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1997 FA Cup Final Chelsea v Middlesborough

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Published on Feb 5, 2009

1997 FA Cup Final Chelsea v Middlesborough DVD

In Ruud Gullits first season in charge, the Blues reacquainted themselves with the countrys most prestigious competition after 27 years of waiting.

It was a day that history was created. Ruud Gullit himself became the first foreign coach to win a domestic honour and Roberto Di Matteo scored Wembleys fastest ever FA Cup final goal after only 43 seconds.

Inheriting the seeds of a promising side from former manager Glen Hoddle, Gullit soon stamped his own individuality onto the team with an influx of foreign stars. In came Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo, Frank Leboeuf and Gianluca Vialli, and the team blossomed into one of the Premierships most stylish sides competing for one of the major honours.

The final itself couldnt have started any better for the Blues. Before a minute had even passed, Roberto Di Matteo picked up the ball in the centre of the park, and with the defence backing off, he launched a blistering attack on the Middlesbrough goal. Carrying the ball from inside his own half, the Italian international unleashed a venomous shot a fully thirty yards from goal, which arced over the hapless Roberts and nestled in the Wembley net.

With the Chelsea fans in great voice, Wembley was a sea of Blue. But the game had to wait until the final ten minutes for any change to the score line, when Eddie Newton, who had started the move, was on hand to steer home Zolas flick from close range.

The goal signalled a mass of euphoric celebrations around the stadium and Dennis Wise made the much-coveted walk up the famous Wembley steps to collect the trophy for the second time in Chelseas history.

Relive the day that FA Cup history was created.

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