Sunday, May 20, 2007

2007 FA Cup Final: Chelsea 1-Manchester Utd 0

So the 2007 English domestic season is officially done and dusted. All that's left is the Champions League final in a little less than a week and then we'll have to make do with transfer rumors and atrociously boring MLS action to get by.

For the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley it was a letdown and not just because I'm a United fan. The first half was horrendous as was the state of the pitch. Ryan Giggs once said he never like playing at the old Wembley because the pitch was so poor. $575 million dollars later and some things just never change. The second half was improved from both sides and Rooney was in sparkling form, his mesmerizing run from box to box probably the most breathtaking. Anyway blahblahblah you guys can read the match report anywhere you want. Let's get down to the talking points:

The Giggs incident. Let's be frank, Giggs should've done better. Regardless of Essien's challenge, which I don't believe warranted a penalty, Rooney put the ball at his feet and he had the entire goal at his mercy from less than 6 yards out. And all he could do was scuff a shot into Cech's body. And no it wasn't a goal just because it crossed the line, it wasn't a goal because Giggs pushed Cech over the line after he had saved his weak effort. Moving on.

For me one of the most overlooked moments of the game was Ronaldo's chance in the 87th minute. Scholes releases him on the right edge of the box with a lovely chipped pass, Ronaldo does a stepover, cuts inside and INSTEAD of passing to the completely unmarked Ryan Giggs in the center of the penalty box just outside the 6-yard he goes for an outrageous near-post shot against Petr-fucking-Cech. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Kaka is the best player in the world. Ronaldo is only 22 to Kaka's 25, so you hope that in the future he'll do the right thing and keep his head up and pass the ball like Kaka probably would've done in that situation. Good news is Ronaldo will probably be World POY within the next few years.

When it comes down to it neither side deserved to win or lose, it was a cagey match from start to finish with momentum swinging both ways (if at all). The game was up for grabs and Chelsea snatched it with a fine goal (hate to say it but it was a superb return ball from Fat Frank) when the United defense was probably caught napping a bit. Enough of the Mourinho impersonations, whining about fatigue, disallowed goals, and penalties that weren't given. United had their chances and didn't capitalize, Chelsea did.

Yes, it's a tough loss to swallow--being the first one at the new Wembley and all--but I think I'll wash it down with some champagne I've got left over from when we won the league...cheers.

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