The fifth time was the charm for Leicester City, who has claimed its first FA Cup in a Youri Tielemans-authored and VAR-reviewed 1-0 win over Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Leicester City had lost the 1949, 1961, 1963, and 1969 FA Cup Finals, but now hoist the trophy after a 52-year wait between finals.
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Tielemans scored an audacious goal from distance to put the Foxes ahead, and Ben Chilwell’s 90th-minute equalizer was taken off the board by VAR for a razor-thin offside as Brendan Rodgers’ men won it all.
Leicester CEO Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha was shown pumping his first, crying, and point to the image of his late father, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash after a match in late 2018.
Three things we learned from Chelsea – Leicester City
1. VAR arrives for its trophy-defining moment(s): Chelsea’s equalizer was taken off the board when Ben Chilwell was adjudged to be offside on the run that led up a dramatic 90th-minute goal. It’s the first time that the “it sucked the drama out of the moment” crowd actually felt neutral. Was he offside? When they paused the service, yes, just. Are there still huge and complicated questions about finding the moment a ball is touched? (Nodding vigorously).
But should the goal have stood? The interception that led to Leicester’s goal came when Ayoze Perez blocked the ball off his arm before Tielemans drove the middle of the pitch to smash home his goal.
2. Tielemans takes center stage: Youri Tielemans is a wizard of the lesser-sung parts of the game, with great vision, smart passing, and good positioning all staples of his game, but he has a knack for the wondrous pass or shot when required and oh boy did he bring the whole arsenal on Saturday. No other player was as important to the attack.
3. Rodgers gets his trophy: Many would’ve predicted Brendan Rodgers would lift his first bit of English silverware years ago when he left Swansea City for Liverpool, but the Northern Irish boss instead wound up collecting trophies at Celtic after the Anfield journey hit a few bumps. He’s earned praise whether Leicester City holds onto a top-four Premier League spot or not, as the Blues beat Manchester United, Southampton, Brighton, Brentford, and Stoke City en route to the cup.
Man of the Match: Kasper Schmeichel
Chelsea had more than enough moments that would’ve been enough to deliver at least extra time if Kasper Schmeichel wasn’t absolutely on top of his game. The Danish hero joins his father as winners of both the Premier League and FA Cup.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) May 15, 2021