LONDON: Didier Drogba's second-half free-kick ensured English Premier League football champion Chelsea completed a domestic double for the first time in the club's history by beating Portsmouth 1-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
Drogba struck in the 59th minute, four minutes after Porstmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng had missed a penalty, and Carlo Ancelotti's side held on comfortably to complete the win and retain the trophy it won last season.
Chelsea's Frank Lampard also missed a penalty two minutes from time that would have added gloss to the scoreline, but after hitting the woodwork five times during the first half, there was little doubt Ancelotti's team deserved the win.
These two sides have experienced wildly different campaigns and finished the season at opposite ends of the league table. While Chelsea cruised to its first Premier League title in four years by thrashing Wigan 8-0 in its final game the previous weekend, Portsmouth's descent into the championship had been signalled from the moment it lost its opening seven league games.
Pompey, though, has shown commendable spirit on the closing weeks of the season despite its plight, most notably when it beat Tottenham 2-0 in the FA Cup semifinals.
There seemed to be little chance of an upset on Saturday when Chelsea quickly established control of the game and Lampard twice came close to giving the holder a nerve-settling early goal.He drilled a fourth minute shot narrowly wide after Aaron Mokoena had blocked Nicolas Anelka's shot and then sent a long range effort against the outside of the post 10 minutes later.
Chelsea took control of the game when Drogba curled a superb 20-yard free kick around the Portsmouth defensive wall and inside the far post. Portsmouth's spirit weakened. — AFP