Chelsea lost the FA Cup final on penalties to Liverpool which makes it the sixth defeat in seven finals at Wembley Stadium.
How Wembley Stadium stopped being Chelsea’s second home after Didier Drogba left
Chelsea’s FA Cup loss to Liverpool means they have now lost six out of seven finals at Wembley Stadium since Didier Drogba left the club in 2015.
During Didier Drogba’s time at Chelsea which also coincided with the first half of Roman Abramovich’s reign, Wembley Stadium was home away from home for the Blues.
Chelsea and Wembley
The first cup final of the Abramovich era also happened to be the first final at the new Wembley Stadium in 2007 after the stadium had been under renovation for six years prior.
Chelsea christened the magnificent stadium with a 1-0 win against Manchester United in front of nearly 90,000 fans and there are no prizes for guessing the goalscorer.
Didier Drogba combined well with Frank Lampard to score the winning goal in the 26th minute of extra time to win Chelsea the trophy.
The Blues would go on to play and win three of the next five FA Cup finals and establish their dominance at Wembley Stadium. The only Wembley defeat in that run came in 2008, a 2-1 loss to Tottenham in the EFL Cup final.
The Drogba effect
Even in that solitary defeat against Tottenham, Didier Drogba still made his mark at Wembley, opening the scoring with a superb free-kick after 39 minutes.
Didier Drogba loves a final, he scored nine goals in 10 total finals for Chelsea but he arguably loves a Wembley Stadium finally even more.
Drogba played six total finals at Wembley and scored five goals, one goal in each of the five finals in his first stint at the club.
The only final Drogba played at Wembley and didn’t score was in the 2-0 win against Tottenham in 2015. The Ivorian was in his second stint at the club in the 2014/15 season and was only substituted on in the 93rd minute by Jose Mourinho so he barely played.
Thanks to Drogba’s incredibly consistent run at Wembley Stadium, Chelsea won five out of six Wembley finals and seven of eight FA and EFL Cup finals during his time at the club.
The post-Drogba years
In the post-Drogba years also the second half of Abramovich’s Chelsea reign, the West London club has remained just as dominant in getting to domestic cup finals.
Chelsea have played in five of the last six FA Cup finals which are already more than the four finals they played with Drogba leading the line.
The difference is while the club won all four FA Cup finals with Drogba, they have lost four of the five finals after him.
Chelsea lost the FA Cup final to Arsenal in 2017 and 2020 and then subsequently got beaten by Leicester City and Liverpool in 2021 and most recently 2022.
The only final Chelsea won in that run was against Manchester United in 2018, Eden Hazard’s penalty helped seal a 1-0 win.
It hasn’t gotten better for Chelsea in the EFL Cup either, their last triumph in that tournament remains the last one Drogba won in 2015. Chelsea have since lost two finals to Manchester City and Liverpool in 2019 and 2022 respectively.
To summarise, Chelsea have played seven domestic cup finals in the last five years and only won one game, an atrocious record, especially in contrast to what they were previously accustomed to.