Chelsea beat Liverpool to win FA Cup
Chelsea have survived a late Liverpool fightback to win the FA Cup final 2-1 and lift the trophy for the fourth time in six seasons thanks to goals from Ramires and Didier Drogba.
Chelsea dominated the first half and led through an 11th-minute goal by Ramires and Drogba's clinical strike early in the second half put the London club on course for what appeared to be a comfortable win.
But the introduction of Liverpool substitute Andy Carroll after 55 minutes transformed the game.
He pulled one goal back and almost equalised with a powerful header seven minutes from time when Chelsea keeper Petr Cech clawed the ball out just before it crossed the line and pushed it on to the crossbar.
Drogba became the first player in the 141-year history of the FA Cup to score in four finals and John Terry also added his name to the competition's rich folklore when he became the first player to captain four final-winning teams for 130 years and the first to do so with one club.
''This is what we play football before,'' Terry told ITV.
''It was a great performance. When the chips are down we come together and we have done that superbly this season.''
Ashley Cole, who had already won the FA Cup six times, three times with Arsenal and three with Chelsea, extended that record to seven winner's medals.
Cole told BBC Five Live: ''It is incredible, I feel very humbled by what I have achieved in the FA Cup and hopefully there is more to come. It also gives us great confidence for the Champions League final in two weeks time.''
It was another triumph for Chelsea caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo who took over in March following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas and has also led his side to the Champions League final.
He became the third Italian manager in a row to win the FA Cup following Carlo Ancelotti in 2010 and Roberto Mancini last year and joined a select band of men to win the FA Cup as a player and manager with the same club.
Chelsea took the early advantage when they pounced on a mistake by Liverpool's Jay Spearing who lost possession in midfield to Juan Mata.
He played in Ramires and the Brazilian held off a weak challenge from Jose Enrique before firing low and hard at Pepe Reina.
The Spaniard, who has had a mixed season in the Liverpool goal, compounded Spearing's mistake and Enrique's ineffective challenge with one of his own as the ball bounced off his arm and into the net.
Liverpool responded when Glen Johnson played in a fine ball from the right which was half cleared by Branislav Ivanovic whose header went straight to Craig Bellamy.
The Welsh winger unleashed a fierce shot and Ivanovic redeemed himself with a good block.
Chelsea's superiority was confirmed when Drogba's crisp low shot put them 2-0 ahead, the Ivorian continuing his record of scoring in all eight competitive matches he has played at Wembley.
Liverpool brought on Carroll to lead their attempted fightback and the 35 million-pound ($57 million) striker took advantage of a lucky rebound to shimmy past Terry and slam the ball high into Cech's net.
The goal invigorated Liverpool and Carroll came close to the equaliser and perhaps should have scored when his powerful header was brilliantly stopped by Cech after 83 minutes.
The goalkeeper told BBC Five live: ''I don't think it crossed the line because I managed to get it off the crossbar and out and that would not have happened if it had crossed the line. But its a fantastic win, the FA Cup is very special and we can go on to Munich with a lot of confidence.''
If Liverpool had equalised no-one would have been surprised as, inspired by Carroll's goal, they took a grip of the game.
Luis Suarez and Carroll had further efforts on goal with Suarez forcing Cech into an important save after 73 minutes and Carroll heading over the bar two minutes later.
Liverpool missed out on the chance of an FA Cup and League Cup double and Chelsea will bid to complete a Cup double by beating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in Munich on May 19.