Flashbacks: vs Boro, FA Cup Final '97
Feature by Rich Godden
Updated Friday, 9th April 2004
In the first of a new series, Rich Godden takes a look back at the classic 1997 FA Cup Final against Middlesbrough...Way back in 1997 (yes, it really was 7 years ago), Chelsea won the FA Cup for the first time since 1970! Having lost the 1994 Cup final against Manure, Chelsea certainly weren't going to suffer the same fate twice.
Roberto Di Matteo created Wembley Cup Final history by scoring after just 43 seconds. Robbie was allowed to run unchallenged into the Boro half and let fly from 35-yards... Boro keeper Ben Roberts was beaten all ends up and the rest, as they say, is history!
Boro's hopes were then flattened when Ravanelli was withdrawn with injury after just 24 minutes. As the game went on, Chelsea began to look more and more comfortable- and the game was settled with 7 minutes to go.
A deep cross to the far post was magnificently back heeled in mid air by Franco Zola and the on rushing Eddie Newton smacked the ball home to secure the victory!
Luca Vialli was given a heroes reception when he graced the pitch with seconds to go, but the accolades all fell to two men. Firstly, the history maker, Robbie Di Matteo. And the other was Ruud Gullit, who became the first foreign manager to win the FA Cup!
The new Chelsea had well and truly arrived...
FA Cup Final- 17th May, 1997
Chelsea 2 - 0 Middlesbrough
Di Matteo (1), Newton (83)
Chelsea: Grodas, Minto, Leboeuf, Clarke, Sinclair, Newton, Wise (c), Petrescu, Di Matteo, Zola (Vialli 89), M Hughes
Subs Not Used: Myers, Hitchcock
Booked : Newton, Di Matteo, Leboeuf
Middlesbrough: Roberts, Pearson, Emerson, Mustoe (Vickers 29), Juninho, Ravanelli (Beck 24), Fleming, Blackmore, Festa, Stamp, Hignett (Kinder 74)
Subs Not Used: Whyte, Summerbell
Ref: Steven Lodge