Interim boss enjoyed the "unique" feeling of winning the trophy as part of the playing and coaching staff, and felt that the best team won in the end despite Liverpool's fightback
Roberto Di Matteo feels “honoured” to have won the FA Cup with Chelsea as both a player and a manager, hailing his squad for doing the club proud in beating Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley.
Ramires and Didier Drogba scored for the Blues as they secured the trophy for their interim boss, who had previously tasted success in the competition on the pitch in 1997 and 2000.
“It’s quite a unique situation to win [it] as a player and to be able to coach the team and win it as well, so I feel honoured to have [had] this chance,” Di Matteo told ITV after the match.
“I’m very happy for the players. We’ve been heavily criticised this season but we’ve got a trophy and we still have a chance for another one so it’s been a weird season, but the players have done the club proud.
“It’s been hard work for us but here we came through it. I think we played well, we deserved [to win]. We scored two very good goals, we didn’t concede too much.
“They pressed us hard in the second half but I think we defended well against that.”
Liverpool had appealed for an equaliser when Andy Carroll’s header was judged to have been saved just before crossing the line by Petr Cech, but the Italian deferred to the officials’ call.
“I looked at the linesman and the linesman never showed that it was in, so for me it wasn’t a goal,” he added.
The triumph means that Chelsea could do a double if they beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on May 19, however, Di Matteo refused to look too far ahead.
“We still have two Premier League games to play first and these could be vital for us, depending on the results, so we’ll do these and then we’ll focus on Munich,” the 41-year-old stated.
Asked by ESPN if winning felt better as a manager, he mused: “It's very exciting. The emotions, the game as well had ups and downs.
“We had a nice two-goal lead and we deserved it as well but they did very well in the second half to get back into the game and it was a bit nervy towards the end with that scoreline, but we managed to get it over the line.”