FA Cup final: Ownership drama 'fuels' Chelsea players to perform – BBC


By Manish Pandey and Betty GloverNewsbeat reportersChelsea's players have "come together even more" during the "tough times"w

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By Manish Pandey and Betty Glover
Newsbeat reporters

Chelsea's players have "come together even more" during the "tough times"with its ownership, Mason Mount says.
The club was put up for sale and its Russian owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by the UK government following the invasion of Ukraine.
"You want to prove to people that we can stick together in difficult times," says the midfielder.
He's been speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat with Chelsea women's Erin Cuthbert, before the FA Cup final for both teams.
"The more you see people knocking us down the more you want to let the football do the talking," Erin adds.
Chelsea's men face off against Liverpool in Saturday's final, with the women's team playing their final against Manchester City on Sunday.
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A group led by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly has now agreed a deal worth £4.25bn to buy the club.
Erin, 23, says the situation around Abramovich has not had much influence on the players.
"I think if anything, you try and distract yourself, but it just gives you more fuel on your fire to do well for the club."
"It's all about what's done on the pitch, because that's all we can control as football players," she says.
Mason's focus is purely on this Saturday's final against Liverpool. They've already had one showdown against the same team this season – in the League Cup – which they lost.
The 23-year-old has not yet won a domestic trophy with Chelsea, having lost two previous finals, and says he's "buzzing" to have the chance to change that.
"To lose two finals with the first team, it's heartbreaking. So we have enough opportunity and hopefully third time lucky."
For Erin, having been so successful with Chelsea's women winning a third consecutive League title, they go into Sunday's final against Manchester City on a high but aware of the challenge ahead.
"They've been on an incredible run of form, they beat us in the Continental Cup final a couple of months ago. So we're under no illusions it's going to be a tough game."
The men's team have already won the Club World Cup and the Super Cup, but not had success in the Premier League.
Mason says it could be "a special weekend" for the club if both teams win.
"Even though it's been up and down and there's been so much going on, we can look back and be proud of what we achieved."
When Erin spoke to Newsbeat last year, she said her pre-match superstition was to take a bath in magnesium salts. But that's now "outdated", and swapped for a massive bowl of pasta the night before the game instead.
"I'll always have to cook a spaghetti carbonara, my family were around this weekend and they are not about carb overload. I was like tough, it's spaghetti carbonara or nothing."
Unsurprisingly for a footballer, Mason also has a carbs-based pre-match meal that he cooks.
"A pasta with chicken, sweet chilli, pesto and a creamy sauce," he says like an expert chef.
But superstitions alone won't help achieve victory – or at least, that's how Man City fan Liv Lang feels.
She's confident her team can become cup winners as they're in great form having scored "lots of goals" in recent weeks.
"I think it would be good to get some silverware for the girls," she says.
The 20-year-old adds this is a "massive game for women's football".
"Being held at Wembley on the same weekend as the men's final, shows we are progressing."
And Mason's dreams of achieving a domestic trophy won't be simple – facing the top-form Liverpool who've had a "whirlwind and rollercoaster" of a season, according to fan Dan Morgan.
The Liverpool podcaster will be at Wembley to watch the game, as his club chases an unprecedented quadruple, and says he'll be feeling the "butterflies on Saturday morning".
Liverpool have not won an FA Cup since 2006, which Dan says is "difficult to comprehend".
"To win would be monumental for a team that has built itself within the reputation of its own supporters as being one of the greatest ever."
"It's only right this team goes onto win as many trophies as possible to cement its legacy."
But if Erin and Mason both win, how will they celebrate? The only way they can.
"An open top bus" parade, they joke.
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