Much like the nuptials down the road at Windsor Castle it was a coming together of an old established powerhouse and the nouveau riche. And while Meghan stole the show in a room full of royals it was Chelsea who ran off with English football’s crown jewels.
Antonio Conte added the FA Cup to the Premier League title he won last year but in this crazy world his reward is likely to be the sack.
It was a poor final from two joyless teams with the winner engineered by the best player on the pitch – Eden Hazard. On his 300th appearance for the Blues the Belgian won and converted the all-important 22nd-minute penalty.
It was no surprise he was the catalyst for victory and even less of a surprise that the man whose clumsy challenge led to the spot-kick was Phil Jones. The gurning United centre-half looks as sharp as a marble and plays the way he looks. England v Belgian is just five weeks away and not even United-supporting Three Lions fans will want a repeat of that match up!
Saturday was Mourinho’s first final loss as manager of an English club and United have won just one of their past four FA Cup finals, while Olivier Giroud has gongs from four of the last six!
Former Stamford Bridge chief Mourinho moaned that Chelsea parked the bus – wonder where they learned to do that eh Jose? Mourinho said his old side were too physical – bit odd when his team made 13 fouls to Chelsea’s 11. He also moaned they were predictable but surely had that been the case a manager of Jose’s experience would have worked out a way to beat them.
The Portuguese has gone from an energetic breath of fresh air to a perma-scowling dishevelled shell of a man. Whatever it is that is eating Jose, it must be suffering horribly.
Chelsea deserved their victory with Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante, Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill joining Hazard as star performers.
Not one man in a red shirt shone – and this was against an under-performing team that had been taken apart 3-0 by mid-table Newcastle six days before.
United’s dire football is set against the backdrop of the exciting and expansive brand being served up by their biggest rivals Liverpool and City, which makes it even worse for their supporters.
United were woeful in the first half and only marginally better after the break with a half-decent 20-minute spell. Al€xi$ $a₦ch€z – paid half a million quid a WEEK remember – was anonymous and looks a shadow of the player he was at Arsenal.
Paul Pogba, all £89million of him, went missing again in a big game and fluffed a great chance to level at the end when he headed over. Marcus Rashford, once dubbed the most exciting young player in England, is now shot of confidence and has scored one goal in his last 683 minutes of football. His shoulders now slump as much as his form.
Anthony Martial, who two years ago was one of the most promising youngsters in Europe, looks as lost as his place in the French national side. And God only knows what Luke Shaw has done to Mourinho? Perhaps made a pass at his daughter, son AND wife the way he is treated. The 22-year-old who many thought would be England’s left-back for the next decade was not even in the match-day squad.
The lack of form and action has cost Shaw and Martial their World Cup places and both are expected to push for moves this summer. If nothing was learned, nothing was taught and that is down to the manager.
United have finished second in the league, second in the FA Cup and second in Manchester and their fans are madder than mosquitos in a mannequin factory. It will be fascinating to see if the Old Trafford hierarchy stick or twist with Mourinho now he doesn’t have his boast of always winning silverware to cling onto.
MOVE over chicken there’s another bird in Kiev – yep the Liverbird lands in the capital of Ukraine for a massive Champion League showdown.
Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the biggest of three finals on Saturday. But first up is the Aviva Premiership final with Exeter up against reigning champions Saracens.
Rugby is all about teamwork – to go forwards you must go backwards. It’s a sentiment the Chiefs are all too familiar with as every time they play at Twickenham – a pinnacle for any rugby player – they have lost. Unfortunately I don’t fancy them against Sarries’ famous Wolf Pack and it will be another case of one step forward and two back in their sixth appearance at the national stadium.
Then sports fans it is on to the EFL Championship final – dubbed the £290million pound game as Aston Villa and Fulham battle it out to make it to the promised land of the Premier League. The Cottagers play a better brand of football, have exciting young talent Ryan Sessegnon in their side and most importantly don’t have one John George Terry wearing their shirt so I’ll be rooting for them.
And then it is the European showpiece which promises to be an absolute classic. Cristiano Ronaldo & Co are aiming for a third straight Big Ears, while Liverpool are desperate to claim their sixth crown.
It is a game in which anything could happen – Jurgen Klopp’s front three are frightening but Madrid love this tournament and the record 12-time holders always seem to find a way to win.
AND finally Tyson Fury is back and has announced his comeback fight after two-and-a-half years out will be against Albania’s Sefer Seferi in Manchester on June 9.
The Gypsy King returned with a top quote saying: “I feel as a sharp as a razor, fast as a laser.” Not quite Muhammed Ali’s ‘float like a butterfly, sting like bee’ phrase but I like it.