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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Wembley Stadium | 30th May 2009 15:00

Chelsea v Everton

Everton's FA Cup dream ended in a gallant 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

The Toffees fans had laid siege to Wembley, desperate to crown the hugely enjoyable road to Wembley with a memorable sixth FA Cup win.

And after Louis Saha's sensational early strike, it looked as if they might just do it.

But Chelsea's undoubted class eventually showed as goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard reversed the tie.

Everton's work-rate, effort and togetherness was never in doubt - but it wasn't enough to muster an equaliser.

Louis Saha celebrates becoming the quickest ever scorer in an FA Cup finalLouis Saha celebrates becoming the quickest ever scorer in a Wembley FA Cup final

Even the most optimistic Everton fan surely couldn't have predicted a start as dramatic as a goal inside the first minute.

With only 29 seconds on the clock, Saha produced an unstoppable left-foot volley from the edge of the box that flew past Petr Cech.

The immediate reaction in the stadium was shock - but in a split second it turned to jubilation as the Everton end produced a deafaning celebratory roar of unbridled joy.

Saha's strike was the fastest ever goal in a Wembley cup final, easily beating Roberto Di Matteo's effort for Chelsea in 1997, the Londoners learning what it feels like to be on the wrong end of such a situation.

After that hammer blow, Chelsea set about seeking parity and Tony Hibbert picked up an early yellow card for clipping Florent Malouda's heels as he careered down the left wing.

Louis Saha scores after just 29 secondsLouis Saha scores after just 29 seconds

Guus Hiddink was a permanent presence on in the technical area and he saw Michael Essien shin one over with his side dominant.

And the equaliser came in the 21st minute. After Nicolas Anelka had picked out Malouda on the left, the Frenchman's pin-point centre was expertly powered home by the head of Drogba.

Lampard fired over from long range moments later and Everton looked rattled.

They managed to keep chances to a minimum though, until the 44th minute when Ashley Cole sliced wide after finding space behind Hibbert.

That was the Everton right-back's last action as Lars Jacobsen replaced him at the break.

Tim HowardTim Howard is pressed into action at Wembley

Malouda was wild with a shot at the start of the second period then just before the hour mark Saha sent in a similarly speculative attempt.

Chelsea were next to threaten when Lampard's chip played in Anelka. The striker tried unsuccessfully to guide the ball over Howard and below the bar.

For Everton, Cahill's long range half-volley was ambitious but Saha's 77th minute header from Baines' cross whistled over the bar.

In the 72nd minute Lampard scored the winner. He wrongfooted the Everton defence before lashing home a left-foot strike that Howard got fingers to but couldn't keep out.

Pienaar tried to hit back straight away but his long ranger never looked like troubling Cech.

Ever-dangerous, Malouda missed a great chance two minutes later and then early hero Saha's involvement was over as James Vaughan replaced him with 14 minutes left.

First action after the resumption saw Malouda thunder an effort off the under-side of the bar. Replays suggested it may have crossed the line before Howard gratefulled grabbed it.

David Moyes' last throw of the dice was the introduction of Dan Gosling, who replaced Leon Osman.

His players couldn't conjure an equaliser on this occasion, but the fact remains that Everton proved beyond any doubt, that this is they type of occasion of which they deserve to be a part.



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