Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Final: Blues Win 2-1

Chelsea win the 2012 FA Cup 2-1 with goals from Ramires and Dider Drogba, but a late Liverpool surge came very close to seeing the Reds level.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Final: Final Score, Blues Win 2-1 After Thrilling Second Half

Chelsea have underachieved in the Premier League this season, leading to the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, but interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has guided them to a trophy. The Blues are FA Cup champions for the seventh time in their history after they held on for a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.

The first half was relatively uneventful, outside of Chelsea's counter-attack goal, and it seemed that the match would be a drab one for quite some time. Ramires scored the opening goal in the 11th minute, blazing by Jose Enrique to get onto a Juan Mata through ball, then beat Pepe Reina at his near post. Chelsea played a defensive game for most of the remainder of the first half and Liverpool had no answer.

In the 53rd minute, Didier Drogba scored what should have been a dagger for the Blues. He collected a pass from Frank Lampard at the edge of the box, and when Martin Skrtel surprisingly backed off from him, he placed a shot into the lower far corner to give his team a 2-0 lead.

For the following 12 minutes, Chelsea remained in control and it appeared that they were going to easily stroll to a trophy without much opposition, but things changed just over an hour into the match. In response to Chelsea's second goal, Kenny Dalglish brought on much maligned striker Andy Carroll for midfielder Jay Spearing in an attempt to haul back two goals, and that sub turned out to be a good one.

Carroll scored for Liverpool in the 64th minute, capitalizing on an error by Chelsea right back Jose Bosingwa. The Portuguese international misplayed a ball and allowed it to fall to Carroll in the box. He appeared to waste the chance by taking too many touches, but eventually recovered and powered an impressive shot into the roof of the net.

Chelsea were well on top from the first whistle until that goal, but Carroll's strike appeared to be a stroke of pure inspiration for the Reds, who began to play with a fight that they didn't have in the first hour of the match. After 60-plus minutes of poor play, they started to boss the game.

Their best chance to find an equalizer was through a Carroll header, but he was denied by Petr Cech. Luis Suarez set him up with a great chipped cross to the back post, and it was only by some miracle of science that Cech was able to keep it out of the net. The ball appeared to cross the goal line at full speed, but the replay showed that the ball never fully crossed the line and that Cech had made a brilliant, world class save.

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That save seemed to deflate Liverpool a bit, and they never got a better opportunity. The official added five minutes of extra time, but the Reds couldn't mount a serious challenge to Cech's goal and Chelsea held on to win their first piece of silverware this season.

We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Chelsea vs Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blogs Anfield Asylum and Liverpool Offside.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Final: Andy Carroll Scores?!?

In 2006, Liverpool fell behind 2-0 to West Ham United in the FA Cup final and ended up winning the trophy. In 2012, they went down 2-0 in the FA Cup final and were written off by just about everyone when Chelsea's second goal went in, but they're back in the match thanks to an attacking substitution. Improbably, Andy Carroll has come off the bench to score for Liverpool, making it 2-1 in the 64th minute.

It actually looked like Carroll was going to make a mess of his chance when he first got the ball, but he recovered to do very well. After Jose Bosingwa misplayed a ball and it fell to Carroll's feet, he took way more touches than were necessary or helpful, creating a more difficult shot for himself. He then proceeded to blast that shot that was more difficult than it had to be into the roof of the net. I don't understand anything anymore.

We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Chelsea vs Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Story Stream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blogs Anfield Asylum and Liverpool Offside.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Final: Didier Drogba Scores Probable Early Dagger

Based on the way Liverpool have played in the first 53 minutes of the FA Cup final, the match is probably over. Chelsea have doubled their lead in the early going in the second half, and there's no reason to believe that Liverpool are going to get back into the match. If Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi couldn't manage it, Jordan Henderson and Luis Suarez are probably pretty screwed.

Didier Drogba was the man who scored to make it 2-0, netting yet another goal at Wembley Stadium, where he has scored approximately 25 percent of the goals in his career. Frank Lampard found him on the edge of the box in the 52nd minute, Martin Skrtel strangely backed off of him, and he placed a great shot low and into the far corner to put Chelsea up by two goals.

Liverpool responded by replacing defensive midfielder Jay Spearing with large striker Andy Carroll. If Carroll scores a brace to force extra time, the world may implode.

We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Chelsea vs Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Story Stream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blogs Anfield Asylum and Liverpool Offside.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Final: Halftime Score, Ramires Has Blues Ahead

UPDATE: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool, Final Score

It's halftime at Wembley, and there has been a goal. That's about all that happened in the first half of the FA Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea. The Reds have been without their best central midfield player since December, and they're without Charlie Adam as well. Chelsea scored early and Liverpool isn't very good, so the Blues don't really have to do anything. It's 1-0 Chelsea, and it will take some absolute brilliance or a terrible error to change that.

Ramires scored the game's only goal in the 11th minute in stunning fashion. Juan Mata played a through ball into space for him and he easily blew by Jose Enrique, who is not a slow player. He then continued on with the ball into the penalty area and beat Pepe Reina at his near post to put his side ahead 1-0.

And, uh, that's the extent of the eventful things in the first half. Seriously, Liverpool don't have much of a clue and Chelsea are aware of that. Frank Lampard looks like a class defensive midfielder, which is about the most interesting happening in this game other than Ramires being fast. Liverpool have had half of the possession but haven't created any chances.

Back in the day, these were the games that Steven Gerrard went and won on his own. If he doesn't have that in him anymore, this game is going to stay 1-0.

We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Chelsea vs Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blogs Anfield Asylum and Liverpool Offside.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Final: Ramires Puts Blues Ahead

Chelsea already have a lead in the FA Cup final after just 11 minutes of play. Just like he did on two separate occasions in both legs of the Champions League tie against Barcelona, Ramires created the goal with his blistering pace, leaving everyone to wonder why exactly his previous two managers failed to utilize it. Liverpool's defense got absolutely torched, with left back Jose Enrique the biggest victim of Ramires' fantastic run.

Juan Mata provided a fantastic assist on the goal, dropping deep into his own area and playing a fantastic through ball into space. Ramires easily went by Enrique to get on the end of it and carried it into the box before putting a near-post shot on target. Pepe Reina probably should have kept it out, but it's hard to blame him for the goal when his left back was beaten so badly for pace.

We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Chelsea vs Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Story Stream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blogs Anfield Asylum and Liverpool Offside.

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Chelsea Vs. Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Final: Lineups

Kenny Dalglish has opted for a young center of midfield for Liverpool, while leaving Dirk Kuyt on the bench as well. Steven Gerrard will play behind Luis Suarez, while Craig Bellamy and Stewart Downing start out wide. Chelsea are playing the midfield that helped them to their win over Barcelona, while Salomon Kalou starts over Daniel Sturridge and Didier Drogba starts over Fernando Torres.

Chelsea starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Ashley Cole, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Jose Bosingwa; Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel; Salomon Kalou, Juan Mata, Ramires; Didier Drogba.

Substitutes from: Ross Turnbull, Paulo Ferreira, Michael Essien, Raul Meireles, Florent Malouda, Daniel Sturridge, Fernando Torres.

Liverpool starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Pepe Reina; Jose Enrique, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson; Jay Spearing, Jordan Henderson; Craig Bellamy, Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing; Luis Suarez.

Substitutes from: Alexander Doni, Andy Carroll, Maxi Rodriguez , Dirk Kuyt, Jonjo Shelvey, Martin Kelly, Jamie Carragher.

Kickoff is at 12:15 p.m. ET, 6:15 p.m. local time from Wembley Stadium in London, England. You can catch the game on FOX Soccer Channel in the U.S., ITV 1 in the U.K. and Sportsnet World in Canada.

We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Chelsea vs Liverpool, 2012 FA Cup Story Stream. For more on the two teams, head over to Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History and Liverpool blogs Anfield Asylum and Liverpool Offside.

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