CHELSEA BEAT MAN UTD TO WIN 2018 FA CUP FINAL

Chelsea vs. Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud holds the Emirates FA Cup trophy in celebration of his side's 1-0 win, with his teammates Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata, Thibaut Courtois, Olivier Giroud following The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Man United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, in London, England.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates scoring a goal to make the score 1-0 with Olivier Giroud (L) during the Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England

Eden Hazard, FA Cup Final match hero, celebrates scoring winning goal for Chelsea with Olivier Giroud

CHELSEA BEAT MAN UTD TO WIN 2018 FA CUP FINAL

FA Cup Final 2018: Chelsea Fc 1-0 Manchester United

Eden Hazard was the match hero as the Belgium's penalty saw the Blues crowned as the 2018 FA Cup winners. The Chelsea forward was the star of the show before a sold-out crowd at Wembley Stadium in London. Hazard scored his first half-spot kick in his 300th game for Chelsea after being felled by United's Phil Jones. Hazard's goal went past United superstar goalie David de Gea to make the difference as it saw Antonio Conte's Blues win the FA Cup. Courtois gets credit for Chelsea's clean sheet.

Hazard 

Antonio Conte talked with the media prior to the match. 

“We have worked very hard to prepare for this game. The result of the last game was not positive, and the team have to play in a better way if they want to win this final. It is normal to send messages of positivity to the group, but the best way to do that is to work, and we prepare that way. Our starting XI is the same team we played against Liverpool two weeks ago. It is the best formation, the best XI for us today. I don’t think we have had a disappointing season, finishing fifth can happen in England. It is a great achievement to play two finals in a row in this important competition; now we have to change the result of last season.”

Thibaut Courtois Photos - 12 of 794

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois gets credit for Chelsea's clean sheet.

Chelsea are deserved winners of the coveted FA Cup trophy after they controlled the game and won the prestigious match with one clinical play. Eden Hazard's penalty decided the match as Chelsea join Spurs as the third most successful club in FA Cup history with their eighth win. Superstar Chelsea striker Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty was the only goal of the match, but enough to seal an eighth FA Cup title for Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. The trophy followed Conte’s England Premier League title success from last season – his first at Stamford Bridge. Conte talked about the uncertainty over his position as Chelsea manager, and whether or not the Italian boss will be around to fulfill the final year of his contract. Chelsea finished fifth in the Premier League this season and missed out on Champions League qualification. Conte said he would not change his ways, and that if the club did not want to carry on with him, he would understand. However, he declared that he remained committed to staying on until the end of his contract.

“When you are used to winning every season, this type of season can create some problems in yourself,” Conte said. “But I also think in a difficult season like this, I showed I’m a serial winner. To win in this way this season gives me more satisfaction than my wins in the past. After two years, the club knows me very well,” Conte said. “If they want to continue to work with me, they know me. I can’t change. I am this and my past speaks very clearly, as a player and as a manager. I’m a serial winner. I showed this in England in a difficult moment for the club after a 10th-place finish in 2015-2016. In two seasons, I brought two trophies for this club. I have a contract and I’m committed for this club. As you know very well, our job is not simple. I understand that the club can make a decision, a positive decision or a negative decision. I’m the first to understand. You have to understand if, in this season, we had the maximum or not. There is the possibility, with this group of players, that we did the maximum. For sure, we’ll make the best decision. I’m the first to accept every decision for the future. After these two seasons, I will always love this club and these fans – also if my future must be in a different way.”

Manchester United’s 1-0 loss in the FA Cup Final means they end the 2017-2018 season trophyless. No doubt Mourinho will be under added pressure to win important silverware during his upcoming third season at the Red Devils next term. Mourinho reportedly will be handed around £150m to spend in the transfer market and he wants a center-back, a full-back, and a central midfielder to strengthen his squad.

Chelsea vs. Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final

“We tried to defend well. We scored one goal, it’s enough today. Though if we want to win a lot of games, we need to play better, because we just played defensively. But we won it and we are happy. He’s then asked about his future. Now I’m just happy. We didn’t play a great season, but we finished well,” said match-winner Eden Hazard.

Prior to the start of the FA Cup clash, José Mourinho said Romelu Lukaku had made himself available only as a sub in the FA Cup final. Lukaku had missed United’s previous three games with an ankle injury.

“I knew the opponent I was going to play against, that they have a compact low block with lots of physicalities,” said the United manager. “Without a target man, it would be difficult. When a player tells you he’s not ready to play, to start, then the question is: ‘How many minutes do you think you can play?’ How can I convince a player that is not ready to play?”

“Lukaku has decided he is not ready to start but is ready to give us some help. One thing is to start a match and play for 90 minutes, another is to be on the bench and play a few minutes. And that’s what he told us he was ready to do. We change Romelu with Marcus Rashford. Of course, they are two different players but he will play in the same position with different qualities. It is not fair and not my philosophy as a manager to put the responsibility on one player, we have to defend and attack as a team, and Marcus is just one of them. It is better to win than lose, it is much more beautiful, but it is not fair to analyze my players and what they did during the season because of one result. They are one of the two best teams in the two most important domestic competitions in a very difficult country with lots of very good teams. So I think they did a positive season. Can we win? Let’s try everything. I congratulate them because they won, but I don’t think they deserve to win. I congratulate because I am a sportsman. They score one more goal than us and they get the cup, and I have to do what my job asks me to do: I am the Manchester United manager and I have to be respectful, not just because they were my previous club, but because they are the opponent that won the cup. But I think we deserved to win, we were the best team, but that’s football. I am curious to know what you say, what people write because I can imagine if my team played like Chelsea did, I can imagine what everyone will say. I am quite curious. But I am on holiday. I gave everything I could, I know the players gave everything, it was hard for us to play without Lukaku against a team who play nine players in the box, you need that presence. They are not stupid, they know without Lukaku we don’t have a presence, without Fellaini we don’t have a presence, so with eight or nine players in the box, they knew they were going to be dominant. For me, the image of the game is that David de Gea didn’t touch the ball. We did everything, we tried, it’s the kind of defeat, while it hurts, we gave everything, no regrets.”

In Jose Mourinho’s post-match interview the manager was reticent to talk about the loss, saying his men deserved the win.

"With your questions, I know already where I am and I don't have big desire to speak. I think we say congratulations to the winner and that's it. I'm quite curious to especially because now I'm on holidays and have more time for that, I'm curious for today, tomorrow, next couple of days to read, watch, listen your opinions. My opinion is every defeat hurts but for me the ones that hurt less is when you give everything and go without any regrets. I prefer to lose like today than we did, for example, at Newcastle. I leave my players happy with them. For me that's important."

Mourinho does not think Chelsea deserved to win.

"I think we deserve to win, we were the best team but that's football. I am curious to see what people say what you write because if my team played like Chelsea did I can't imagine what you will say. My players gave absolutely everything, it was hard to play without Lukaku against a team who defends with nine players. We tried everything, the defeat hurts but I go home with the feeling we gave everything."We know this is how they play, they are not stupid, they know our team without Lukaku, Fellaini we don't have the presence so they knew they'd dominate direct football. They were a huge block of compact players, Courtois has a couple of saves, we had bad luck with some important balls in the box. For me the image of the game is David De Gea didn't touch the ball, he touched the ball out of the net. I congratulate them."

FA Cup Final 2018 Squads

Chelsea made three changes to the team that played Newcastle on the final day of the 2017-2018 England Premier League last Sunday as Andreas Christensen, Emerson, and Ross Barkley made way for Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, and Cesc Fabregas. Meanwhile Man United played a trailside against Watford last weekend. Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford, and Alexis Sanchez are the only additions to United’s starting XI. Romelu Lukaku was found to be fit but started the cup on the bench.

Chelsea

Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger, Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso, Hazard, Giroud. Subs: Caballero, Barkley, Morata, Pedro, Zappacosta, Willian, Chalobah.

Manchester United

de Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Young, Herrera, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford, Sanchez. Subs: Bailly, Mata, Lukaku, Martial, Romero, Darmian, McTominay.

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte, right, watch from the sidelines during the English FA Cup final soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Fierce rivals Man United manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte clashed in the FA Cup Final

Antonio Conte’s long-time enemy Jose Mourinho was left wondering how he let the FA Cup trophy slip away from him. The answer is the great talent of Belgian striker Eden Hazard. Both managers have managed Hazard and had the advantage of his great quality. England will face Hazard when Belgium meet them in Kaliningrad in the World Cup 2018 next month.

June 28 World Cup 2018 England v Belgium Tickets Kaliningrad Stadium - Kaliningrad, Russia

Belgium international Hazard who is 27, thinks his personality may hold him back from ever winning football’s greatest individual honor.

“My father always told me that. Maybe it’s true,” said Hazard. ‘I think, in football now, if you want to win something like the Ballon d’Or or top scorer, you need to be selfish. But I’m not like this, not at all. I’m just who I am.”

Hazard has refused to confirm he will sign a new contract with Chelsea, with his current deal due to expire in 2020. “For now I am just happy,” said Hazard. “To see the fans celebrate is something we like. We didn’t have a great season but at least we finish with a trophy.”

Hazard’s Chelsea teammate Olivier Giroud has urged him to stay at Chelsea so they can develop their attack skills. However, Hazard has been linked with a transfer this summer and has so far refused to sign a proposed new lucrative contract. The Belgian international wants to wait and see what transfer business Chelsea do this summer before deciding whether to stay or go.

Giroud arrived at Stamford Bridge in January and revealed he and Hazard are already clicking on the pitch and he does not want the forward to leave the club.

“Of course I want Eden to stay — who doesn’t want to play with him?” said Giroud. “I want to carry on working on our partnership. The two of us have only been playing together a short time but we have a good relationship on the field. We play close together because that’s what the manager wants us to do. Obviously when we are in the same areas on the pitch we can find ourselves much better. We like to play together because we have a good understanding, we have different qualities that complement each other. It is easy to play with him. Eden and I are good friends off the pitch as well. He is a nice person, he is easy to get along with. I knew him before I came to Chelsea.” 

Hazard put in a star performance on Saturday when the Blues defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup final that could be Antonio Conte’s last game as Chelsea boss. The Italian said that even winning the FA Cup may not be enough to save his job.

“As you know very well, our job is very difficult. Sometimes you can win but the club decides to sack you anyway because they have a reason to do this,” said Conte.

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Thibaut Courtois said, “It's great. To win my first FA Cup is amazing. I think it is a long season, especially with speculation about everything and obviously, City were amazing and we slipped up on our way.”

Gary Cahill commented, “We have to win things. Two league titles, an FA Cup and a runners-up medal in two years... it's not bad is it? He was fantastic as was all the boys. We had a lot of defending too, they pushed us to the end. Azpi's been superb all season, we're buzzing, got the job done. We're delighted. It's a dream come true because this is my first as captain of the club. John was last year. I'm delighted I've won these competitions because the last one in 2012 I didn't play in and it's not the same if you don't put everything on the pitch.”

Cesc Fabregas, “It hasn't been the best of seasons, objective was to play Champions League but sometimes these things happen. But look at the fans having fun enjoying the day, it's important for them. It was important to keep it tight, we know when we play with five defenders it's more difficult to put a press higher up the pitch, for the midfielders it's tough you have to run a lot. We were compact and disciplined.”

Gary Cahill was thrilled with the result! “It’s unbelievable. This was to save our season. I’m not saying we’ve had a magnificent season by any stretch, but we have to try to win things. We had a lot of defending to do. They pushed us to the line. We’re buzzing, we got the job done. This is a dream come true, as this is the first one as captain. Listen, we needed to achieve this goal for everybody, no matter what happens in the future. We’re not in control of that as players.”