I am writing this as only one song reverberates around Wembley Stadium: “When Wise went up, to lift the FA Cup, we were there, we were there.”
What a season. I hope all those critics who have roundly spent the last few months roasting Vialli and the boys are now crying into their laptops.
This has been a great week. Watching Arsenal play badly and crash to the Turks was highlight enough. That Gica Popescu slotted home the winner was grounds for free beer all round. And now this.
I would like to say that Villa were not so much taken to the cleaners as put through the spin cycle and hung out to dry. But that would be wrong.
Make no mistake, nobody at Chelsea took this game lightly. Whereas a game against ‘Boro or Rottenham is a guaranteed banker. Villa are an altogether different proposition. Well organised and with a strong defence it was clear that we would need something special to break them down.
Furthermore, Villa possessed a potent attack. Merson, Dubin and Carbone would grace any Premiership team.
Before the game, most Blues fans reckoned the chances of victory were no more than 50:50. Even Vialli argued that Chelsea would need a fair amount of luck to win.
However, on our day we can beat anybody. This, you must remember, is a squad packed with world class stars.
Barcelona, Galatasaray, Manchester United and Feyenoord were totally thumped this season and we knew that if we played to our potential we would beat Villa. And so it came to pass.
The first half was utterly disappointing. I dread to think what it must have been like for a neutral. Although the crowd started off in good song with ‘Blue Flag’ and ‘Carefree’ reverberating around the twin towers, our football was so poor that it slowly killed off any semblance of support. Or was it the £10 price of the match programme that shut us up?
Credit must go to Villa, who in the first half had their tactics spot on. Although a five man defence is hardly adventurous and it was clear that they had come to defend and perhaps nick a winner. Chances were rarer than a Sutton goal and the only fireworks came as the players walked out of the tunnel.
The second half started much better and within ten minutes Wise had stuck the ball in the back of the net. Why it was disallowed only Mr Poll will know.
When the goal came it was a scrappy affair but as the ball crashed into the roof of the net a tumultuous roar came from the Chelsea section.
We’re proud of the lads. Sure there have been some low points this season, but the high points have been plenty.
While we may have disappointed in the Premiership, the Champions League has been a thrilling adventure and now an FA Cup sits proudly in the trophy cabinet. What a season.