A great long-range shot from Youri Tielemans gave Leicester City their first FA Cup triumph on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Chelsea at Wembley in front of the largest crowd in England since March 2020.
Leicester had been beaten in all of their last three FA Cup finals, the last time in 1969, and it was a goal that will be remembered as one of the best in the competition’s 149-year history, his maiden win brought in.
There was late drama when Wes Morgan scored his own goal in the 89th minute to lead Chelsea to believe the game would go into overtime, only VAR ruled it out for offside.
Even after losing, Chelsea fans will surely look back fondly on a day that saw the real football atmosphere for the first time in over a year, with 21,000 fans filling the 90,000-capacity stadium with noise.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea dominated the first half but were fighting for big openings, even after Leicester lost their middle half to Jonny Evans to an injury in the 34th minute.
Tielemans’ goal will be among the best, to win this 149 year old competition. He collected the ball in the center and pushed himself forward. When the Chelsea defense withdrew, he unleashed a perfectly hit drive, against which the diving Kepe Arrizabalaga could do nothing.
Chelsea felt that there had been a handball beforehand, but they still had a chance to get back to a level.
Former Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell, who came on as a substitute for Chelsea, headed the post and Mason Mount was an excellent rescuer for Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. There was late drama when Chelsea believed they had equalized after Caglar Soyuncu tried to clear a Chilwell cross and the ball hit Morgan before it ended in the net.
To Leicester’s relief and Chelsea’s dismay, however, the VAR replay showed that Chilwell had been sidelined.
The final whistle sparked emotional celebrations for Leicester, the 2016 Premier League winners who had the most successful period in their history.
For Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers this was his first trophy in English football following his successes in Scotland with Celtic.
Tuchel still has a chance to take silver when Chelsea face Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29 in Porto.
Leicester City Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and manager Brendan Rodgers celebrate with the trophy after winning the FA Cup. [Pool via REUTERS / Matthew Childs]