Why the FA Cup final this year is not just an ordinary one
Written by: Neil Talnikar
A win could be the silver lining of the season for both the teams.
An exciting fixture between Manchester United and Chelsea this weekend will mark the end of this exceptional English top-flight season. The fierce rivalry between the two clubs will be on display in the Football Association (FA) Cup final, while both the teams have recorded a lacklustre performance this season, their managers will be looking forward in winning the domestic cup in order to restore some faith in their clubs’ supporters.
Manchester United’s season was marred when they were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Spanish side Sevilla in the round of 16. Although the Red Devils have managed to sit below Champions Manchester City and qualify for next year’s Champions League, their overall performance in the season was average.
FA Cup Final 2018: Chelsea vs Manchester United
On the other hand, Chelsea endured a disappointing season. The former champions only managed to finish fifth in the title-defending campaign and secured a spot in the UEFA Europa League next season. The Blues were struggling in the league since the start and their expectations of a good season dealt a blow when they drew a mighty Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16. As expected, they were knocked out by the Spanish giants.
Both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have been mocked by the supporters for their failures throughout the season. It has been a hard time for the under-fire Chelsea manager since he is most-likely to part ways with the club at the end of the season. Thus, the FA Cup might prove to be a lifeline for both the managers as winning the cup will at least buy them some time to restore faith in the supporters.
The fixture is already an intense one considering the fierce rivalry between the two clubs. But with pressure mounting on both the managers, the intensity of the final has increased even more. Both the teams will be looking forward to correcting their failures of this season by winning this crucial final game.
Some might think that the game will be decided on how the attackers perform, but the real encounter will be in the midfield. On one side there is an experienced Cesc Fabregas along with arguably best defensive midfielder in the Premier League, N’golo Kante.
On the other side is highly-underrated Nemanja Matic with super talented Paul Pogba. The performance of the midfielders will be the ultimate key to success for either of the clubs. Chelsea have won three times while Man Utd have won the rest couple of time in the last five games with Conte and Mourinho in the dugout. Amongst them was a 1-0 win for Chelsea in last year’s FA Cup quarter-final.
An FA Cup final never disappoints and this year’s final will be a proof for the statement. With an almost equal head-to-head record, both teams will look forward to gaining superiority over each other. United will be ready to avenge their last year’s quarterfinal loss while Chelsea will be sparked up to support their under-fire manager.
This is what makes the final an extraordinary one. England’s prestigious Wembley stadium is all set for the final fixture of the 2017-18 season. The hype over the FA Cup final is already in the air as every football fan in the world will be waiting to witness one of the most exciting games and maybe the last with Conte in Blue colors.
Published: Fri May 18, 2018 11:18 PM IST