Chelsea have been one of the prominent sides to feature in the FA Cup finals in recent memories. In fact, the Blues have made it to this stage of the competition five times since 2010. More than any other side in that period. They emerged victorious three times.
This season Thomas Tuchel men face an elegant Leicester side in the finals. It is the 140th edition of the historical cup competition. Before the final on Saturday at Wembley, we look back on the previous five clashes of Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (2020) -
Chelsea made it to the FA Cup final only last year. Club legend Frank Lampard was in charge of the team then. Unfortunately, they lost to Arsenal even after taking the lead inside the fifth minute. Captain America, as he is called by Chelsea fans, Christian Pulisic struck in a fantastic team goal to add to the tally of his impressive season. Arsenal was awarded a penalty next which Aubameyang converted to make it 1-1 before halftime. Sadly, Pulisic hobbled off the pitch with a hamstring injury and that left the Blues attack toothless. Their London rivals took full advantage of it and through a classy goal again from Aubameyang decided the winner of the trophy. The final was played in front of an empty Wembley due to Covid restrictions, the first time in the showpiece final history.
Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United (2018) -
Managed by Antonio Conte, Chelsea also reached the FA Cup final for the consecutive season back then. The opposition this time was Jose Mourinho's Manchester United. The Blues had a rough second season under the Italian boss and wanted this silverware to relieve some of the pressure. While Conte didn't survive the managerial merry-go-round at Chelsea, he did deliver this prize after the 2017 final disappointment. Starman Eden Hazard's penalty ultimately made the game for them after both sides missed some great chances. For the first time in FA Cup history, VAR was used in the final as in the competition.
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Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (2017) -
Chelsea met Arsenal once again in 2017 and the scoreline was the same. Antonio Conte's Blues were favorites to lift the trophy on the back of an excellent campaign in which they emphatically won the Premier League title. But their London rivals showed their experience of winning the FA Cup a record 14 times. Chelsea started the game on the backfoot as Arsenal, managed by Arsene Wenger, took a deserved lead just four minutes after the kickoff. Alexis Sanchez took advantage of a scramble inside the Chelsea box and slot home. Officials after a quick discussion deemed him onside. The Blues didn't turn up in the first half. The second half was a lot dramatic than the first one. Victor Moses was sent off for his second yellow and 10 men down Chelsea restored priority in the second half through Diego Costa in the 76th minute. However, that equalizer didn't last long. Arsenal went up to score the other end with Aaron Ramsey's header 3 minutes later. Costa shot was saved by Ospina and Ozil's effort hit the upright as the game finished with Arsenal lifting the prize.
Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool (2012) -
But Chelsea were largely successful in the final at the start of the decade. They played one of the enthralling finals in 2012 against Liverpool. Chelsea were basking in red hot form after defeating arch-rivals Tottenham 5-1 in the semifinals while Liverpool did the same against their Merseyside rivals Everton to reach the stage. Chelsea dominated almost the entirety of the game until a late Liverpool surge almost forced extra time. The Blues took the lead through Ramires after Jay Spearing lost possession and the Brazilian went on to score past Pepe Reina inside ten minutes. Didier Drogba made Wembley his home again as he received a pass from Lampard and slotted past Reina to make it 2-0. Liverpool woke up after that and substitute Carroll half the deficit in the 64th minute with neat footwork after Suarez intercepted the ball to play him the pass. Carroll created and missed chances as his teammates with Cech proving his mantle between the sticks. He even spectacularly saved the former's header onto the post in the 81st minute as Chelsea held on to win it.
Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth (2010) -
This game will be remembered for Drogba's memorable freekick to seal the deal for Chelsea in the 2009/10 FA Cup final. Portsmouth were a surprise candidate to reach the final despite being relegated from the Premier League in the same season. The squad did hold some star names like David James and Kevin Prince Boateng. On the other hand, it was a chance for a FA Cup double for Chelsea after beating Everton 2-1 in the previous year. It was a remarkable first half as Lampard, John Terry, Saloman Kalou and Drogba hit the post a combined four times. Portsmouth almost took the advantage of the squandered chances but Kevin Prince Boateng failed to convert his spot-kick in the 54th minute. Cech the hero again. Four minutes later Drogba unleashed a swerving free-kick behind James to create another highlight of his illustrious career. Chelsea almost left a scare after Lampard missed a late penalty but got hands on the trophy they deserved.
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