Ruud Gullit managed Chelsea to their first major trophy in 26 years when captain Dennis Wise lifted The FA Cup at Wembley. Roberto Di Matteo scored, at the time, the quickest Wembley FA Cup Final goal when his 25 yard howitzer crashed into the net off the underside of the bar after just 42 seconds. Eddie Newton added the second after a clever flick from Gianfranco Zola to complete the 2-0 win versus Middlesbrough. Cue mass singing of the "Chelsea Chelsea" refrain from 'Blue Day', the FA Cup Final song penned by Madness vocalist and Chelsea fan Suggs.
Chelsea's road to Wembley began with a home 3-0 victory versus West Bromwich Albion. Liverpool visited Stamford Bridge in the 4th Round and were two goals up at half time before the introduction of Mark Hughes changed the game, the atmosphere and the result. 'Sparky' scored the first himself, Gianfranco Zola equalised with a fizzer and two tidy Gianluca Vialli finishes completed the job. The Blues needed a replay and a controversial penalty which Frank Leboeuf dispatched at The Shed End, to overcome Leicester City in the 5th Round. Portsmouth were then beaten 1-4 at Fratton Park and in the Semi-Final another Gianfranco Zola fizzer, in between two Mark Hughes strikes, saw Chelsea beat Wimbledon 3-0 at Highbury.
SCORE DRAW Official Retro Shirt Match:
Chelsea 2 v 0 Middlesbrough.
FA Cup Final.
Saturday 17 May 1997.
Chelsea Team: Frode Grodås. Steve Clarke. Frank Leboeuf. Frank Sinclair. Scott Minto. Dan Petrescu. Dennis Wise. Roberto Di Matteo. Eddie Newton. Mark Hughes. Gianfranco Zola (Gianluca Vialli).