Wednesday 22 August 2018

Man United rally falls short as Eden Hazard penalty secures FA Cup for Chelsea

Chelsea 1 Man United 0

Soccer Football - FA Cup Final - Chelsea vs Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - May 19, 2018 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrates winning the final as Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looks dejected. REUTERS/David Klein
Soccer Football - FA Cup Final - Chelsea vs Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - May 19, 2018 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrates winning the final as Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looks dejected. REUTERS/David Klein

Simon Peach

Eden Hazard fired Chelsea to FA Cup glory against Manchester United as Antonio Conte's expected farewell ended with a memorable triumph against old foe Jose Mourinho.

The 137th FA Cup final - and first utilising a video assistant referee - was not as cagey as some had feared but was hardly a rip-roaring affair as the Blues looked to atone for last season's shock finale defeat and a tepid Premier League title defence.

Mourinho came into the match looking to frustrate his former club and write his name into the record books, but Conte - subject of so much speculation regarding his future - emerged triumphant as Hazard's first-half penalty secured a 1-0 win at Wembley.

Many had fancied United to win a record-equalling 13th FA Cup on Saturday, but the Blues showed a spirit and skill level that has been lacking at times this season.

Tension behind the scenes has led to an uneasy feeling growing at Stamford Bridge, but Conte and all those clad in blue enjoyed a moment to savour as Hazard marked his 300th appearance for the club with a first-half winner.

The 27-year-old earned the spot-kick from which he scored, with United struggling to gather a coherent response and then failing to beat Thibaut Courtois after the break as Paul Pogba wasted the greatest chance late on.

It will be a memorable end if, as expected, this proves Conte's last match as Chelsea boss, whereas Mourinho sees this season's Premier League improvements tempered by the conspicuous absence of silverware.

Press Association

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