The FA Cup final sponsored by Nytol was certainly the worst I can remember. At least the 0-0 between Manchester United and Arsenal in 2005 had some incident and intensity. This snoozefest was like a testimonial but without the fun and without the goals! It was played mostly at walking pace with no enthusiasm and no desire to create chances. Never mind an English FA Cup final, it looked like two Italian sides who both thought they had got a 1-0 lead!
Science boffins have found that each fan at tomorrow’s FA Cup final will leave an eco-footprint 10 times the size of that of a fan watching the game at home. And the main reason for this? The humble half-time pie and beer apparently. Andrea Collins of Cardiff University said: “They are highly processed food and drink products which require a lot of energy to produce.”
They think it’s all over… it is now! The winner of the inaugural Pies Fantasy League is Tommy. He has been our champion elect for a while now, so no great surprises there. Congratulations to Tommy and comiserations to the unsuccessful managers who didn’t quite make the grade (or McClarens as I like to call them).
1 GrÃªmio, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, Juventus, Real Madrid (current). Whose career path?
2 Which side have appeared in four FA Cup finals without ever lifting the trophy?
3 Picture round. Who’s the juggler?
FA Cup final, Sat 19 May, Wembley Stadium
MAN UNITED TO BEAT CHELSEA IN 90 MINS (9-5)
The bookies are struggling to split the juggernauts but despite United’s poor record against Chelsea (just one win in 10) they are taken to triumph in normal time. Neither side is in great form (Man United just one goal in last four, Chelsea no wins in five) but the Red Devils can take advantage of an exhausted-looking Blues side with injury problems. They should be 13-8 shots and are, therefore, a value bet.
We have to respect a sports blog that claims to have ‘no shame (or standards)’. More Credible is an all-sports blog written by a sports fan (or could be fans, we’re not sure) in the US of A and as such it covers crappy American sports like baseball (yawn) and gridiron (time out) – at least they have hot cheerleaders to look.
Roma’s squad and coaching staff celebrate winning the Coppa Italia after the second-leg match between Internazionale and Roma at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan. Roma lost the second leg 2-1, but won the tie 7-4 on aggregate, having won the first leg 6-2. Both teams finished the game with 10 men, with Inter’s Ivan Cordoba and Roma’s Christian Panucci dismissed during a fiery match.
Coaching, bland punditry, alcoholism. The list of possibilities for footballers once they hang up their boots is seemingly endless, but forays into the world of children’s literature are not too common. Trailblazing the career move from the territory of Harry Redknapp to the world of Harry Potter is Middlesbrough keeper Mark Schwarzer.
This t-shirt celebrates legendary Chelsea keeper ‘Fatty’ Foulke, not to be confused with midfielder Fatty Frank. The 6ft 7in and 24 stone beast was Chelsea captain for a while following a Â£50 transfer from Sheffield United. Click here to buy the t-shirt from RetroFootballShirts for Â£19.99.
Sadly the days of the FA Cup final single seem to be behind us, but here is a classic one from 1995. It is of course, Manchester United’s happy hardcore FA Cup anthem Move, Move, Move. Check out a young David Beckham grinning his way through his lines.
An Argentinian second division match between Defensores de Belgrano and Sarmiento de Junin was held up for several minutes when Defensores keeper Maximiliano Kadijevic decided to introduce toilet breaks to football matches.
Big-boned Wigan defender David Unsworth has been released from his contract. The 33-year-old’s penalty against Sheffield United last weekend kept Wigan in the Premiership, but he has been deemed surplus to requirements by new boss Chris Hutchings.
West Ham, captained by Bobby Moore, won a storming match 3-2 to lift the Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Their goals were scored by John Sissons, Geoff Hurst and Ron Boyce. At the time Preston’s Howard Kendall (yep, the one who went on to manage Everton) was the youngest player ever to play at an FA Cup Final, aged 17 years 345 days.
Napoli fans can ‘look forward’ (or politely avert their gaze) to a striptease by 72-year-old Hollywood icon Sofia Loren if the team are promoted to Serie A this season. As you may have guessed, Loren is a big fan of Napoli. She’s also 72, for God’s sake – admittedly she doesn’t look like any 72-year-old women I know, but still, it’s not an appealing prospect. A 22-year-old Loren? Now you’re talking.
This tie was always too close to call and so it proved. I’m glad Derby won through in the end though – they did finish the regular season nine points above Southampton and that should count for something.
West Bromwich Albion are just one game away from the Premiership after a relatively comfortable win in the second leg of their semi-final play-off against bitter rivals Wolves at the Hawthorns. West Brom did all the hard work in the first leg, winning 3-2 at Molineux, and they never really looked like letting Wolves back in the tie.
English football fans who decided to watch the UEFA Cup final were rewarded with a dramatic, engaging contest; let’s hope the Champions League final is half this much fun.
Adriano opened the scoring for Sevilla, but Riera equalised 10 minutes later and that’s how the game stayed until extra time, despite Espanyol having Moises Hurtado sent off for a second booking on 68 minutes. West Ham/Spurs alumnus Freddie Kanoute won it for Sevilla with a goal at the end of the first period of extra time – at least he thought he’d won it. With only four minutes left of extra time, Jonatas equalised for Espanyol, taking the game to penalties.
Marc Torrejon of Espanyol has his team’s fourth penalty in a penalty shootout saved by Andres Palop to secure victory for Sevilla during last night’s UEFA Cup Final at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
[Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images]