The FA Cup won’t save Antonio Conte: The bookies are convinced about the next Chelsea manager

Antonio Conte provides Chelsea fans with another great day out If Antonio Conte does leave Chelsea, as expected this summer,

Antonio Conte provides Chelsea fans with another great day out

If Antonio Conte does leave Chelsea, as expected this summer, then the Italian has at least provided supporters of the Blues with some memorable matches.

Last season, Chelsea won the Premier League in some style with the sight of Conte buccaneering up and down the touchline a permanent reminder of his presence.

In 2017/2018, it has been a bit more of a struggle for Conte in the Premier League but on Saturday at Wembley he got one over on his old rival Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea won the FA Cup final thanks to a 1-0 win over Manchester United. Eden Hazard’s first half penalty was the difference between the two sides.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 06: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea reacts during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on May 6, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Will Antonio Conte stay on as Chelsea manager?

Throughout this campaign, Antonio Conte has been under pressure as Chelsea manager.

In any other season, a campaign without a top four finish would usually see the Chelsea boss sacked.

Perhaps times at Chelsea are different now, with a lot less investment into the playing staff.

We must also take into account that Roman Abramovich also appears to have problems of his own right now.

Chelsea’s Russian owner was denied a new UK Visa and did not attend the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

After the game, Conte announced he has decided to “respect my contract at Chelsea.”

Antonio Conte on his future at Chelsea – video

Punters backing Poch for Chelsea gig

Despite a great weekend for Chelsea, the bookies seem convinced that Conte is on his way out of Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino is just 7/1 with Ladbrokes to become the next Chelsea manager.

Despite winning the FA Cup on Saturday the bookies don’t believe it’s enough to earn the Chelsea boss a reprieve, and it’s odds-on at 2/7 that Conte is not in charge for the first game of the Premier League season 2018/19.

Luis Enrique is the 2/1 favourite to replace him, followed by Maurizio Sarri at 7/2 and Brendan Rodgers at 5/1, however punters are coming for the Spurs boss, Mauricio Pochettino, who has seen his odds tumble into 7/1.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “Conte’s still a dead man walking as far as the odds are concerned, and while Enrique is the bookies’ favourite to replace him, it’s Pochettino who is the punters’ pal.”

LAS PALMAS, SPAIN – MAY 14: Barcelona coach Luis Enrique sports a stone island jacket during the La Liga match between UD Las Palmas and Barcelona at Estadio de Gran Canaria on May 14, 2017 in Las Palmas, Spain. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Ladbrokes latest betting on next Chelsea boss

Enrique 2/1
Sarri 7/2
Rodgers 5/1
Pochettino 7/1
Allegri 8/1
Sampaoli 10/1
Jardim 10/1
Hiddink 20/1

Will Antonio Conte be in charge of Chelsea on opening day of next season?

Yes – 11/5
No – 2/7

Related: Chelsea fans call for Willian to be sold after disrespecting Antonio Conte on Instagram.

Chelsea may sell star man to fund revolution.


Chelsea may sell star man to fund revolution

Hazard Chelsea could be set to sell Eden Hazard this summer in order to rebuild the side. Gone are the

Hazard

Chelsea could be set to sell Eden Hazard this summer in order to rebuild the side.

Gone are the days when owner Roman Abramovich could be counted on to put his hand in his back pocket and pay for player after player, and not worry about the money he’s spending – the Blues have adopted a new model in recent transfer windows, and if they want to bring in world class talent this summer they may need to sell what they already have in order to do so – and no player would fetch as high of a price as Eden Hazard.

That’s according to Steve Clarke, who knows Chelsea well, as the manager said to the BBC:  “You can always look to replace players.

“They come and go, they always move on. The club is the most important thing.

“They have to rebuild that squad a little bit. It wasn’t good enough to be in the top four. They have got a lot of work to do over the summer.

“To help fund other transfers for the club this summer maybe they do have to sell Hazard.”

 

 

Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 3, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

New players

One thing Chelsea will have to do this summer is add to their squad, and the other option if they do want to keep Eden Hazard is to of course sell the other players they don’t want or need in the squad, and the likes of Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley may well find themselves on the chopping block.

Another player Chelsea may cut loose is goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has so far refused to commit his future to the club and may well look to leave this summer.

See also:

Leicester and West Ham eyeing eyeing cut-price move for West Brom defender


Ronaldo issues Hazard or Salah transfer demand to Real Madrid

Hazard Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t a man who would be easy to say no to, and the superstar has told Real

Hazard

Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t a man who would be easy to say no to, and the superstar has told Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane and the Real Madrid board that he wants changes at the club this summer.

Ronaldo is worried the club are falling behind, and wants to add some star power to the line-up after finishing third in La Liga – and has told the club to opt for a Premier League hero instead of Robert Lewandowski.

That’s according to the Express, who claim that Eden Hazard and Mo Salah are on the player’s radar, and he thinks one of the duo would make a brilliant addition to the Champions League finalists.

Hazard looks like being the easier of the two to land currently, with Chelsea in limbo over a new manager and still with Antonio Conte, and the player himself waiting to see who comes in for him this summer and just what Chelsea do before he puts pen to paper on a new deal, meaning the timing could be ideal for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo

MUNICH, GERMANY – APRIL 25: Cristiano Ronaldo and Toni Kroos congratulate Marco Asensio of Real Madrid on scoring his sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final First Leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena on April 25, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Salah

Salah meanwhile looks like the one man who could take Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or crown from him – and it could well be the case that he joins the forward at Real Madrid – but a move this summer would be ambitious indeed, with Liverpool determined to keep their best player and of course trying to win the Premier League next season under Klopp – something they would find much, much harder without Salah in their side – not to mention the board not wanting to see another top player leave on the back of Philippe Coutinho going to Barcelona.

See also:

 

Chelsea may sell star man to fund revolution

 

Man United ready to rock football with Salah and Neymar deals

 



Chelsea fans call for Willian to be sold after disrespecting Antonio Conte on Instagram

Fans of Chelsea have this afternoon flocked to Twitter to slam Willian, after the Brazilian covered up Blues’ boss Antonio

Fans of Chelsea have this afternoon flocked to Twitter to slam Willian, after the Brazilian covered up Blues’ boss Antonio Conte in an Instagram post following the club’s FA Cup final victory over Manchester United.

Matchup

The Blues and Red Devils went head to head at Wembley yesterday, in the final fixture of the English football calendar this season.

Both clubs headed into proceedings desperate to clinch their first silverware of the campaign, after Manchester City claimed the Carabao Cup back in February, before sauntering to the Premier League title last month.

Omitted

Ahead of kick-off yesterday evening, one of the main talking points amongst Chelsea’s fans was Antonio Conte’s team selection, with the Italian tactician having switched to a 3-man midfield in a bid to nullify United’s midfield trio of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera.

As such, one attacker obviously had to drop out of the Blues’ starting line-up, with Willian the man left out in favour of Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud.

Not happy

In the end, Conte’s choice of XI could hardly be argued with, as his side ran out comfortable 1-0 winners, courtesy of a 22nd-minute penalty from Eden Hazard.

However, despite his side’s win, Willian was clearly not happy with the decision of his manager to leave him out at Wembley, with the Brazilian winger having since taken to Instagram to aim a less-than-subtle dig at Conte:

In addition, Willian refused to take part in any interviews in the aftermath of Chelsea’s triumph last night, with further reports claiming that the Manchester United-linked wide-man simply informed reporters that he doesn’t know whether he will still be plying his trade at Stamford Bridge next season.

Slated

In the hours since Willian’s post went public on Instagram, large sections of Chelsea’s fans have jumped to the defence of Antonio Conte, slamming Willian as disrespectful and calling for the 29-year-old to be sold:

Rio Ferdinand blasts one player after Man United loss

Jones Rio Ferdinand has claimed Phil Jones isn’t good enough for Manchester United and criticised him for his role in

Jones

Rio Ferdinand has claimed Phil Jones isn’t good enough for Manchester United and criticised him for his role in the defeat against Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

The defender was poor on the day and given the run around by Eden Hazard, which of course led to a Chelsea penalty and Eden Hazard scoring the only goal of the game – and Jones came under fire from all quarters after the incident, with many people also wondering why Eric Bailly wasn’t on the field instead.

“Jones gets himself in a pickle from start to finish,” he said on BT Sport.

“Here his body position is all wrong, he’s the wrong side in terms of facing the opponent.

“He doesn’t know where Eden Hazard is, that’s his biggest problem.

“Then once he reacts the touch is that good and he’s that quick, and at this world-class level he’s panicking, he’s in turmoil.

“But here, once he releases he can’t win the ball there, turn and face your goal.

“Run towards your goal. Don’t gamble that you’re going to nick it in front of Hazard, he’s too quickly.

“Run towards goal and make the recovery and be in-between the goal and the ball.”

Eden Hazard & Phil Jones

Eden Hazard & Phil Jones during The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England.

World Cup

One thing that will of course worry England fans is the fact Jones will be going to the World Cup – and will have to once again face Hazard as England take on Belgium in the group stages – if he’s picked for the starting line-up of course.

When it comes to Man United, there’s one thing for certain – Jose Mourinho knows he needs to bring in top class players and the squad he has at the minute simply isn’t that for the most part.

See also: Wenger hits out at fans who create ‘extreme situations’

Jamie Vardy linked with insane move to La Liga giants

 

Paul Scholes explains frustration with Hazard, Messi and Ronaldo

Tactics Paul Scholes has claimed he thinks Eden Hazard could be as good as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, with

Tactics

Paul Scholes has claimed he thinks Eden Hazard could be as good as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Chelsea player lighting up the FA Cup final and showing just what he could do for the club when he puts his mind to it.

Hazard has had a disappointing season by his standards, but led Chelsea to the FA Cup, and it seems Scholes thinks the sky could be the limit for the player – who he thinks doesn’t need tactics.

“This is a player, you don’t worry about tactics,” Scholes said about Eden Hazard on BT Sport.

“You just tell him to go out there and play anywhere out on that pitch, he’s got so much ability.

“I think the frustrating thing is, he’s not quite gone up to that Cristiano and Lionel Messi level. I think he has the ability to do that.

“I think he needs a bit more drive, a bit more determination.

“I don’t know him on the training ground, I might be totally wrong.

“It’s just the way he comes across on the pitch, I think he’s got so much more to give.

“He’s a special talent don’t get me wrong, he’s brilliant now.

“But I think he can go to that next level with a bit more determination and a bit of drive.”

Chelsea celebrate Cesc Fabregas winner at Swansea

Cesc Fabregas & Eden Hazard during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at Liberty Stadium on April 28, 2018 in Swansea, Wales.

Top class

Of course, Messi and Ronaldo aren’t just the best in the game at the minute, they’ve been on another level for a decade and it seems that Hazard has a huge way to go if he wants to even come close to replicating that, meaning the Blues could well see him leave come the summer for a club who he feels could push him to the next level.

See also: Trent Alexander-Arnold gives epic reason for joining Liverpool, not Man United

Marca disappointed by Liverpool lockdown in Marbella ahead of Real Madrid final

‘This Saves Our Season’, Says Cahill As Chelsea Win FA Cup

Chelsea’s English defender Gary Cahill lifts the trophy as Chelsea players celebrate their win after the English FA Cup final

'This Saves Our Season', Says Cahill As Chelsea Win FA Cup
Chelsea’s English defender Gary Cahill lifts the trophy as Chelsea players celebrate their win after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London on May 19, 2018. Chelsea won the game 1-0. Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill said the Blues’ FA Cup final triumph against Manchester United was a huge relief because it saved his side’s troubled season.

Antonio Conte’s team held on for a 1-0 win over United at Wembley as Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty was followed by a determined defensive display from the Blues after the interval.

Winning the FA Cup wasn’t top of Chelsea’s priority list at the start of the season, but Cahill conceded it was a welcome consolation a week after they failed to qualify for the Champions League following their fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

“Unbelievable. You can see what it means to us, to the fans and the staff. This was to save our season, we haven’t had a magnificent season by any stretch,” Cahill said before climbing the Wembley steps to lift the famous old trophy.

“We are used to winning, I’m not saying that in an arrogant way.

“We had a lot of defending to do, they pushed us until the very end. We are buzzing. We got the job done.

“This a dream come true because it is my first trophy win as captain of the club.”

Although Chelsea have finished the season on a high note, it could still be the last game in charge for Conte.

The Italian is reportedly set to leave after feuding with Chelsea’s hierarchy over their failure to back his transfer plans following last season’s Premier League title success.

Conte, in only his second season with the Blues, is said to have become unpopular with some players due to his intense nature and demanding training sessions.

Asked if the win against United would be dedicated to Conte, Cahill would only say: “We needed to win this for everybody, we are not in control of decisions.”

Hazard was the catalyst for Chelsea’s eighth FA Cup victory as the Belgium playmaker produced a virtuoso performance capped by his 22nd-minute winner.

The turning point came when Hazard surged away from Phil Jones, whose desperate lunge brought the Belgian down for a penalty that the ice-cool midfielder converted with ease.

However, Hazard wasn’t so impressed with Chelsea’s display after United pushed hard in the second half.

Warning they must improve next season, Hazard said: “We tried to defend well. We kept a clean sheet, we scored one goal.

“It is enough today but if we want to win a lot of games we need to play better because we had to play defensively.

“Now I am just happy. To see the fans celebrate is something we like.

“We didn’t have a great season but at least we finish with a trophy.”

AFP

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Jose Mourinho on Chelsea FA Cup triumph: “I don’t think they deserved to win”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes that Chelsea were not worthy winners in this afternoon’s FA Cup final. For the first time

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes that Chelsea were not worthy winners in this afternoon’s FA Cup final.

For the first time in his career, Jose Mourinho lost a domestic cup final in England, as Chelsea defeated Manchester United 1-0 with Eden Hazard scoring the only goal of the game.

The Portuguese manager claims that the Blues’ game plan would have seen him receive criticism should United have won using similar tactics.

“I am quite curious”

Eden Hazard & Phil Jones

Eden Hazard & Phil Jones during The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England.

Mourinho has admitted his curiosity as to how his side would have been portrayed should they have come out on top during this afternoon FA Cup final.

The former Chelsea boss was visibly disgruntled by his side’s defeat and blasted the opposition’s performance, also claiming his side struggled without Romelu Lukaku.

Mourinho said:

“I congratulate them but I don’t think they deserved to win.

“I congratulated them. I am Manchester United manager and I have to be respectful, not just because they are my previous club but because they are the opponents today and I think we deserved to win. I think we were the best team, but that is football.

“I am quite curious to know what you say or what people write because if my team plays like Chelsea did, I can imagine what people would say. I am quite curious.

“It was a bit hard for us to play without Lukaku against a team that defends with nine players.

“Chelsea are not stupid. They know our team without Lukaku or Marouane Fellaini does not have a presence so putting eight or nine players in front of the box they knew they would be dominant in that direct football.

“Every defeat hurts but I go home with the feeling we gave everything. No regrets.”

Chelsea Defeats Man U

Manchester United paid the penalty, literally, for a subdued Wembley first half as an Eden Hazard spot-kick won Chelsea the

Manchester United paid the penalty, literally, for a subdued Wembley first half as an Eden Hazard spot-kick won Chelsea the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley.

A legendary fightback looked on the cards with a thrilling second-half display by Jose Mourinho’s side, yet the Reds were unable to cancel out the 22nd-minute winner from Hazard. United’s half of the stadium were enthralled and rejuvenated by a brilliant rally in the second period but it was that opening half which cost their team the trophy.

Wembley was done up to the nines with all its pre-match pomp and ceremony. Pyrotechnics, flame throwers, flags and a fly past by the Royal Air Force all added to the build-up to the big occasion. There were also two huge banners hanging down from both ends of the stadium to honour the late Ray Wilkins who played for both clubs. The much loved and respected midfielder died last month at the age of 61.

United boss Jose Mourinho had given Romelu Lukaku every chance to be fit to be named in his cup final line-up. Having injured his ankle last month against Arsenal, the striker had been back home in Belgium attempting to make a 100 per cent recovery. He is United’s top scorer in the competition this season with five goals but despite all the best efforts, the medics and Mourinho decided he couldn’t be risked from the start.

Lukaku did make the bench and had to watch his fellow countryman Eden Hazard pretty much dominate the first half of the final. The Belgian midfielder was a thorn in United’s side as he grabbed centre stage above anyone else.

A distribution error from Phil Jones enabled Chelsea to break on United in the ninth minute and Hazard almost prospered but his drive was stopped at his near post by David De Gea’s right leg. It was a warning shot for United.

There were two shouts for spot kicks from both sides but referee Michael Oliver got both calls correct after the challenges on Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alexis correct. The official was also bang on in the biggest moment of the first half.

Hazard again had the opportunity to run at United as Chelsea sprang from their own half and the midfielder got ahead in the race with Jones. United’s centre-back was struggling and had to lunge in to tackle Hazard but the attempt only upended the Belgian and Oliver had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

There was little argument among the Reds’ ranks and in the 12-yard shoot-out, even De Gea couldn’t read Hazard and he went the wrong way as he put Chelsea 1-0 ahead.

At that stage, United could not find any fire or cutting edge to disrupt Chelsea’s comfortable afternoon. Only late first-half efforts by Jones at the far post and Rashford getting snuffed out in the penalty box suggested the Reds might be capable of another fightback.

The Reds certainly had more verve and vitality after Mourinho sent his team out early for the second half. The players looked ready to mount a customary comeback and finally started asking Chelsea some difficult questions.

The fans at United’s end of the stadium were on their feet with something to roar about, most notably when United surged into the danger area in numbers and the attack ended with a crashing drive from Rashford that Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois found tough to handle.

The Reds were looking far more dangerous and the barometer was Chelsea boss Antonio Conte who got more and more animated in the technical area in an attempt to rally his side. Mourinho was far more composed with hands on hips as he realised his dressing room words had had a positive effect yet again.

United’s pressure was mounting, Chelsea’s composure was shredded, and the intensity looked to have paid off in the 63rd minute when Alexis stabbed home from close range after following up a loose ball but the Chilean was flagged offside.

Nevertheless this was the rise in the Reds’ ferocity and fire that the final needed. The Blues were now crumbling as the Reds seized the upper hand. All that was needed was an equaliser.

However, it was the Londoners who almost scored the game’s second goal. The Blues threatened to snuff out United’s gallant rally in the 70th minute when they broke away and the Reds needed another De Gea super stop to deny Marcos Alonso.

United responded immediately to that attack as the Cup final lived up to the billing. The Reds roared back and a Jesse Lingard and Rashford link-up saw Courtois deny the latter in a one-to-one situation.

The pair of Academy graduates were then substituted, with Lukaku and Anthony Martial coming on to pose Conte’s reeling side new problems. But it was Nemanja Matic against his old club who thrashed in a piledriver that again caused Courtois trouble and the Belgian keeper, who seemingly doesn’t like to hold shots, once more batted it away with two fists unconvincingly.

Relentless United were piling it on and Paul Pogba came close with eight minutes to go with a glancing header from an Antonio Valencia corner. With the urgent need for a late goal, Mourinho played his last personnel card. He sacrificed Jones in defence for Juan Mata with three minutes of normal time to go. But the Reds had run out of steam and Chelsea, who had been on the back foot since the interval, were able to survive and hold out for a slender victory.

THE LINE-UPS

United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones (Mata 87), Young; Matic, Pogba, Herrera, Lingard (Martial 73), Alexis, Rashford (Lukaku 73).

Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Darmian, McTominay.

Booked: Jones, Valencia.

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Alonso, Hazard (Willian 90), Giroud (Morata 89).

Subs not used: Caballero, Zappacosta, T. Chalobah, Barkley, Pedro.

Booked: Courtois.

TALKING POINTS

Comeback kings almost did it again
United’s ability to bounce back was demonstrated in the previous round at Wembley, in the semi-final against Spurs, when the Reds recovered from an early 1-0 deficit to win a place in the final. But although we knew Jose Mourinho would not settle for the first-half effort against Chelsea, his team just couldn’t find the breakthrough goal that surely would have flattened Antonio Conte’s physically flagging side.

The Reds will have to settle for second place
Yes, a piece of silverware would have been a superb end to the season. But United have still achieved a highest league placing and points tally since 2013 so there is much to be pleased about and much to build on in the 2018/19 campaign.

Source: HCL

Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United: FA Cup Final player ratings

Chelsea: The 2018 FA Cup winners Chelsea vs Manchester United was one of the most entertaining FA Cup finals in

Chelsea: The 2018 FA Cup winners

Chelsea vs Manchester United was one of the most entertaining FA Cup finals in recent history. Despite there being only one goal in the match, the game was filled with plenty of controversial incidents.

Eden Hazard scored the game’s only goal after 22 minutes. The Belgian slotted his penalty home after being brought down by Phil Jones.

People are assuming that today’s match will be Antonio Conte’s last game in charge of The Blues and what a way to sign off… by beating your arch rival in the Cup final.

Player ratings

during The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England.

Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois: 7

Courtois was lucky enough to have a fairly easy game this afternoon. The Belgian hasn’t had his best season but was there whenever Chelsea needed him this afternoon.

Cesar Azpilicueta: 8

A Chelsea fan favourite, Azpilicueta finally got his hands on the FA Cup. Azpi has performed consistently for the Blues throughout the season and had another solid display at Wembley this afternoon.

Gary Cahill: 7

Gary Cahill has made England’s World Cup squad and today proved that he can still do a job when it matters most.

Antonio Rudiger: 8

Rudiger has struggled to settle in at Stamford Bridge this season but he was brilliant against United for the whole 90 minutes today.

Victor Moses: 5

Chelsea’s villain of the final last year, Moses wasn’t overly impressive this year either. The Nigerian wasn’t sent off for diving but he was lucky to escape a booking on numerous occasions.

Marcos Alonso: 6

Not a particularly special game from Chelsea’s left back but Alonso was solid for the duration of the match.

Cesc Fabregas: 8

Fabregas revealed that he lost his 2005 FA Cup winners medal but luckily he has a new one. The Spaniard’s delightful through ball helped Chelsea win their penalty and Fabregas hardly put a foot wrong.

N’Golo Kante: 7

Dante’s brilliance has gone largely un-notcied this year due to Chelsea’s below par performances but the Frenchman was great once again against United.

Tiemoue Bakayoko: 7

Chelsea fans haven’t particularly taken to many of their summer signing, Bakayoko amongst them but he played well in the sun this afternoon. He had a tough competitor in Nemanja Matic but Bakayoko handled the pressure very well.

Eden Hazard: 8

Hazard won the penalty and the FA Cup for The Blues this afternoon. Chelsea’s best player on the pitch but he failed to pass the ball to Giroud when the Frenchman was in brilliant positions. Perhaps a bit selfish but still a fantastic performance.

Olivier Giroud: 6

Chelsea fans have taken to Giroud and it’s clear why. He was exactly what Chelsea needed but he had very little to do this afternoon. This was Giroud’s fourth FA Cup after winning three with Arsenal.

Manchester United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Paul Pogba of Manchester United is tackled by N’Golo Kante of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on February 25, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

David De Gea: 6

Debatably the best goalkeeper in the world, De Gea didn’t do anything wrong this afternoon nor did he have an outstanding match. The Spaniard made a great early save from Hazard but was beaten by the Belgian from 12 yards.

Antonio Valencia: 6

Far from his best performance this season. United couldn’t seem to cross the ball well enough into the box. Defensively, Valencia did his job well but ended the game with a yellow card.

Phil Jones: 4

Jones will want to forget today’s match as soon as possible. The former Blackburn defender is lucky that the England squad was named earlier in the week as he had a shocker at Wembley including conceding the penalty that lost United the game.

Chris Smalling: 7

Probably United’s best player this afternoon. Smalling was strong and complacent throughout the match and showed that he may have been overlooked by Gareth Southgate for the summer’s World Cup.

Ashley Young: 6

Young’s crossing wasn’t up to scratch this afternoon but other than that, he had a fairly stable match.

Ander Herrera: 6

Herrera was the hero for United in the semi final against Tottenham but couldn’t make much of an impact this afternoon. United’s passing was sloppy and Herrera maybe could have done more to prevent Chelsea from winning their penalty.

Paul Pogba: 6

Often criticised by fans and media, Pogba failed to light up this year’s FA Cup final. Pogba missed a vital header a few minutes from time but he shouldn’t be made the scapegoat.

Nemanja Matic: 7

United’s second best player after Smalling. Matic has now lost consecutive FA Cup finals with two different teams but controlled the game as best he could. The former Chelsea man almost scored against his former club but his shot was saved by Courtois.

Jesse Lingard: 6

The match winner from 2016, Lingard failed to influence the game today. He was lively from the off but couldn’t give United what they needed.

Marcus Rashford: 4

Rashford struggled today and was criticised heavily by United fans and the media. He should not be despondent though and has a bright future ahead of him with plenty more FA Cup finals to come…

Alexis Sanchez: 5

Alexis Sanchez has scored in his previous 2 FA Cup finals with Arsenal but was fairly quiet this afternoon. The Chilean was determined but like the past few months, he didn’t show just how good he really is.