Football

Tielemans stunner wins FA Cup for Leicester

Leicester City's Wes Morgan and Kasper Schmeichel celebrate winning the FA Cup with the trophy, FA Cup Final - Chelsea v Leicester City - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - May 15, 2021   | Photo Credit: Reuters

A magnificent long-range strike from Youri Tielemans gave Leicester City their first FA Cup triumph with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday, in front of the biggest crowd in England since March 2020.

Leicester had been beaten in all their three previous FA Cup final appearances, most recently in 1969, and it was a goal that will be remembered as one of the finest in the competition's 149-year history that earned their maiden win.

There was late drama when Wes Morgan put through his own goal in the 89th minute to get Chelsea thinking they were taking the game into extra-time, only for VAR to rule it out for offside.

Even after a loss, however, the Chelsea supporters will surely look back with fondness on a day when for the first time in over a year, there was a real football atmosphere with 21,000 fans filling the 90,000-capacity stadium with noise.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea dominated the first half but struggled to create major openings, even after Leicester lost their centre half Jonny Evans to injury in the 34th minute.

Tielemans's goal will count among the finest to win this 149-year old competition. Collecting the ball centrally he pushed forward and as the Chelsea defence backed off he unleashed a perfectly struck drive which the diving Kepe Arrizabalaga could do nothing about.

Chelsea felt there had been a handball in the build-up but they still had chances to get back on level terms.

Former Leicester full back Ben Chilwell, on as a Chelsea substitute, headed against the post and Mason Mount forced a superb save from Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel.

There was late drama when Chelsea thought they had levelled after Caglar Soyuncu attempted to clear a Chilwell cross and the ball struck Morgan before ending in the net.

To Leicester's relief and Chelsea's dismay, however, the VAR replay showed that Chilwell had been offside.

The final whistle prompted emotional celebrations from Leicester, the 2016 Premier League winners who enjoying the most successful period in their history.

For Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers this was his first trophy in English football to follow his successes in Scotland with Celtic.

Tuchel still has a chance of lifting silverware when Chelsea face Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29 in Porto.


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 9:46:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/tielemans-stunner-wins-fa-cup-for-leicester/article34569147.ece

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