Outrageous Tielemans rocket seals Leicester FA Cup glory over Chelsea

Date published: Saturday 15th May 2021 7:10 - Steve Pearson

Tielemans.Leicester.TEAMtalk

Leicester survived a late Chelsea onslaught to lift their first FA Cup after Youri Tielemans’ spectacular long-range strike settled a raucous final.

Chelsea were seeking to end their season with a flourish with genuine hopes of a top four finish to compliment an FA Cup and Champions League double. Leicester, meanwhile, were aiming to lift the famous trophy for the first time in the club’s history after emerging as runners-up on each of their previous four final visits.


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A cagey opening saw little in the way of goalmouth action. Perhaps subdued by the weight of the occasion, neither side could wrest control of play.

The first major chance came after 15 minutes when the lack of pace of Marcos Alonso was brutally exposed. Timothy Castagne outpaced his opposite wingback before picking out Jamie Vardy in the box.

The hitman fired goalward first time, but Reece James was expertly positioned to block the strike.

Caglar Soyuncu was next to try his luck after meeting a Youri Tielemans set piece, but the Turk couldn’t make it goals in back-to-back games when heading over the crossbar.

Chelsea soon sparked into life and came within a whisker of opening the scoring through Cesar Azpilicueta.

The Blues refused to let Leicester clear a corner before Thiago Silva lofted a teasing cross to the far post. Timo Werner’s headed contact was minimal, but was just enough to divert the ball beyond Azpilicueta seemed destined to score at the far post.

Jonny Evans confounded pre-match speculation to overcome his recent injury and start, though lasted just half an hour before succumbing to the pain. Marc Albrighton replaced the Northern Irishman with Castagne shifting into the back three.

The second-half began with both sides struggling to create clear-cut opportunities. Youri Tielemans took matters into his own hands, and with one swing of his right boot, notched a goal that will go down in Leicester City folklore.

A James clearance deflected to a Leicester player off Ayoze Perez. Appeals for a handball were denied as the ball broke to Tielemans who unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner from fully 25 yards.

Thomas Tuchel rang the changes in search of an immediate response, introducing Kai Havertz, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Ben Chilwell to the action in quick succession.

It was the latter who came close to restoring parity, forcing a superb stop from Kasper Schmeichel who tipped the left-back’s header onto the post.

The Danish stopper would again be required to deny Chelsea, defying all odds to pull off a spectacular diving stop at full stretch to tip Mason Mount’s powerful drive round the post.

Tuchel’s men were piling on the pressure, and thought they’d found the breakthrough with minutes to spare. Soyuncu and Wes Morgan conspired to bundle the ball into their own net to rapturous cheers from the Chelsea fans in attendance, but Chilwell was adjudged by VAR to have strayed marginally offside in the build-up.

That would prove decisive as Leicester survived the final minutes to lift their first ever FA Cup.

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