Footy Times

Chelsea beat Man Utd to lift FA Cup

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LONDON: An Eden Hazard Penalty in the first half was enough for Chelsea to defeat holders Manchester United 1-0 and win the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

The Belgian super star was fouled down by United defender Phil Jones in the 22nd minute and Hazard calmly converted from the spot sending United keeper David De Gea on to the wrong side.

United made a second half rallying and pressured Chelsea for an equalizer but failed to find a way past the Londoners organized defense.

Despite creating more chances and dominating the possession, Jose Mourinho’s men could not break the deadlock to give Antonio Conte a much needed trophy following last year’s Premier League triumph. This was Chelsea’s eighth FA Cup title.

The Italian is speculated to be sacked by the end of the season as the Blues failed to find a place in next year’s Champions League after finishing the League in fifth place.

Red Devil started Marcos Rashford instead of Lukaku who found the bench after suffering from an injury.

Alexis Sanchez had a goal ruled out for straying just offside, with referee Michael Oliver who is infamous for Buffon sending off against Real Madrid in Champions League quarter final using VAR to confirm the call.

Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois excelled with a series of fine saves, while influential midfielder Paul Pogba wasted United’s best chance late on when he headed wide of an open goal.

Conte was delighted with the victory and made clear of his position as a future Chelsea boss.

“I’m very satisfied because today it was very difficult to win the FA Cup against a really great team like Man United so we must be pleased,’ said the Italian.

It wasn’t easy but I’m very happy for our fans and my players. They deserve this win, to win an important trophy in a season which was very difficult for many reasons.”

Asked about his future at the Stamford Bridge, the former Juventus and Italian national team coach was defiant and said the club will decide his fate.

‘I have a contract and I am committed to this club. From the start of the season, because don’t forget the speculation started after our first defeat to Burnley, my position was always the same, I’m committed.

‘One day there was speculation about me going with the national team, another day it was to go with another important team, but in every press conference I said I was committed to this club. I respect my contract but our job is not simple. I understand the club can make a decision, positive or negative, I’m the first to understand because I’m the coach of a great and an important club, and it’s right the club demand a lot from me. You have to understand if this season we had the maximum or not.

‘I have great respect for my club and for sure they will make the best decision. I’m the first to accept any decision for the future because after these two seasons I will always love this colour, this club and the fans if my future is in a different way. An emotional Conte said in the post-match press meet.

Meanwhile Mourinho who lifted two trophies with United rued missed chances and claimed the Manchester team was the best side in the match. The Portuguese practically will end the season with the bitter reality that despite spending a lot of money, they could not win anything in the season.

“I congratulate them because they won but I don’t think they deserved to win. I congratulate [them] because I am a sportsman and they scored one more goal than us and they get the Cup. I think I have to do what my job requires me to do – I am the Manchester United manager and I must be respectful, not just because they [Chelsea] were my previous club but because they are the opponent that won the Cup. But I think we deserved to win, we were the better team but that’s football. It’s disappointing. We were the second best team in the Premier League and we were the second best team in the FA Cup, although I think we were the best [in that competition].” The former Chelsea boss said.

“I am quite curious [to read your opinions] because I am now on holiday and I have more time for that. But I have worked like an animal for 10 months and I go away with my head completely clean. I gave everything, the players gave everything, I am happy.” The Portuguese added in the post-match interview.

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