It hasn’t been the most glamorous season for Manchester United or Chelsea but when the English giants face off in the FA Cup final, there’s at least a chance to end on a high note.
The Red Devils have been criticised for their defensive nature under Jose Mourinho as they manoeuvred their way to second placein the Premier League, despite a disappointing round of 16 exit in the Champions League.
Nobody likes showing up their critics quite like the Special One and should United get the job done at Wembley his performance at Old Trafford will be significantly reframed after a tough campaign.
Meanwhile in the Blues dugout, rumours continue to swirl that Antonio Conte is on his last legs at Stamford Bridge – some even going as far to suggest he’ll be exiting regardless of the result in this clash.
The Italian has enjoyed a completely contrasting campaign to last season’s title-winning heroics and will be keen to prove a point to club owner Roman Abramovich.
After being crowned champions in 2016/17 in Antonio Conte’s debut season in charge, the Blues endured a disappointing Premier League title defence, finishing fifth and missing out on Champions League football next term. Following a run of five straight wins, Chelsea failed to win either of their last two league games, labouring to a 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield Town before a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United last Sunday. Having reached their 13th final, the Blues are looking to win the competition for an eighth time and make up for their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in last season’s showpiece, knowing a win would guarantee them a place in the group stage of the Europa League next term.
How both sides reached the final
United have advanced to the final by scoring 12 goals and conceding just once. The Reds saw off Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in last month’s semi-final and have beaten Derby County 2-0, Yeovil Town 4-0, Huddersfield 2-0 and Brighton 2-0 in previous rounds. Meanwhile, Chelsea have had a less smooth passage to the showpiece. The Blues needed penalties in a replay to see off Championship side Norwich City in round three, but thrashed Newcastle 3-0 and Hull City 4-0 at home to make the quarter-finals, where they beat Leicester City 2-1 after extra-time, before a 2-0 win over Southampton in the semi-finals.
FA Cup trophy cabinets
Man Utd: Winners (12): 1908–09, 1947–48, 1962–63, 1976–77, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2015–16
Chelsea: Winners (7): 1969–70, 1996–97, 1999–2000, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12
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