Saturday, May 15, 2010

FA Cup - FA Cup final: Facts and figures

FA Cup holders Chelsea are attempting to become the sixth club to perform the FA Cup and League double after clinching the Premier League title on Sunday.

- The Double has been achieved 10 times in the past with Manchester United (1993-94, 1995-96, 1989-99) and Arsenal (1970-71, 1997-98, 2001-02) winning it three times. The only other Doubles have been by Preston North End (1888-89), Aston Villa (1896-97), Tottenham Hotspur (1960-61) and Liverpool (1985-86).

- Chelsea are also attempting the rare feat of winning the FA Cup in successive seasons. Since the competition started in 1871-72, that has only been achieved by Wanderers (1871-72 and 1876-77-78), Blackburn Rovers (1884-85-86 and 1890-91), Newcastle United (1951-52), Tottenham Hotspur (1961-62 and 1981-82) and Arsenal (2002-03).

- Chelsea defender Ashley Cole will become the first player ever to collect six winners medals if the Blues' triumph.

- Arthur Kinnaird and Charles Wollaston both won five winners medals in the 19th century and no player matched them for 118 years until Cole won his fifth medal last season. He won the cup three times with Arsenal (2002, 2003 and 2005) and twice with Chelsea (2007 and 2009).

- An indication of Chelsea's emergence as a major force in recent years is that although this is their 10th FA Cup final appearance since their first losing final in 1915, it is their seventh since 1994 and their third in the last four seasons. They have won the cup five times.

- Portsmouth will be appearing in their fifth FA Cup final. After losing 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers in 1929 and 2-1 to Manchester City in 1934, they won the cup for the first time when they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 in 1939. That was their last appearance until their 1-0 win over Cardiff City two years ago.

- Portsmouth are the fifth club to be relegated and appear in the final in the same season after Manchester City (1926), Leicester City (1969), Brighton (1983) and Middlesbrough (1997). All four relegated sides lost.

- Saturday's final is the first between the teams that finished top and bottom of the top flight.

- Chelsea's Stamford Bridge home staged the three finals immediatly before Wembley was built, in 1920, 1921 and 1922. -- Until Harry Redknapp's success with Portsmouth in 2008, no English manager had won the FA Cup since Joe Royle triumphed with Everton in 1995.

- Carlo Ancelotti will become the second Italian to manage an FA Cup winning team if Chelsea are successful, following Gianluca Vialli, who took the Blues to victory in 2000. Avram Grant would be the first Israeli to win the FA Cup, against the club he took to the Champions League final in 2008.

- Chelsea have had the most cosmopolitan collection of FA Cup winning managers of all. Following Englishman Dave Sexton's triumph in 1970, they have won the cup under Ruud Gullit (Netherlands) in 1997, Vialli (Italy) in 2000, Jose Mourinho (Portugal) in 2007 and Guus Hiddink (Netherlands) in 2009.

- Chelsea have an overwhelmingly superior record against Portsmouth over the last seven seasons when Portsmouth have been in the Premier League. Their 14 League matches have ended in 13 wins for Chelsea and one draw with a goal difference of 31-2. Chelsea also won a League Cup tie 4-0 against Portsmouth last season and beat them 5-0 at Fratton Park in their last meeting on March 24.

- The clubs have only played each other three times in FA Cup history with Portsmouth beating Chelsea 1-0 after a 1-1 draw en route to the 1929 final, and Chelsea beating Portsmouth 4-1 en route to winning the final in 1997.

- Only four of the Portsmouth players who started the 2008 final against Cardiff City are still at the club -- goalkeeper David James, defender Hermann Hreidarsson and forwards John Utaka and Nwanko Kanu, who scored the only goal.

- All of Chelsea's winning team from last season are still at Stamford Bridge, although Jose Bosingwa, Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel are out injured for Saturday.

- Chelsea's Peter Osgood in 1970 was the last player to score in every round of the FA Cup from the third round to the final.

- Didier Drogba has a remarkable scoring record for Chelsea at Wembley. He has scored one goal in all five competitive matches Chelsea have played there since the stadium re-opened in 2007.

- He scored the winner in their 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Manchester United in 2007; he scored Chelsea's only goal in their 2-1 defeat to Spurs in the 2008 League Cup final; he scored the winner in their 2-1 semi-final win over Arsenal in 2009; their equaliser in their 2-1 win over Everton in last season's FA Cup final and the opening goal in their 3-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Aston Villa last month.

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