pre-match preparation for the 2009 fa cup final focused on the demand of both clubs to finish the season with some trophies. Chelsea had just finished third in the Premier League after changing their manager earlier in the season by replacing a famous Brazilian manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, with a famous Dutch manager, Guus Hiddink. Its billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, was not happy about missing out on the league title against Manchester United, but had already decided that this would be Hiddink’s last game to win a trophy before returning full-time to his international manager role with Russia.
everton had finished an impressive fifth in the league for the second successive season, cementing david moyes’ reputation as a successful manager despite operating on a much lower transfer budget than some of the clubs who finished below from ‘the toffees’. However, this was to be Everton’s first trip to Wembley since 1995, when a successful 1-0 win over Manchester United gave the Goodison Park faithful their last taste of footballing glory. A trophy had been something Moyes strove for through constantly improving it year after year to make Everton a force to be reckoned with.
The team news of the day was clearly in Chelsea’s favour, as they fielded their strongest side against an Everton side missing key players such as Phil Jagielka and Mikel Arteta due to injury. However, ignoring these concerns, it was the Toffees that made the quickest start to the match on a hot and sunny day at Wembley. rewriting the history books with the fastest fa cup final goal of all time, french talisman louis saha reacted quickest to marouane fellaini’s header to punch the ball past a defenseless petr cech to hit everton the advantage. only 25 seconds into the game and moyes’s team was on the rise.
Reading: Chelsea v everton fa cup
The goal clearly spooked the West London team’s defenders, who seemed nervous and worried about getting back on the box as Everton’s skilful midfielders Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar tried for the next six or seven minutes to create more opportunities for saha. However, Chelsea had become known in previous years for his mental toughness and he slowly began to work his way into the game with clever possession of the ball.
french strikers florent malouda and nicolas anelka began to stretch the field by staying as wide as possible and occupying everton’s full-backs at every opportunity, while tony hibbert and leighton baines began to struggle with their pace. it was in the 21st minute that chelsea equalized when malouda found space on the left and centered an exquisite invitation for drogba to head in a header from six meters. Drogba’s goal celebration seemed rather subdued, as if he were saying to his teammates, “Okay guys, let’s start chilling now…”. Chelsea were now back in the game and spent the rest of the first half playing with the Everton workers battling for possession of the ball, while Frank Lampard and Michael Essien controlled the battle in midfield.
with a stern word from moyes at half time, everton started the second half with much more intent and determination as saha nearly doubled his tally with a header that nearly cleared the crossbar on its way. Tim Cahill, Everton’s Australian cult hero, began to advance further and caused a lot of problems with his determined game and his ability to run.
once again, however, chelsea showed the positive mental attitude instilled in them by head coach hiddink and took the lead in the 72nd minute with a flawless long-range strike from lampard. The ball narrowly missed the English midfielder 25 yards from goal and he spun quickly, albeit with his weaker left foot, and fired a sweet shot into the top left corner of the net that gave Tim Howard no chance to hit. make a save
With time running out, Moyes removed the old bones of the weary Saha to send in young backup striker James Vaughn to try and make an impact. However, Lampard’s goal seemed to have taken the breath out of the rest of the Everton team, who began to falter in the heat and were unable to react effectively to provide Vaughn with chances.
Controversially, Chelsea were denied a third goal when Malouda’s thunderous dive bounced off the crossbar and over the goal line, but the referee ruled it out because the speed of the ball made it impossible to check without the luxury of the ‘goal line’. technology’. however, the team wearing yellow comfortably endured the final whistle to win the fa cup for the fifth time and provide guus hiddink with the perfect end to his brief career in charge. Meanwhile, for Everton, statistics sadly showed that they had now finished runners-up eight times, more than any other club in FA Cup history.