2010 FA Cup Final: Chelsea vs Portsmouth

Chelsea 1 - 0 Portsmouth

  • Chelsea
    • Drogba 59'
    • (Dipping free-kick from 25 yards scoring low into the right corner via the post)
  • Portsmouth
    • No Goals.

Wembley Stadium, London, Saturday 15th May 2010, 15:00 GMT

Attendance: 88,335

Match Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Entertainment Rating: 3.5/5

Team Line-ups:

Chelsea (Blue Strip/White Socks)

  • GK 1Petr Cech
  • RB 2Branislav Ivanovic
  • CB 33Alex
  • CB 26John Terry (c)
  • LB 3Ashley Cole
  • CM 8Frank Lampard
  • CM 13Michael Ballack
  • CM 15Florent Malouda
  • RW 21Saloman Kalou
  • LW 39Nicolas Anelka
  • CF 11Didier Drogba
  • Substitutes
  • GK 40Hilario
  • DF 19Paulo Ferreira
  • DF 35Juliano Belletti
  • MF 10Joe Cole
  • MF 18Yuri Zhirkov
  • MF 24Nemanja Matic
  • FW 23Daniel Sturridge


Carlo Ancelotti

Portsmouth (White and Maroon Strip)

  • GK 1David James (c)
  • RB 16Steve Finnan
  • CB 3Ricardo Rocha
  • CB 4Aaron Mokoena
  • LB 6Hayden Mullins
  • RM 24Aruna Dindane
  • CM 11Michael Brown
  • CM 8Papa Bouba Diop
  • LM 23Kevin-Prince Boateng
  • SS 5Jamie O'Hara
  • CF 9Frederic Piquionne
  • Substitutes
  • GK 21Jamie Ashdown
  • DF 18Anthony Vanden Borre
  • DF 26Tal Ben Haim
  • DF 39Nadir Belhadj
  • MF 22Richard Hughes
  • FW 17John Utaka
  • FW 27Nwankwo Kanu


Avram Grant

Road to Wembley:

  • 5 – 0 vs Watford (H)
  • 2 – 0 vs Preston North End (A)
  • 4 – 1 vs Cardiff City (H)
  • 2 – 0 vs Stoke City (H)
  • 3 – 0 vs Aston Villa (Wembley)
  • 3rd Round
  • Replay
  • 4th Round
  • 5th Round
  • Q/Finals
  • S/Finals
  • 1 – 1 vs Coventry City (H)
  • 2 – 1 vs Coventry City (A)
  • 2 – 1 vs Sunderland (H)
  • 4 – 1 vs Southampton (A)
  • 2 – 0 vs Birmingham City (H)
  • 2 – 0 AET vs Tottenham Hotspur (W)

Match Highlights

Match Breakdown

'Rich vs Poor', 'Success vs Failure', and 'Champion vs Relegation' were just some of the ways that the 129th annual Wembley showdown was being described by football fans as the previous two winners of the Cup faced off. Chelsea had just won the Premier League by a single point, beating their regular rivals Manchester United to the title, and were now aiming for the first 'Double' in their history (to win both the League and Cup in the same season). Roman Abramovich's studious appointment of the talented Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti the previous summer had reaped it's rewards as their superstar squad were playing free-flowing attacking football that demolished most opponents in their path.

Conversely, Portsmouth had hit financial freefall in 2009-2010 as a tide of mis-management and ownership issues had cruelly caused the club to become the first top-flight team to go into administration and receive a 9-point deduction from the FA Premier League. Relying on mainly foreign loan players and veterans, their poor season was blighted by uncertainty and relegation to the Championship was confirmed on 10th April. Despite all this, the FA Cup become a tournament of solace for the club and they somehow made it to the Final against all odds, beating an underwhelming Tottenham Hotspur side in the semi-final after extra time. To add extra spice to the Final, manager Avram Grant was also a personal friend of Abramovich and had spent eight months as Chelsea manager in 2007-2008.

The announcement of the team line-ups did not bring any surprises. Chelsea's 'strong spine' of Cech, Terry, Ballack and Drogba was one of the most admired in Europe whilst a cast of highly-paid International superstars complimented them. In contrast, the 'Pompey' team was made up of old-school English workhorses like Michael Brown and Hayden Mullins alongside many loanees such as Jamie O'Hara, Aruna Dindane and the talented Kevin-Prince Boateng who had been a shining light in their FA Cup campaign.

The match itself began in the tone expected as the West Londoners were passing the ball about with flair as the battling South Coast team were showing the battling spirit and resolve that had taken them all the way to this Final. Springing into life in the 13th minute, Frank Lampard produced a thunderous 30-yard strike that clipped the top of right-hand post. This seemed to open up the game to a flurry of chances, mainly for Chelsea, that encapsulated the rest of the first half. Portsmouth had the first of these in the 21st minute as Piquionne somehow diverted a Boateng shot straight at Cech from only 3-yards out with the goal gaping. The Frenchman looked dumbstruck at how he did not open the scoring.

Remarkably, Saloman Kalou then proceeded to miss an even better chance for Chelsea a few minutes later. Cole marauded down the left and cut the ball back to Kalou who shinned the ball onto the crossbar with James out of position. It was an open goal and the Ivorian could not believe he had missed it. Fast forward to the 29th minute and even more action for the Portsmouth crossbar as a towering Terry header smashed against it. Another ten minutes later and Didier Drogba joined the party as his spectacular dipping 35-yard free-kick was fingertipped onto the crossbar by James and bounced down onto the goal-line before being cleared away by a defender. How the team in blue were not in the lead by half-time is anybody's guess but the match somehow remained 0 – 0 going into the break.

The second half began at a frantic pace as Pompey needed to step up their attacking ideas in an attempt to try to keep the ball further up the pitch to avoid another onslaught upon their defence. Barely five minutes had passed when Boateng deliciously trapped a cross field O'Hara free-kick and threatened Cech's goal with a whipped left-foot strike from a tight angle. Then, in the 54th minute, Ancelotti looked shocked on the sidelines as Dindane won a penalty for Portsmouth after a clumsy tackle from the substitute Belletti (who came on for the injured Ballack just before half-time). Cech was unbeatable however as Kevin-Prince Boateng's weak spot-kick was too central and the tall Czech goalkeeper managed to sweep the ball away with his legs.

What a miss it turned out to be as within three minutes Chelsea took the all-important lead through their top scorer Drogba. Addressing the ball from 25-yards out, Drogba sized up the wall in front of him and struck a dipping free-kick with his right boot beyond the stretch of David James and into the net via the inside of the far post. It was the big Ivorian's sixth goal at Wembley and his 37th of a very productive season but most importantly, it put Chelsea in front.

After a rollercoaster of emotions occurring in such a short space of time, Avram Grant's players appeared to lose heart after the goal and rarely threatened again for the rest of the match, with the exception of a tremendous cross from substitute Belhadj that almost found Dindane at the back post (81st minute). Lampard then created a bit of unlikely history as he won a penalty in the 86th minute when Brown felled him in the box. Usually so lethal from the penalty spot, the England midfielder dragged his shot wide and unwittingly made this the first FA Cup Final where both sides had missed a penalty. It mattered not though as Chelsea saw the match out to complete a memorable Double whilst Portsmouth began to contemplate life in the second tier of English football and a sadly uncertain future.