FA Cup Final - 5 May 2012
This was the first ever evening kick-off for an FA Cup final but Chelsea’s pleasant habit of winning the competition remained unchanged in front of a crowd of 89,102.
Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo’s side dominated the first hour, especially once Ramires became the first Brazilian to score in the Wembley showpiece, on 11 minutes, Juan Mata having slipped him through to beat Reina.
Didier Drogba added his customary big-game goal with a record fourth strike in FA Cup finals a few minutes into the second period (his eighth strike at the national stadium), seemingly to seal the deal. The Ivorian, as well as Frank Lampard and Salomon Kalou, also spurned opportunities to add to the tally.
With the trophy drifting away from Merseyside, Liverpool manager Dalglish responded by throwing his record signing Carroll into the fray, and the Geordie striker’s power and directness suddenly gave the Reds fresh impetus.
Carroll pulled a goal back by twisting John Terry in the box and firing high into Petr Cech’s net, but the Blues’ keeper miraculously clawed his goalbound header off the line to prevent an equaliser.
Chelsea, already finalists in the Champions League, held on to scoop the first of a famous cup double, the fourth time in six seasons the FA Cup trophy would reside at Stamford Bridge.