After FA Cup Final, Whose Season Was Worse: Chelsea Or Manchester United?

Chelsea and Manchester United battled in the FA Cup final in the second-most pompous event in England on Saturday. For both clubs, it was the culmination of a season fans of neither club will remember fondly.

While Chelsea won 1-0, it’s tough to determine which club had the worse season.

The match itself wasn’t the best advertisement for English football. The lone goal was scored on a penalty drawn and taken by Eden Hazard. Phil Jones couldn’t deal with the Belgian’s pace and took him down in the box. Hazard did well to score past David de Gea on the ensuing PK. 

The FA Cup final trophy was likely Antonio Conte’s last act as Chelsea boss. It says a lot about Chelsea’s season that the Italian appears on his way out after just two seasons in London. 

Conte led the Blues to the Premier League title in 2017, outpacing second-place Tottenham by seven points. But Chelsea never really found its stride in his second season, finishing with 23 fewer points. Worst of all, especially for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, the Blues failed to qualify for the Champions League, five points behind fourth-place Liverpool. 

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Manchester United meanwhile finished higher in the EPL standings in second place, but Jose Mourinho’s side was still 19 points behind league champion Manchester City. 

The Red Devils failed to win a trophy, even losing to Bristol City in the Carabao Cup. But at least they’ll be in the Champions League next season.

So who had the worse season? It’s hard to say. Both went out in the Champions League Round of 16 to Spanish opposition, Chelsea to Barcelona and United to Sevilla. 

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Chelsea won a trophy in the FA Cup final but will be in the Europa League next season. Manchester United didn’t win a trophy and watched its archrival win the league in record-breaking fashion, but still finished second with 81 points, the same number Leicester City had when it won the 2016 league title. 

Honestly, I’d say it’s a bit of a wash. But one thing’s for sure: They both had far better seasons than Arsenal.

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