Manchester U 4 Chelsea 0

Eric Cantona

Man­chester Uni­ted 4 Chel­sea 0, Wemb­ley Sta­dium, Eng­lish FA Cup Fi­nal, May 14, 1994. Man­chester Uni­ted went in­to the FA Cup Fi­nal in May 1994 as Pre­miership cham­pi­ons, hav­ing won the title by a hand­some mar­gin. In a rather sharp con­trast, their op­pon­ents that day, Chel­sea, had fin­ished the 1993–94 sea­son in the bot­tom ha­lf of the top-flight table.

Chel­sea rea­ched their fir­st FA Cup Fi­nal since 1970 when play­er-man­ager Glenn Hoddle and his as­sist­ant Pe­ter Shreeves gui­ded The Blues to Wemb­ley in 1994. The West Lon­doners had struggled dur­ing the fir­st ha­lf of the Pre­mier Lea­gue cam­paign, but the play­ers picked them­selves up and played bet­ter and bet­ter as the sea­son went on. Des­pite this, tho­ugh, new­ly crow­ned Pre­mier Lea­gue Cham­pi­ons Man­chester Uni­ted were red hot fa­vour­ites to win the FA Cup Fi­nal ag­ainst the Stam­ford Bridge club. Chel­sea had ma­naged to be­at Luton To­wn 2–0 in the semi-fi­nals of the com­pet­i­tion cour­tesy of a brace from for­mer New­castle Uni­ted mid­field play­er Gav­in Pea­cock, whi­le Uni­ted, for their part, had de­feated neigh­bouring rivals Old­ham Ath­let­ic 4–1 in a re­play thanks to goals from De­nis Ir­win, An­drei Kanchel­s­kis, Bry­an Rob­son, and Ry­an Gig­gs re­spect­ively, af­ter the fir­st ga­me be­tween the two clubs had ended wi­th a 1–1 draw. But al­though Man­chester Uni­ted clearly had the strong­est te­am on pa­per, Chel­sea were the bet­ter si­de ahead of the ha­lf-time break, and Pea­cock, who was one of Hoddles´s fir­st sign­ings at Stam­ford Bridge, al­most han­ded The Blues the lead in the fir­st pe­riod when his ha­lf-vol­ley be­at Den­mark in­ter­na­tion­al Pe­ter Schmei­chel and made the cross­bar sing.

Dur­ing the sec­ond ha­lf of the tie, Man­chester Uni­ted slowly, but surely, star­ted to take con­trol of the mat­ch and went on to re­cord four goals, wi­th the open­er be­ing sco­red by French in­ter­na­tion­al Eric Can­tona from the pen­alty spot on the hour ma­rk. And six min­utes la­ter in the clash, Can­tona con­ver­ted yet an­oth­er pen­alty kick be­fore a pre­cise shot from the al­ways dan­ger­ous Ma­rk Hug­hes af­ter 69 min­utes made it 3–0 to the FA Carling Pre­miership cham­pi­ons. Wi­th just six min­utes re­maining of the 1994 FA Cup Fi­nal, Al­ex Fer­guson made a double sub­sti­tu­tion as Bri­an Mc­Clair and Lee Sharpe re­placed De­nis Ir­win and An­drei Kanchel­s­kis re­spect­ively, and then, in the 92nd min­ute of the in­creas­ingly one-sided en­counter, an un­selfish ball from mid­field play­maker Paul In­ce left Choccy wi­th a simple fin­ish to take the fi­nal score to 4–0. Man­chester Uni­ted thus com­pleted the coveted double of Lea­gue Cham­pi­on­ship and FA Cup for the fir­st time in the long his­tory of the club, a feat which had pre­vi­ously be­en achieved by Pre­ston North End in 1889, Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in 1961, Ar­senal in 1971, and Liver­pool in 1986. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Pe­ter Schmei­chel, Paul Par­ker, Ste­ve Bru­ce, Ga­ry Pal­lister, De­nis Ir­win, Ry­an Gig­gs, Roy Ke­ane, An­drei Kanchel­s­kis, Paul In­ce, Ma­rk Hug­hes, Eric Can­tona. Sub­stitutes: Ga­ry Wal­sh, Bri­an Mc­Clair, Lee Sharpe. Chel­sea Te­am: Dmitri Khar­ine, Ste­ve Clarke, Er­land John­sen, Jakob Kjeld­b­jerg, Frank Sin­clair, Craig Bur­ley, Ed­die New­ton, Gav­in Pea­cock, Den­nis Wi­se, John Spen­cer, Ma­rk Stein. Sub­stitutes: Kev­in Hitch­cock, Glenn Hoddle, To­ny Cascarino.


Eric Cantona Quickfacts

Eric Can­tona was ap­poin­ted as Dir­ect­or of Soc­cer at the New York Cos­mos in Jan­uary 2011, but the en­fant ter­rible was la­ter sacked by the board af­ter a row wi­th a pho­to­graph­er in London.


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