So, the English football season is done and dusted, with only the World Cup to keep us happy until it all kicks off again after the summer. And it ends with Chelsea, one of the most disappointing teams of the 2017-2018 season, winning the FA Cup, beating Manchester United 1-0.
A penalty won and converted by Eden Hazard’s will be recorded as the difference between the two teams, with Chelsea winning the FA Cup for the eighth time. However, it could have been a different game if Manchester United had played the first half the same way they played the second.
Demonstrating very little urgency and playing at almost snail’s pace, Manchester United were undone in the first half when a galloping Eden Hazard was brought down in the penalty area by a desperate last-gasp challenge by Phil Jones. Despite dominating possession, United didn’t look remotely dangerous and seemed very lopsided.
Once half time had come and gone, United started to play football and began to look as if they wanted to score a goal. Alexis Sanchez had a goal ruled out for straying just offside and Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois denied an attempt by Marcus Rashford, before Paul Pogba headed wide with what was the clearest chance of the day. Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial appeared as substitutes for the final 17 minutes, but United were unable to find an equaliser.
In what looks likely to have been his last match in charge of Chelsea, something he has seemed to be working towards at various stages of the season, Antonio Conte’s players will at least have given him the trophy that will allow him to say he was sacked without cause, given that he won two trophies in two years. For the fans though, it doesn’t compensate for missing out on the Champion’s League.