In the end we did avoid a ‘Mourinho’ season. A Hazard penalty in the first half was enough for Chelsea to clinch our 8th FA Cup trophy. That also completes a treble of FA Cups this season for Chelsea as both the Women’s team and youth team won their tournaments too.
Chelsea started in a 3-5-2 formation with Bakayoko coming in place of Willian. Conte got his tactics right as the midfield nullified any threat that United were creating and Chelsea were being able to counter. The goal came in the 22nd minute as Hazard latched on to a Fabregas pass and broke free, Jones made a last ditch attempt to block hazard and conceded a penalty. Due to changes in rules Jones was awarded a yellow instead of a red and Hazard expertly slotted in the penalty.
The rest of the game was a cagier affair and United dominated most of the possession in the second half although Chelsea defended resolutely and United never looked like they would equalise. The final whistle blew and Chelsea were named 17/18 FA Cup winners.
As a team every single player performed well although Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, and Rudiger were immense, and Rudiger was named man of the match for his performance. A special mention for Bakayoko as well, who is finally showing glimpses of what he could bring next season.
Post match Conte stated that Chelsea had to fight to win against a great team and that the fans and players deserved a trophy out of this tough season. On the topic of his future Conte stated that he wants to see out his contract and that he would respect whatever decision the club made. Conte ended the statement by saying that “after this season he will always love the colour, the club and the fans”. When asked a similar question Conte stated that he was a serial winner and he would not change and it was not the boards time to make a decision.
Hope remains that this was not Conte’s last game for Chelsea, he deserves to at least see out his contract. Conte is a serial winner and was not backed in transfer window, back Conte this summer and Chelsea will be back to their best next season that is guaranteed.
Winning trophies has not been a problem in the Abramovich era, it has been the lack of continuity that has annoyed me the most. Chelsea have three months to discuss football with Conte and make a clear and calculated decision. For Chelsea it is a great end to a mediocre season. A season analysis will come in the next few days but for now we have a good memory and a World Cup to enjoy during the summer.
Conte will be back in the dugout for Chelsea next season, and if by some stupid decision he is not then he will go out with his head held high. The transfer window is open and Chelsea have to move fast, on to the World Cup and an exciting summer of football ahead.
COME ON CHELSEA!!!