May 19, 2018 at 5.15pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 87,647
Man UtdManchester United
Hazard (22' pen.)
Courtois (94')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Jones (21'), Valencia (58')

Live Commentary: Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United - as it happened

Live Commentary: Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Chelsea's 1-0 win against Man United, as Eden Hazard's penalty proved decisive in the 137th FA Cup final.

Chelsea defeated Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday evening through a first-half penalty from Eden Hazard to lift the trophy for an eighth time.

The game's decisive moment arrived a quarter of the way through, as Hazard converted from the spot after being brought down in the box by Phil Jones.

United improved in the second half and came close through Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, while Alexis Sanchez rightly had a goal ruled out for offside.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

4.15pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the 2018 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium. This has been far from a vintage season for these two heavyweight clubs, placing added significance on this final match of the campaign as both have a chance to salvage some pride by winning the world's oldest cup competition.

4.17pmUnited did at least manage to finish second in the Premier League - a vast improvement on last time out when all they could muster was sixth - whereas Chelsea failed to so much as finish in a Champions League qualification spot. Antonio Conte's second season at Stamford Bridge has not quite gone to plan, it is fair to say, and widespread reports suggest that this will be his final match in charge regardless of the outcome.


STARTING XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Alonso; Hazard; Giroud

SUBS: Caballero, Zappacosta, Chalobah, Barkley, Pedro, Willian, Morata

4.21pmChelsea boss Conte had a big selection call to make up top, and he has opted to go with January signing Olivier Giroud over Alvaro Morata. That was always the most likely call, with Giroud boasting four goals in his last seven outings. Conte has also gone with just two players in attack, fielding Eden Hazard just off Giroud and instead packing out his midfield with an extra man.

4.23pmTiemoue Bakayoko, who has not exactly managed to light up the Premier League since arriving from Monaco, is given a start in the middle of the park, alongside regulars N'Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas. The extra midfielder means that Willian, recently voted the Blues' Player of the Season for 2017-18, has to settle for a place on the bench. That really is a big call from Conte - will it pay off?

4.25pmThe other big decision made by Conte is to use Thibaut Courtois between the sticks, despite Willy Caballero featuring in the six previous rounds, most recently keeping a clean sheet in the semi-final win against Southampton. The back three and wing-backs are as they were, with Gary Cahill now preferred to Andreas Christensen in the heart of the backline, partnering the ever-reliable Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger.


STARTING LINEUP: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young; Matic, Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Sanchez

SUBS: Romero, Bailly, Darmian, Mata, McTominay, Lukaku, Martial

4.29pmLike opposite number Conte, United boss Jose Mourinho has turned to his first-choice keeper for this huge match - David de Gea instead of cup specialist Sergio Romero. That is not the big news as far as the Red Devils' starting lineup is concerned, though, because Romelu Lukaku has only been deemed fit enough for a place on the bench, having returned to training on Tuesday following a two-week absence.

4.31pmLukaku's absence leaves a huge void to be filled, and it is down to Marcus Rashford to step up and potentially write his name in United folklore. Jesse Lingard, who has been impressive throughout the campaign, and January signing Alexis Sanchez - a goalscorer in last season's final while at Arsenal - will start either side of central striker Rashford. A 4-3-3 formation for United, so no real changes there.

4.33pmPaul Pogba and Nemanja Maric were always expected to fill two of the three central-midfield berths, which has proved to be the case, and Ander Herrera has been given the nod on the right of that trio after netting the winner against Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final. Herrera has been tasked with man marking Hazard in the past, and that may prove to be the case again. At the back, meanwhile, Chris Smalling is given the nod to partner Phil Jones.

4.35pmAntonio Conte has made three changes to the side that lost 3-0 to Newcastle United on the final day of the Premier League season, bringing in Marcos Alonso, Cesc Fabregas and Antonio Rudiger. The big news as far as the Blues are concerned is that Olivier Giroud starts up top in what will likely be a 3-5-1-1 formation. As for the Red Devils, only Ashley Young, Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford keep their spots from the side that saw off Watford.

Olivier Giroud in action during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Crystal Palace on March 10, 2018© Offside

4.37pmSome big selection calls made by the two managers then, although in Mourinho's case the absence of star striker Lukaku was very much enforced. The build-up to the 137th FA Cup final has had a rather strange feel to it, with both these teams knowing that they have not performed well enough up to this point. For Chelsea, a fifth-placed finish in the league may well cost Conte his job; for Mourinho, ending 19 points adrift of the champions is simply not good enough.

4.39pmSpeaking on the eve of this game, Conte admitted that even victory today may not be enough to save his job. It has been a hugely disappointing second campaign in English football for the Italian, seeing his side collect 23 points fewer than 12 months ago when winning the Premier League title with a then-record number of victories. Ever since their opening game, when going down 3-2 at home to Burnley, the Blues have seemingly been playing catch-up.

4.41pmThere was to be further disappointment in the Champions League, too, as Chelsea somehow let top spot in their group slip out of their grasp, setting up a last-16 tie with Barcelona. Defeat in that one, coming a couple of weeks on from their EFL Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal, only heightened talk that Conte will be on his way out. In many ways, this run to the FA Cup final has very much helped the Italian stay in a job for this long.

4.43pmChelsea won four matches in a row, at a time when Liverpool's focus was elsewhere, to keep their faint top-four hopes alive heading into the final two games of the season. A 1-1 draw with a struggling Huddersfield Town side at Stamford Bridge was followed up by a 3-0 loss away to Newcastle United, however, not only killing off their Champions League prospects but also denting the players' confidence heading into this final.

4.45pmThe big question, of course, is whether victory in the FA Cup would make up for such a disappointing Premier League campaign? Conte certainly suggested that it may not be enough to keep him in a job - even if he does want to stay on, which you get the impression he does not - yet by bowing out with a Premier League title and FA Cup crown to his name from the last two years, the former Juventus manager's stock will remain high.

4.47pmAll that after inheriting a side that finished 10th the season before Conte was appointed, explaining why many supporters are still firmly behind the Italian, even if results have been underwhelming this term. Conte has certainly made clear that he has not been entirely happy with the players recruited over the past couple of transfer windows, with the arrivals of Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater in particular doing little to improve the quality of the side.

4.49pmOne player who has justified his transfer fee in his early months at the club, however, is Olivier Giroud, who was brought in from Arsenal in January to bolster the Blues' attacking ranks. Morata has struggled after initially making a positive start, which was always a possibility due to his previous lack of regular football at Juventus and Real Madrid, and Giroud has done well to keep his side ticking over.

4.51pmGiroud has scored four goals in his last seven matches, including one in the semi-final win over Southampton, while his FA Cup record is even more impressive. In his 26 outings in this competition since January 2012, the French striker has played a direct part in 22 goals - 15 of his own and a further seven assists. No player has contributed to more goals during that time and, along with Alexis Sanchez, he will become just the third person to play in successive finals with a difference side.

4.53pmDID YOU KNOW? Chelsea have reached back-to-back FA Cup finals for the first time since 2009 and 2010, having suffered a 2-1 loss to Arsenal in last season's showpiece. Antonio Conte is therefore aiming to avoid becoming just the second manager to lose successive finals in this famous competition since Howard Kendall with Everton in 1985 and 1986.

4.55pmChelsea's FA Cup adventure got off to a pretty slow start this season, being held to a stalemate by Norwich City in the third round before playing out a 1-1 draw in the replay. Penalties were required to see them through, and it was then pretty plain sailing as they managed to overcome Newcastle United and Hull City at Stamford Bridge, before a quarter-final win over Leicester City and semi-final triumph against Southampton.

Eden Hazard grapples with Riyad Mahrez during the FA Cup quarter-final between Leicester City and Chelsea on March 18, 2018© Offside

4.57pmMan United are arguably under a little less pressure than their opponents today, as they did at least manager to finish as runners-up in the Premier League, climbing four places on Mourinho's first campaign. They still finished 19 points worse off than champions Man City, though, and you have to wonder just how they plan on closing that gap come August, even with the aid of substantial funding in the summer transfer window.

4.59pmThe Red Devils have lifted the FA Cup on 12 previous occasions, most recently doing so two years ago with victory over Crystal Palace in a dramatic final - a match that would prove to be Louis van Gaal's last in charge of the club. A record-equalling 13th triumph is in sight, then, yet rather incredibly they have gone all the way just once in the last 14 years. This is a competition that they have neglected somewhat in recent times.

5.01pmThat is certainly not the case this time around, however, as Mourinho knows full well what defeat today means. Victory, on the other hand, and the perennial winner can boast lifting three major trophies in two years at Old Trafford, having also guided his side to their highest league finish in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. This really is a massive game for not just United but also Mourinho, determining the mood of their supporters over the summer months.

5.03pmUnited had been chasing the runners-up spot for a good few months, and they finally nailed it down with their goalless draw at West Ham United nine days ago. That came on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, the third time that they had lost to a promoted club away from home this term, while the return to winning ways against Watford on the final day hardly set pulses racing. Quite simply, far more is going to be required in 2018-19.

5.05pmFor all the criticism aimed Mourinho's way, however, the Portuguese is a proven winner. From his 14 previous finals, Mourinho has won 12 of them, succeeding at Porto, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Man United and across two spells with Chelsea. In fact, this is his sixth domestic final in English football, and the Special One has triumphed in each of the previous five, including in the FA Cup 11 years ago.

5.07pmMourinho is now aiming to become just the third manager to win FA Cups with two different sides, adding to his three EFL Cup crowns, which he also won with two different clubs. As far United, this is their record-equalling 20th FA Cup final, reaching this stage with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals. Prior to that victory, they managed to overcome Derby County, Yeovil Town, Huddersfield Town and Brighton & Hove Albion.

5.09pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! These two sides have met on two previous occasions in the FA Cup final - Chelsea winning 1-0 in the 2007 showpiece, when under the management of a certain Jose Mourinho, 13 years after suffering a 4-0 loss. This is the eighth encounter between Manchester United and the Blues at Wembley, meanwhile, making this the most contested fixture here.

5.11pmWith kickoff at the national stadium now a little under five minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps.

Jose Mourinho: "Of course [this result] makes a difference, but it's one thing to make a difference and the other is to consider the season good or bad because of one match. I analyse the work I do, the effort I put in, and everything we all did at the club. I'm not going to analyse them because of one - of course very important - match."

Antonio Conte: "I can say for sure this will be my last match... this season! Then, as you know very well, I have a contract and I'm committed to the club. I think we must be focused on tomorrow's game. For us this game is very important because we have in a difficult season the chance to finishwith a trophy. We have to try to do everything to win the game."

5.13pmManchester United are minus Romelu Lukaku in their starting lineup today - a major loss, as the Belgian striker has scored three goals in the FA Cup this term and has 12 in his last 12 going further back. The Red Devils have another cup specialist in their ranks, however - Alexis Sanchez has five in four matches at Wembley, including the winners in two semi-finals for former club Arsenal. All-in-all, the Chile international has scored eight in eight at this venue.

Alexis Sanchez is congratulated by Granit Xhaka after scoring during the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea on May 27, 2017© SilverHub

1 minKICKOFF! We are up and running at Wembley Stadium in the 137th FA Cup final. A real heavyweight tussle, this, between two sides desperate to pick up victory in order to somewhat salvage their respective campaigns.

3 minHerrera, an expert at man marking Hazard these days, trips Alonso 35 yards from goal to concede a free kick. Fabregas lofts the ball into the middle, but it was a rather poor delivery and De Gea had the simplest of catches to make.

5 minSanchez seems to be playing in a central position, providing support for Rashford. Mourinho would have loved to have had Lukaku back up top this evening, but he has had a fortnight to prepare for this match without the Belgian striker, who will surely appear from the bench at some point.

7 minMany were expecting a 'tactical battle' today - i.e a low-scoring match! - and that is proving to be the case in the early stages. Neither team willing to really take any risks, instead keeping things simple for the time being.

9 minUnited seeing more of the ball at the moment, without really doing a great deal with it. No real sign of anyone making a run in behind so far, with the two teams continuing to settle into their rhythm in a game that neither dares lose.

11 minSAVE! An injection of pace from Lingard, only being halted by a tackle from Kante. A free kick from 10 yards inside their own half is played short to Young; the subsequent cross into the box was cleared and Chelsea countered. Hazard with plenty of room to run into, and his shot down low so nearly caught out De Gea at his front post - good save in the end.

13 minThat was the first time that either side has had a chance to properly counter, and it so nearly provided us with the opening goal. De Gea was always expected to keep out Hazard's low shot at his near post, but it was still a decent save with his leg.

15 minLingard makes a good run off the ball, but Young instead stuck the ball up towards the back post and Courtois collected. The Red Devils look the side more in control of possession at the moment, though the only chance so far has fallen Chelsea's way.

17 minPENALTY APPEALS! Half a shout for a Chelsea penalty, as Bakayoko went to ground under contact from midfield opponents Matic. Looked to be very little in it, however, with the France international seemingly tripping over his own feet. Up the other end, Michael Oliver told Sanchez to get up after falling to the ground.

19 minHaving seen a replay of both those penalty appeals, referee Michael Oliver made the correct call - neither was worthy of a spot kick being awarded, even if Moses did have an arm on Sanchez while falling. A very tight match on our hands here.

21 minUnited refusing to take any risks, but Sanchez takes matters into his own hands by driving at the Chelsea defence. The Chilean again went tumbling, this time on the edge of the Chelsea box. No free kick, though that move offers encouragement.

22 minPENALTY TO CHELSEA! This is unbelievable from Eden Hazard! The Belgian's first touch to bring down a ball over the top allows him to run into the United box, and Phil Jones was only able to take the player and not the ball when lunging in for a last-ditch challenge.


24 minAs calm as you like from Eden Hazard, brushing himself down to send David de Gea the wrong way from the penalty spot. It has been a match lacking in quality so far, but the build-up to that spot kick being awarded was brilliant from the Belgian.

26 minSerious questions have to be asked of Jones's defending, as he was caught out by Hazard both in terms of positioning and then for pace. Blues boss Conte is furious that the centre-back was not shown a red card for the challenge.

28 minMan United now having to show a little more urgency, having started this match in far too cautious a manner. A cross into the box is met by Pogba before being deflected behind for a corner kick which came to very little.

30 minThe Red Devils still awaiting their first attempt of any note, with half an hour now played at Wembley Stadium. Chelsea, by comparison, have tested De Gea once through a Hazard drive and then converted a penalty a little later through the Belgian.

32 minSHOT! Right on cue, United get away a shot through Paul Pogba. It was lacking in quality, however, as the ball was dragged wide of Thibaut Courtois' target from around 20 yards out. The Red Devils seeing far more of the ball.

34 minIt has been an incredibly scrappy game at Wembley Stadium, as many predicted it would be. Just the one real moment of quality so far, which saw Hazard sprint away from Jones and win his side a penalty, from which he converted.

36 minUnited have now racked up four shots, none of which have come close to troubling Courtois. Chelsea looking comfortable since edging in front, happy to let their opponents see more of the ball. Not threatening enough from the Red Devils.

38 minChelsea have only really got at their opponents three or four times in this first half, yet on each occasion they have looked threatening - unlike United. Fabregas's through-ball was cut out, before Bakayoko was fouled by Sanchez. Fabregas sends a 22-yard free kick into the wall.

40 minPogba wins United a corner as we enter the final five minutes of the first half, but it was cleared away at the near post by Fabregas. The next delivery was then collected by Courtois - all very predictable from the Red Devils' perspective.

42 minChelsea's turn to win a corner, De Gea's turn to deal with the danger. A first half of very few openings at either end; neither team willing to take too many risks. It is the Blues who will take a slender advantage into the break as things stand.

44 minMourinho must surely be tempted to make a change at the break, or at the very least alter his system slightly. Moses blocks the run of Young to concede a free kick, but he avoided being shown a yellow card by referee Michael Oliver.

45+1 minCLOSE! The closest United have come to finding a goal all evening, as Ashley Young's deep cross is met by the head of Phil Jones. The centre-back could not make the right contact when under pressure, though, missing the target entirely.


6.03pmManchester United saved their best until last in that first half, creating half a chance for Marcus Rashford right before the referee blew for half time. Paul Pogba created it by charging through the opposition midfield and picking out Alexis Sanchez, but Rashford was unable to find the target when the ball eventually arrived at his feet inside the box.

6.06pmChelsea looked the more threatening side on the rare occasions that they committed players forward, creating the first opening of the match 10 minutes in for Eden Hazard. The Belgian forward had space to run into on the counter and attempted to catch out David de Gea, who read the danger and stuck out a big leg at his front post.

6.09pmIn what was a tight first half, things threatened to open up slightly midway through when Tiemoue Bakayoko was sent to the floor by Nemanja Matic at one end and Alexis Sanchez under contact from Victor Moses at the other. Neither incident warranted a penalty, however, with referee Michael Oliver - who had VAR there to use it should he wish - getting both decisions correct.

6.12pmOliver was also justified when pointing to the spot 20 minutes in after Hazard used his first touch from Cesc Fabregas's ball over the top to charge towards the opposition box, seeing his run halted by Phil Jones who had been caught out of position and was unable to redeem himself with a last-ditch challenge. Hazard sent De Gea the wrong way from the spot - just the second time United had shipped a goal in this season's competition.

6.15pmNot for the first time this season, United's lack of risk taking was proving to be a problem, failing to test opposition keeper Thibaut Courtois - in for his first FA Cup appearance of the campaign - at any point in the opening 45 minutes. Paul Pogba dragged an effort wide and Marcus Rashford failed to find the target from his only sight of goal right on the brink of half time. There is plenty to play for in the second 45, so will either manager make a change?

CHELSEA SUBS: Caballero, Zappacosta, Chalobah, Barkley, Pedro, Willian, Morata

MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Romero, Bailly, Darmian, Mata, McTominay, Lukaku, Martial

Willian celebrates scoring the Blues' first during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Sunderland on May 21, 2017© SilverHub

46 minRESTART! Chelsea, protecting a one-goal lead from the first half, get us back under way at Wembley Stadium. The Red Devils ended the opening 45 minuyrs pretty strongly, so can they use that to push on in the second half?

48 minLukaku and Martial remain on the bench for United, who have 42 minutes to find a goal. An collision early in the second half between Giroud and Jones leaves the latter with a knock, and Eric Bailly has now been sent out to warm-up.

50 minFrustration for United as Michael Oliver has no choice but to stop play after Chris Smalling caught Eden Hazard in the head with his arm. The Red Devils desperately attempting to build some momentum as they search for that equaliser.

52 minConte will be happy enough with the way the early stages of the second half have gone. Same old from United's perspective - they have still yet to create a serious opportunity all evening, despite seeing far more of the ball.

54 minThis will technically go down as a save, as Courtois had to put up a couple of hands to keep out Rashford's shot-cross from a left-sided free kick. Romelu Lukaku has now stepped up his warm-up drill, perhaps indicating that we will soon seen him.

56 minAll of a sudden the Blues are looking a tad shaky at the back. Positivity from Lingard nearly pays off, with the Blues desperately clearing their lines. The attack came to an end when Ashley Young's cross went straight out of play.

58 minSAVE! Momentum is certainly swinging United's way now. Valencia was played in behind but could not pick out a teammate. Sanchez did brilliantly to win back possession and Rashford's drive was parried by Thibaut Courtois.

60 minYELLOW CARD! Just when United had been steadily building momentum, Rashford's near-post corner is cleared and Hazard leads the counter. The Belgian was happy to take the contact from Valencia, seeing the full-back cautioned.

62 minHazard is undoubtedly the liveliest player on the pitch. The Belgian forward again created something from nothing, getting himself to the byline and sending in a cross for De Gea to collect. This is a pivotal period in the match; both teams attacking.

64 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Man United's celebrations are cut short by the offside flag. Phil Jones somehow stooped down to get his head to the ball, with Courtois doing brilliantly to keep it out. Sanchez pounced on the follow-up but the flag was quickly up.

66 minMichael Oliver took advantage of the VAR; replays confirming that the offside call was correct. Courtois, clattered when attempting to keep out Sanchez's follow-up, is now back on his feet after a couple of minutes of treatment.

68 minThree-quarters of the match played and we still await the first change. The Red Devils are now looking far more threatening and do appear to have a goal in them. Their hopes will be boosted soon because Lukaku may well be about to come on.

70 minGreat tackle from Smalling to take the ball from Hazard. United looking so dominant over the past 15 minutes, but Chelsea are being given a chance to counter-attack now on a regular basis. It has been an entertaining second half at Wembley.

72 minCHANCE! A potentially huge moment in the match, as N'Golo Kante drives into the United box and lays the ball off for Marcos Alonso. The wing-back was reluctant to shoot on his left and was then denied by David de Gea with his right from eight yards.

74 minSAVE! VAR has been used for a second time. Moses's cross hit the arm of Young, who can consider himself a little lucky not to have given away a penalty. Up the other end, Rashford is slipped through by Lingard but cannot lift the ball over Courtois.

76 minMANCHESTER UNITED SUBS! Here comes Romelu Lukaku! The Belgian is introduced along with Anthony Martial, replacing Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. Martial gets in an early shot that deflects into the air for Courtois to gather.

78 minPhil Jones has suffered a nasty cut after coming out second best in his aerial duel with Olivier Giroud, but he should be OK to continue. United boss Jose Mourinho will not want to use his final substitution on a centre-back.

80 minChelsea have done very well over the past six or seven minutes to take the sting out of the game. All of a sudden we have just 10 minutes left to go at Wembley Stadium and the Blues are the team currently in possession of the ball.

82 minSAVE! Nemanja Matic was tempted into taking on a shot from 25 yards, which Thibaut Courtois was simply happy to parry aside. Did not look all that convincing, but the shot did have some swerve and it must have been awkward.

84 minCHANCE! Man United surely won't get a better chance than this to equalise. A corner from the left is swung into the middle for an unmarked Paul Pogba to meet, but he could only glance the ball wide of the far post.

86 minMourinho still has one change available to make should he wish, while Conte has all three. Willian would be a good option on the counter, but the Italian is clearly happy enough with the manner in which his side are seeing this one through.

88 minMANCHESTER UNITED SUB! Yet another former Chelsea player enters the fray for United - Juan Mata replacing Phil Jones in Mourinho's third change. United knocking on the door at the moment but unable to find a way through.

90 minCHELSEA SUBS! A little later than expected, Alvaro Morata has been brought on for Olivier Giroud. Willian also comes on for Eden Hazard. It is as tense as you like out there, but Chelsea are doing what is required to get themselves over the line.

90+2 minWe are into two of five added-on minutes at Wembley Stadium. Conte is banking on his side seeing through the remaining minutes, having taken off his best player in Eden Hazard. The Belgian's goal looks like settling this match.

90+4 minYELLOW CARD! Matic meets a cross into the box with his head, but can only loop it over the crossbar. Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois has just been yellow carded for time-wasting, as we enter the final 60 seconds of the match.



7.10pmThat Paul Pogba chance six minutes from time proved to be Manchester United's last big opportunity to salvage extra time. Chelsea saw through the five minutes of added time to claim a 1-0 win and lift the FA Cup for an eighth time. In the end, Eden Hazard's penalty a quarter of the way through proved to be the decisive moment.

7.12pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from Wembley Stadium. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, and there will be plenty of reaction from both camps elsewhere on the site in due course. Thanks for joining!

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Romelu Lukaku in action during the Champions League round-of-16 game between Manchester United and Sevilla on March 13, 2018
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