Youri Tielemans fires Foxes to their first FA Cup win ahs Leicester City beat Chelsea 1-0 in the 2021 FA Cup final at Wembley in London.
This is the first time the club has lifted the cup in its 137-year-old history.
VAR found itself becoming the main talking point once again after Leicester were offered a helping hand in victory when the technology overturned what seemed to be a goal by former Foxes left-back Ben Chilwell in the 88th minute. He was marginally offside as his shoulder was just ahead of the defender’s foot.
Chilwell received jeers and boos from the Leicester faithful and that is no surprise considering the young England international joined the Blues of London instead of choosing to remain faithful to the East Midlands side.
The cold treatment he received meant that Chilwell offered no empathy and decided to celebrate his equaliser, which added salt to his wounds when the decision was overturned by VAR, to the extreme joy of Leicester fans. You couldn’t write it, could you?
The first half of the game had nothing to show really as both sides seemed more interested in not conceding and going a goal down rather than going all-out in the attack. Both sides failed to register a shot on target.
It took slightly over the hour mark for the game to finally see some action and it was a stunner. Ayoze Perez managed to get in the way of a Reece James clearance that saw Luke Thomas run onto it and pick out Belgian midfielder Tielemans who quickly accelerated into space before unleashing a stunning right-footed shot into the top left corner (keeper’s top right) to give Leicester the lead and eventual winner.
Chelsea did all they could to get back into the game but were twice denied by spectacular Kasper Schmeichel saves – the Dane first getting down low to block a Chilwell header before a superb dive to his left to deny Mason Mount in what seemed a certain goal.
Chilwell thought he had rescued the Londoners by taking the game into extra time in the dying minutes but VAR’s intervention ended Chelsea’s hopes as Leicester’s fifth FA Cup final ended with them winning the competition for the first time in their history.
Perfect birthday gift for my daughter ?❤️
What a feeling having to see the fans again
Thank you everyone ?? pic.twitter.com/rXMmGqPQfC
— Ndidi Wilfred (@Ndidi25) May 15, 2021
Leicester captain Schmeichel said his joy at leading the Foxes to the FA Cup was indescribable.
“I’m so happy I can’t begin to describe it,” Schmeichel told BBC Sport.
“To think of the people who have lifted this trophy, and to be able to do it today is beyond my wildest dreams.”
Brendan Rodgers finally won a trophy with an English club as he narrowly missed out on the Premier League during his time as Liverpool manager.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers told BBC Sport.
“I’m very proud, it’s a historic day for the club. Winning the FA Cup for the first time is clearly a special day.
“I wasn’t aware before I came to Leicester that they’d never won the FA Cup, that they had lost in four finals previously, so to be able to give that to the owners and the fans is so special.”
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) May 15, 2021
Rodgers was showering praises on his players after a strong performance.
“Youri Tielemans’ goal was like an old-school FA Cup-winning goal, but also Kasper Schmeichel’s saves – those are the special moments you need in games,” added Rodgers.
“Overall we were the better team, super aggressive, pressed well. We were always a threat with the ball.
“Chelsea are an amazing team, that’s why they’re in a Champions League final, but I thought we deserved it.
“The reality is there are other teams that can provide budgets way beyond us at Leicester City. We have shown we can compete and fight against it.”
It was a fourth FA Cup triumph for the Schmeichel family, and the first one for the son Kasper after his father Peter had won the trophy three times with Manchester United during the 1990s.
Schmeichel was a key player in Leicester’s 2016 Premier League win as well went on to say: “It’s what dreams are made of, I’ve dreamed about this since I was a child.
“It was horrible [the last few minutes] – I was begging for the final whistle. But now it is all worth it.”