1997 FA Cup Final
|Event||1996–97 FA Cup|
|Date||17 May 1997|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
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
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
Quarter-Final: Portsmouth 1–4 Chelsea
Semi-Final: Wimbledon 0–3 Chelsea
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
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.
17 May 1997
| Di Matteo 1'
- "Di Matteo's lightning strike and the FA Cup win that changed Chelsea forever". Daily Mail. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "ROBERTO'S QUICKIE MAKES ROBBO SICKIE!; Blue heaven in 43 seconds.". The People (London). 18 May 1997. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Blue what a scorcher!". Sunday Mirror. 18 May 1997. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Game facts at soccerbase.com