Chelsea vs Man Utd: The fascinating audio from referee's microphone in 2018 FA Cup final

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Antonio Conte bowed out as Chelsea manager by winning the FA Cup in 2018.

Having endured a wretched Premier League season that saw the Blues drop out of the Champions League places, Conte could at least end the campaign with silverware under the Wembley arch.

Truth be told, it wasn’t exactly an FA Cup final for the ages with Conte’s Chelsea and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United grinding out a miserable affair bereft of many clear opportunities.

2018 FA Cup final

In the end, Eden Hazard’s penalty in the 22nd minute proved to be the difference between the two sides with the Chelsea star having won the spot-kick under a clumsy foul from Phil Jones.

It was a pretty clear penalty and one where the only debate surrounded whether or not Jones should have been sent off, but his genuine attempt to play the ball ultimately saved his skin.

Now, that’s all well and good, but what is so unique about the deciding moment in one of the dullest FA Cup finals in memory? Well, that’s because we got remarkable insight from Michael Oliver himself.

The esteemed Premier League official was the man at the centre of Chelsea and United’s clash, ultimately deciding to award the penalty that allowed Hazard to wrap up the silverware.

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Audio from Michael Oliver’s mic

And astonishingly, the audio from Oliver’s microphone during the build-up, aftermath and awarding of the penalty itself was actually made public in what still makes for an utterly fascinating listen.

As corroborated by the Daily Mail and The Sun, NBCSN gained access to Oliver’s discussion with his assistant referee and VAR courtesy of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

Trust us when we say that it’s an engrossing watch with even the protests of players being picked up on the microphone, so be sure to gain some brilliant refereeing insight by watching it below:

Isn’t that just completely engrossing? 

Truly fascinating insight

Hearing the conversation of the officiating team as they awarded such a huge penalty and decided upon the punishment for Jones is an almost entirely unique experience in the English game.

Yes, there have been previous examples of football referees being given a microphone that can be listened to by fans, but we’re not aware of any instances in the English game since the audio from the 2018 FA Cup final.

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Let's start easy: who's this iconic character?

It really helps to reiterate both that referees are fallible human beings like the rest of us and that they have to make these potentially season-altering decisions in what feels like the blink of an eye.

In this case, Oliver and the team got the decision absolutely spot on and with VAR denying Alexis Sanchez a goal later in the game, Chelsea were able to defend their lead and take home the trophy.

But forget all that because we just have one demand: more refereeing audio please. Pretty please.

“Pochettino told he will be SACKED by PSG!” (Football Terrace)

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