Ramires was always a motor, a non-stop blur of pumping legs and arms. But his lack of a footballing brain always seemed to get in the way of that perspiring flourish. No longer. The Brazilian has shown a number of world class finishes in huge matches. He got the Blues off to a rollicking start by gouging Liverpool for speed and then fooling Pepe Reina by going for the near post. That was the sum of the first half. After the break Didier Drogba doubled the account sweetly nutmegging Martin Skrtel to send the ball crashing past Reina. Liverpool had a lot of the ball but were sparse on attack till Kenny Dalglish sent in Andy Carroll in the second half with about 30 minutes left to make this a match.
With the news that Liverpool was just a day away from bankruptcy, the pony tailed poster boy of unbridled capitalism and living beyond one's means showed some sparkling skill to give Liverpool hope in the 64th minute. That moment also showcased Jose Bosingwa's defensive liabilities. The Blues were given a lifeline when Petr Cech stopped Caroll's header in the 81st minute before the ball disappeared beyond the line. It was an incredible save.
This was Chelsea's third FA Cup title in four years. A tribute to one of English football's most self aware teams. It is not going out on a limb to say in Chelsea's context the path to their success goes through the players, less the coach. Roberto Di Matteo's laissez faire attitude has paid off but the real reason for the club's revival has been ending the state of player revolt under AVB. The class of 2005 is going to provide this sport's coaches and administrators after they end their playing career. Liverpool's woes are largely down to their fleet of underachieving players and attacking inefficiency. Luis Suarez always gives them a pulse but the rest of the vital signs are missing.