FA Cup Final: Saturday 19th May 2018 17:15
Conte doesn’t win cup competitions.
Mourinho had won 12 out of 14 finals.
But he’d never been dumb enough to start with Phil “Sloth from the Goonies” Jones before...
Us: “Play like this and we will lose the final,” said Conte after Newcastle. He had a point. But then, I could say “pick the team that beat the Red Scouse and stop being a bellend.” But he did. Hurrah! Just what we were advocating in large numbers.
Them: No Lukaku. The lovely Mata on the bench. Herrera and Young which meant I’d be swearing my head off. I don’t care about Sanchez anymore. I just pity him because every time I’ve seen him in a Manchester United shirt he’s been about as effective as Michael Owen trying in a round of speed dating.
More than double the price of Newcastle and even further away from the pitch. Let’s get the seat moan out of the way. The FA are a monumental bunch of cockwombles with sticky fingers who couldn’t give a flying f*ck about football fans. They should be categorically ashamed of both their price hikes and their seating bands. F*ck you and the extortionate three legged donkeys that you rode in on. You self aggrandising crooked b*stards.
Now we’ve got that out of the way...
Fozzy Bear: 2-1 Chelsea
Beaker: 1-0 Chelsea Willian to score
Janice: Penalties - at which point she wants Big Willy subbed on and we win
Mowgli: 2-0 Chelsea
First minute and The Beard is already holding up the ball. I could lick him. A forward with some muscle. I have missed this since the Drog left. I don’t buy this “when he starts he isn’t effective” sh*t. He worked his a*se off for everyone else’s benefit today’s, ran himself into the ground. And only towards the end did he start to look a bit exasperated that no one seemed capable of putting a ball on his perfectly coiffed head. But by then we weren’t really capable of anything. But we’ll get to that.
We wiped the floor with United in the first half. Straight away we looked like the side that took three points off the Red Scouse. I could go into a rant about why we took apart that team for no reason against Huddersfield but let’s not mar this happy day. We looked great. We were getting stuck in; Cesc had two completed tackles inside ten minutes.
The first shot came from Eden from a narrow angle while we were all sharing a moment for Ray Wilkins, but it wasn’t anything really exciting. Refwatch: Michael Oliver. If he strained his nut sack at any point today we were f*cked. Because Lee Mason was the fourth official Oliver didn’t even call on VAR for the penalty shout on 13, which at the time made me want to stamp on him with my boots on. This was the only point today when I remembered that Matic was playing for them. If it was Matic fouling Bakayoko. It could have been anybody from all the way up here. I can’t see sh*t.
In the meantime Sanchez had started diving, but seeing as he did it at our end he got just about the amount of abuse he deserved as the referee told him to get back up. What a snivelling little f*ckbag he is. Non existent. We’d been on top, but offered little in the box so far, they’d offered nothing bar hoofing it long and trying to catch Courtois out because he had the sun in his eyes.
My love hate relationship with Oliver confused the f*ck out of me this evening. He gave the penalty. Jones lunged after Hazard like a boss eyed wildebeest with a bum leg that had just been wrenched from a deep sleep. But apparently he can’t be sent off because of some a*se rule that FIFA or UEFA or the FA made up because some paid them to, or because it at some point benefitted the Red Scouse. W*nk. But then as the game continued and it became apparent that we were actually better off with the great lumbering oaf on the pitch and so I forgave the referee. How is this idiot in the England squad? Actually don’t answer that. Fabian Delph and Danny Welbeck are in the England squad. We don’t have time to get into this.
Eden smacks the penalty away and the blue end of Wembley goes wild. F*ck goes Chequebook’s game plan. Almost half an hour gone and United hadn’t had a shot on target. They could get literally nowhere near Bakayoko. I’d love to see a heat map of Jones. It would just be a single luminous dot representing how he’d stood there gasping for air for 35 minutes.
The couldn’t deal with Eden either. I do love how much they hate him. Because it’s purely because he’s just better than them. And they can’t touch him. And he picked us over them. I did have to laugh too because they were getting increasingly frustrated at being pulled up for fouling him. Which makes them morons. Because you had a player sent off against us at Stamford Bridge for persistent fouling on him. By this same referee. And yet you’ve turned up with a plan to kick Hazard because you don’t know what else to do with him. What made you think you were going to get away with it today? It was made better by the anguish on Ashley Young’s clueless face every other time he didn’t get his own way when he tried diving or whining at Oliver. This culminated in their surrounding the referee on 39 minutes. I look forward to reading about a charge for failing to control their players.
We were now into the realms of “just don’t concede before halftime.” They did hit one just wide. Phew. With the added hilarity that half of their muppets though it was in and went mad and we got to laugh at them. Then Rudi made a fine clearance just before the break to keep our noses in front.
The half time entertainment at Wembley didn’t even stretch to a beach ball penalty shoot out. We were encouraged to watch a TV showing people watching the first half on TV. Which was wank.
As soon as the game restarted it looked like Chequebook Pulis had been chucking hair dryers about at half time. We’d lapsed into a conversation about how we think Phil Jones is going to be massive when he finishes playing. I can just see him passing his days in kids cinema clubs, wearing a dirty tracksuit covered in food stains, watching cartoons at ten in the morning surrounded by five year olds and shoving haribo in his face. Smelling of BO.
We couldn’t get a foot on the ball. On 50 minutes their fans arrived and they looked twice the team they were in the first half. Simply put, they had got their sh*t together. And we appeared to have misplaced ours. Luckily for us Thibaut was once again on the money for us today, starting with a punched clearance on 52 minutes. They hadn’t quite sussed the final ball yet, but it would, however, have been nice if we had got out of our own half. Another save from Courtois on 55 when he palmed a shot away and the ball came back in slowly, straight into his arms.
Dear Chelsea. Please wake up now. Sincerely, Alex.
We were not even in this game as it approached the hour mark, so far as any attacking endeavours were concerned. We’d lapsed into that oft seen 2017/18 habit of giving the f*cking ball away in midfield at every opportunity, but luckily, Captain Cahill in the centre, with Rudi and Dave either side were in tune.
United scored on 62 minutes, but it was offside. Ahahahahahahahahaha. Though don’t think we weren’t bricking it at the time.
Down to about 35% possession.
The hatches were battened. But it was as if they are made of Tesco value toilet paper; leaking profusely. When we did break it was six against two because we didn’t really send anyone up. There was nappy sh*tting going on full scale in the upper echelons of the top tier, capped off by one generic p*sshead who kept calling everyone c*nts and telling them to sing up. They’re always popular.
Alonso had a low shot on 69 that went out for a corner. My WhatsApp went berserk, my brother watching it on TV and apoplectic that Young was guilty of a handball. Nothing doing from Oliver, who had a strong overall game today yet somehow managed to make a couple of clangers. None that are going to cause any Buffon-like outage this time though.
And so we clung on. At least all the scrapping in the box was distracting Oliver from how long we were spending on a single corner. Which of course came to nothing because it is us. Thibaut made a brilliant save on 71, coming right out at the United player and blocking his inward run, before CP went full kitchen sink. On came Lukaku and Martial, off went Rashford and someone else I didn’t care about.
A deflection was caught by Thibaut in the area on 73. Despite the changes the relentlessness off the United attacks had just eased off. Jones last act before going off was to haplessly headbutt The Beard, and when play restarted we had the ball again, at least in equal share. We weren’t doing anything shiny with it, but who f*cking cares. At this point we were winning. Had they run out of steam? For my blood pressure’s sake, I hoped so. But no. On 79 Courtois pushed another shot away. This was going to be like the f*cking Alamo. We had a break on 81, but after a lot of tippy tappy stuff leading up to the box, The Beard was given offside. God bless him, at this point all he wanted was for someone to put the ball on his head so he could have a shot after running about after everyone else all afternoon, but the moment was never quite right.
Seconds later it was back up the other end and the ball was flying across the face of our goal. Conte hadn’t yet made a change, which was novel for Antonio and some in the upper tier were getting restless. Frankly, it felt like this would be a miracle if we won this game 1-0. Another United shot went wide on 84. Morata came on for The Beard. Taking him off in his own garden? Felt like bad Juju. I have nothing against Morata starting plenty of games, but this one, this was made for the Frenchman and the manager made the right call. Eden had absolutely run his legs off and was fading out of the game, so Willian came on on 90. Five added minutes? Where have the dickheads got that from? The first two consisted of pinball in midfield, and a whole lot of panic from us. Please God, not another half an hour. Because they will win it if they bring this level, we haven’t been near them since half time. A corner with about a minute to go was caught by Courtois, before Little Willy and Morata combined to take it up the other end and win a corner at the death. F*ck me. We’d done it. The United fans’ reaction to the final whistle was to throw a flare on the pitch and then run away. Faster than Sp*rs when we sunk them 4-2.
So: They huffed. They puffed. They blew our house down. Then they set fire to the ruins and p*ssed on them. But they couldn’t score. Beaker was closest with the predictions, which if nothing else tells you that even when you’ve basically fermented your brain in alcohol and bacon fat you can still talk sense occasionally.
There were some supreme performances out there today. We had three captains at the back, but Rudi was magnificent and got all the accolades he deserved, not to mention an opportunity to dance his way around Wembley with the first club prize of his career. He was given man of the match, though for me it was a toss up between him and Phil Jones. Much maligned signing Bakayoko put in another performance to be proud of too. Alonso when he was celebrating - Beaker has pointed out that no matter what happens in a game; or afterwards his face always looks like he’s just bitten into a lemon. Cesc can replace the 2005 winners medal that his dad lost. Eden was in the crowd. We got to pay tribute again to Ray Wilkins before his widow presented us with the trophy. CP shook the hand of each of our players and was gracious on the pitch, but he couldn’t outrun his own personality for longer it took to point a tv camera in his face. Conte even put a suit on and promptly got drenched for his trouble. I don’t want to have a go at him today. That was almost certainly the last we’ll see of him. These cute little comments about how he might still get fired even if he won annoyed me coming from a man who’d made his presence at the club for much of this season look about as appealing to him as having his fingernails removed with pliers. But today he deserves as much credit as the team. He’s banked a second trophy in two seasons when others were struggling to pick up anything. And he obviously enjoyed this win. I’m glad. 730-whatever other teams that entered the FA Cup would have killed to pick that trophy up today, and anyone that says the competition doesn’t at least sugar-coat our otherwise disappointing season doesn’t understand English football.
The book of the blog will break down the season, as well as reproducing the complete, uncensored articles in full. Given the relentless, polarising suffering we’ve just endured for the last nine months it will take the form of a survival guide. It’ll be out in June, but I’ll keep updates coming on Twitter and Facebook.
I leave you with this bastardisation of a Manchester United ditty from the tube:
Runners Up, Runners Up Man Utd
Runners Up, Runners Up I pray
Runners Up, Runners Up Man Utd
Playing football the Jose way