Di Matteo hails players
Interim coach delighted with cup win
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: May 6, 2012 9:41am
Roberto Di Matteo: Delighted at cup final win
Chelsea's interim coach Roberto Di Matteo hailed his players after they won the FA Cup final against Liverpool.
Goals from Ramires and Didier Drogba gave Chelsea the win with Liverpool only managing to respond once through Andy Carroll.
Di Matteo was quick to hail the players who have responded wonderfully well since he took charge in March.
He said: "These players have been magnificent for me, the shift we have put in in the last eight weeks, it's been quite incredible and we have pushed them very hard and I think we got our reward today.
"The players have responded so well to the adversity we found ourselves in, it was a collective responsibility we found ourselves in and not many people outside the club thought we could do this.
"We are very happy today that we have brought the trophy back to Stamford Bridge, the players had a lot of desire to today and we hung on and managed to get over the line."
Chelsea dominated the first-half, and it was not until Andy Carroll came on close to the hour that Liverpool even looked like getting back into the match.
"We started well and played very well in first-half, and after Carroll came on they put is under a little pressure - he is a presence in the box and we had to defend, they were a little on top of us but we defended well," he said.
"It was an excellent start to the game for us, and Ramires is an extraordinary player and he has scored some important goals for us.
"Up to the point where Carroll came on we dominated, and then it changed a bit.
"I was very pleased with the first-half, they did not create too much and we dominated and we wanted that second goal which we got."
One major talking point of the game was Carroll's late header which he thought crossed the line, but Petr Cech managed to turn the ball onto the bar and away.
Replays have been inconclusive, suggesting that the whole ball did not cross, and Di Matteo admits he could not see.
"It was impossible from the dugout to see it," he said.
"I just looked at the linesman on the far side and he never showed to give it. It was a good decision and a great save, Petr has been playing magnificently recently."
Di Matteo admitted it was a tough choice for him to leave Fernando Torres on the bench with Drogba starting.
"It was a very difficult decision as they have both been playing so well," he said.
"He [Drogba] is part of the history of this club and you saw again today what he can do."
Di Matteo has now managed and played on the winning side in an FA Cup final and admits it is a 'special' moment.
"I think it is special if you have the chance doing it as a player and then doing it leading the team too and win it, so I am very honoured to be given this chance by the club."