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Ian Watson's Wembley blog

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15 May 2010 13:41:00

Ian Watson's Wembley blog

TEAMtalk's Ian Watson was at Wembley and gives us a detailed experience of witnessing Chelsea win the FA Cup final - and with it the Double. 18:03 Carlo Ancelotti was as gracious and modest in victory as he has been all season. When asked if winning the Double in his first season made him special, he replied: "I am normal, I am lucky." He also revealed his belief that "this team is good enough to win the Champions League without changes", but I wouldn't have thought that would stop him spending in the summer. Ancelotti and his players now head off for their end of season party tonight, but for me it's a much less glamorous destination: The M1 North. 17:50 Avram Grant was understandably downbeat in his assessment. He choked up as he reflected on a "sad and proud" day, and had nothing but praise for his players. He does not hold the Premier League in the same regard, however, and Grant revealed his fury over his players being punished for what has gone on in the boardroom. He also insisted Pompey should be allowed to play in Europe next season, and twice referred to Liverpool as an example where the rules have been changed to allow a team to compete on the continent. Grant refused to be drawn on his future, and insisted "nothing had changed," and it was "the last thing on my mind". Chelsea win the FA Cup... And with it, their first domestic Double. It is the Pompey fans, though, who remain the loudest. Many came here today expecting nothing but a severe beating, but they will leave wondering what might have been. In truth though, it would have been a travesty if Chelsea had not won. They were the better team on the day, just as they have been all season. But then you don't always get what you deserve. The Portsmouth supporters are living proof of that. I'm heading to the press conferences, I'll be back if there is anything interesting to report. 87 mins: And now Frank Lampard misses a penalty. This has been the most bizarre game I've seen in a long time, but it's been all the more intriguing for it. My old man told me when I was a wee nipper that if you're losing late on, you always get one chance. He's usually been right over the years too. Pompey are going to have to be quick, though, the added time board is coming out. And it's three minutes. 80 mins: Pompey look a beaten side, which perhaps is a little understandable after having the wind so ruthlessly knocked out of their sails. O'Hara has vanished and the Blues are slicing through the Pompey resistance almost at will. Of course as I type that, Nadir Belhadj fires the most inviting of crosses along the line of the six-yard box which John Terry is fortunate to shepherd behind. Perhaps it's not over yet, though in all honesty, it probably is. 59 mins 1-0 to Chelsea Two minutes after Kevin-Prince Boateng's frankly pathetic penalty is saved by Petr Cech, Didier Drogba wins a free-kick and promptly punishes Boateng for his profligacy by rattling it past James. Fine free-kick though it was, it was on James' side, and the England keeper can't say there has been no precedent. Drogba scored an almost identical effort at Arsenal earlier in the season. As I suspected, Pompey clearly exhausted the reserves of luck in the first 45 minutes. Oh, and yes the buffet was very nice, thanks for asking. Half-time: Chelsea must be sat in their palatial dressing room wondering what on earth is going on. If I was Ancelotti, I would be out there with a tape measure checking the width of the posts. And then I would go and check Kalou had his boots on the right feet after his astonishing miss. Call it luck, call it poor finishing, but the fortune Pompey are enjoying is exactly what they need if they are to pull it off. Now, I'm off to the buffet. I'll be back in 15. Probably. 38 mins: Maybe it is Pompey's day. James' save from Drogba's free-kick was out of this world but when the ball comes down off the bar, it definitely looks in. TV replays suggest the linesman was right not to give the goal but frankly how he is supposed to tell from where he is stood is beyond me. And Drogba has just hit the post again. Seriously, this is getting beyond a joke. That's five times the frame of the Pompey goal has been rattled. 27 mins: Salomon Kalou leaves it until the last game of the season to swoop in and take the Miss of the Season. Four-yards out, no keeper, the freedom of Wembley and Kalou manages to hit the bar. And John Terry has just done the same with a towering header. Pompey's luck can't hold for the whole game, surely? 24 mins: Of course, after saying it's all Chelsea, Pompey go and almost score. They should have too, with Piquionne deflecting the ball from two yards straight at Petr Cech who pulls off a great reaction save. 14 mins: Brown seems to be doing a man-marking job on Lampard, and the Pompey man has left his calling card four times already. There is not a snowball's chance in hell he will avoid a booking or worse before the final whistle. Brown was nowhere in sight, though, when Lampard just smashed a 20-yard effort against the top of the post. As you might expect, it's all Chelsea. 1 min: Chelsea were one down this time last year. Early impressions: O'Hara is playing very high up around the two Pompey strikers, and Michael Brown has already had a little dig at Frank Lampard. Actually, make that two. Keep an eye on that. 14:52 The teams are in the tunnel, with Carlo Ancelotti looking more and more like Jack Donaghy from '30 Rock'. While we're on lookalikes, he's stood next to Pompey boss, Baron Greenback. 14:37 Even though the Pompey support are already in marvellous voice, a quote taken from this morning's Guardian is a sobering reminder of the state their club is in. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr Sulaiman al-Fahim: "I first became interested in Portsmouth after meeting Peter Storrie in Dubai. I hadn't done any homework, I didn't ask for any financial numbers, no information at all. I just Googled the club" It'd be funny if it wasn't so tragic... 14:30 Pompey goalkeeping coach David Coles is rolling some balls into David James to hit and there is definitely a bobble on the ball when it rolls across the surface. I really hope we're not still talking about this pitch after the game.. 14:04 The teams are in and Chelsea are unchanged from last week's demolition of Wigan, meaning Branislav Ivanovic has recovered from his knee problem. I'm told Jamie O'Hara starts for Pompey. Hassan Yebda is out however, with Papa Bouba Diop coming in. 13:59 Wherever you might be watching the game, I want to hear from you. Let me have your cup final predictions, the more specific the better, and I'll name those who get it right and shame those who get it oh so wrong. You can have your say using the story comment facility at the bottom of the page, or alternatively, get in touch with @TEAM_talk on Twitter. 13:51 The Pompey players are having a stroll on the pitch and no-one has hit the deck yet so that's a good start. Jamie O'Hara was the only one in warm-up gear which indicates he has completed a fitness test. I'll let you know the teams as soon as we get them, but for the early team news, check out the Chelsea and Portsmouth match previews. 13:35: It may have taken forever to build and come in way, way over budget but good God, Wembley is a breathtaking arena for football. If only they could give the stadium a pitch of the quality it deserves. 'Patchy' would be the best way to describe the surface in front of me. I'll keep you informed with how the players deal with it when they come out to warm-up. 13:30: Welcome to Wembley, from where Chelsea and Portsmouth will do battle for the FA Cup in a clash of Premier League champs against chumps. At stake here is a possible first-ever domestic league and FA Cup double for Chelsea, while Pompey are to hoping to steer clear of completing a shambolic treble: Relegation, administration and cup final annihilation. Not since Middlesbrough managed to lose two cup finals and get themselves relegated in 1997 have a team 'enjoyed' a more miserable campaign. I'll be here all afternoon to either pick the bones out of Pompey's rotting carcass or witness one of the least-expected FA Cup final shocks of modern times.


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