nine league points, might have salvaged something from a troubled season against the run of play early in the second half when Juliano Belletti tripped Arouna Dindane in the box. Thankfully, Kevin-Prince Boateng’s lethargic effort was kicked away by the ever-alert Petr Cech.
By that time the Blues had hit the Portsmouth woodwork five times, ranging from the sublime – Didier Drogba’s fizzing free-kick brilliantly tipped onto the underside of the bar by David James – to the ridiculous, Salomon Kalou’s open-goal miss from four yards. Woodwork had also been a problem in the previous year’s final when Florent Malouda’s shot off the bar was incorrectly ruled out.
However, within three minutes of Boateng’s failure Drogba had another long range free-kick opportunity. His powerful, low-trajectory drive was too well-placed for James and went in off the inside of the post. Extraordinarily, that was his sixth strike in six Wembley appearances and his 37th goal in all competitions that season– the most by any Chelsea player since Jimmy Greaves.
Three minutes from time Lampard was bundled over by Michael Brown. Remarkably, the midfielder also missed the target with his penalty but there were no reprisals from Pompey. Chelsea had at last joined the Double-winning elite of English football, and Ashley Cole had earned his sixth winner’s medal in the Blues’ sixth FA Cup triumph.