Date: 18th May 2007 at 5:58pm
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Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he hopes against hope that this year’s FA Cup final will not go down to penalties.

He’s surely a got a point: United were the first ever team to lose a final on penalties and our only successes in these under Fergie’s tenure came in the Charity/Community shield.

‘You know my record with penalties – diabolical I think you’d say,’ Ferguson said. ‘We just have to hope it does not get to that stage.’

Southern clubs and Russian clubs are bad omens for us when it goes down to penalties so there’s no chance we could defeat Chelsea in a shootout: Southampton knocked us out of the FA Cup in 1992 on penalties and Torpedo Moscow were also better from the spot later that year in the Uefa Cup.

There’s one thing that would interest me though. Lampard bottled it spectacularly in the World Cup – I think the whole nation had known he was going to miss. He’s usually a confident penalty taker for Chelsea so it would be interesting to see how he copes.

Having said that, I happily exchange that particular piece of knowledge for a victory in normal time.