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1997 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view)
Event1996–97 FA Cup
Date17 May 1997
VenueWembley Stadium, London
1996
1998

The 1997 FA Cup Final was the 116th final of the FA Cup. It took place on 17 May 1997 at Wembley Stadium and was contested by Chelsea and Middlesbrough, the North East club appearing in its first FA Cup Final.

Chelsea won 2–0 to win the FA Cup for the second time, the first having come in 1970. Their Dutch manager, Ruud Gullit, thus became the first foreign or non-white manager to win a major trophy with an English club.

For most of the Chelsea players, it was the first major honour of their career, but for Mark Hughes, it was the fourth time that he had featured in an FA Cup winning side (having played on the winning Manchester United teams of 1985, 1990 and 1994), and his eighth major honour in all. For Middlesbrough, it was a second final defeat of the 1996-97 season (having lost the League Cup Final to Leicester City the previous month), to go with their controversial relegation from the Premier League.

Road to Wembley

Chelsea

Home teams listed first.

Round 3: Chelsea 3–0 W.B.A.

Round 4: Chelsea 4–2 Liverpool

Round 5: Leicester City 2–2 Chelsea

Replay: Chelsea 1–0 Leicester City

Quarter-Final: Portsmouth 1–4 Chelsea

Semi-Final: Wimbledon 0–3 Chelsea

(at Highbury, London)

Middlesbrough

Home teams listed first.

Round 3: Middlesbrough 6–0 Chester City

Round 4: Hednesford Town 2–3 Middlesbrough

Round 5: Manchester City 0–1 Middlesbrough

 

Quarter-Final: Derby County 0–2 Middlesbrough

Semi-Final: Chesterfield 3–3 Middlesbrough

(at Old Trafford, Manchester)
Replay: Middlesbrough 3–0 Chesterfield
(at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield)

Match review

Chelsea took the lead just 42 seconds into the match, with Italian midfielder Roberto Di Matteo receiving the ball and firing it into the goal off the crossbar from 25 yards to record what was at the time the quickest ever goal in a Wembley FA Cup final (Louis Saha broke this record 12 years later in the 2009 final after just 25 seconds, coincidentally against Chelsea, though Chelsea won the match 2–1), breaking Jackie Milburn's 42-year record. Middlesbrough's prolific striker Fabrizio Ravanelli limped off after 21 minutes, further diminishing his side's chances of victory. Late in the first half Gianluca Festa put the ball in the net for Middlesbrough, but the goal was ruled out for offside. In a largely disappointing match, in which Chelsea were generally in control, Chelsea eventually added a second goal seven minutes from full-time with Eddie Newton steering the ball into the net from Gianfranco Zola's clever flick to seal a 2–0 win.

Match details

17 May 1997
15:00 BST
Chelsea 2–0 Middlesbrough Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 79,160
Referee: Stephen Lodge (South Yorkshire)
Di Matteo Soccerball 1'
Newton Soccerball 83'
Report
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Chelsea
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Middlesbrough
GK 30Flag of Norway Frode Grodås
RWB2 Romania Dan Petrescu
CB 6 Scotland Steve Clarke
CB 5 Flag of France Frank Leboeuf Yellow card
CB 20Flag of Jamaica Frank Sinclair
LWB17England Scott Minto
CM 11England Dennis Wise
CM 16Flag of Italy Roberto Di Matteo Yellow card
CM 24England Eddie Newton Yellow card
CF 10Flag of Wales Mark Hughes
CF 25Flag of Italy Gianfranco Zola Sub off 89'
Substitutes:
GK 13England Kevin Hitchcock
DF 8 England Andy Myers
FW 9 Flag of Italy Gianluca Vialli Sub on 89'
Manager:
Netherlands Ruud Gullit
Chelsea vs Middlesbrough 1997-05-17.svg
GK 25England Ben Roberts
RB 14Flag of Republic Ireland Curtis Fleming
CB 5 England Nigel Pearson
CB 18Flag of Italy Gianluca Festa Yellow card
LB 17Flag of Wales Clayton Blackmore
RM 10Brazil Juninho
CM 8 England Robbie Mustoe Sub off 29'
CM 6 Brazil Emerson
LM 20England Phil Stamp
CF 11Flag of Italy Fabrizio Ravanelli Sub off 24'
CF 21England Craig Hignett Sub off 74'
Substitutes:
DF 4 England Steve Vickers Sub on 29'
DF 7 Slovakia Vladimír Kinder Sub on 74'
FW 9Flag of Denmark Mikkel Beck Sub on 24'
Manager:
England Bryan Robson

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Replay required if scores still level.
  • Three named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.

External links

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Template:1996–97 in English football

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