Chelsea 0-1 Leicester City result, goals, summary, highlights | FA Cup Final 2021
Chelsea 0-1 Leicester City | FA Cup Final
Leicester City win FA Cup final
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 four previous FA Cup final appearances, most recently in 1969, and they were on the back foot for most of the game.
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.
There was late drama when Chelsea thought they had levelled through a Wes Morgan own goal but VAR ruled that Ben Chilwell had been offside.
The Foxes are FA Cup champions 2021.
Schmeichel over the moon
The Leicester City keeper, who made several vital saves, was beyond delighted at the final whistle.
Enjoy the moment, then refocus
This is massive for Leicester, and my bet would be - especially after watching the scenes unfold in front of me - that they would not swap a top four place (and therefore Champions League qualification) for this.
That said, they'll want both.
As fate would have it, on Tuesday these two sides meet again, and it has the potential, if Liverpool win their remaining three games, to be a decider for one of those UCL spots.
Rodgers and Tuchel, from very different perspectives, will need to get the focus right ahead of that clash.
Lifting the FA Cup
Here is the moment that the players got their hands on the trophy.
There are a lot of tears out there, on the pitch, in the stands...and I'll admit I'm almost welling up myself.
Just check out these scenes. You've got to feel for the Chelsea players but they have more silverware to play for soon.
You can't help but love watching these victorious antics from the Foxes.
Premier League, FA Cup, League Cups
The Foxes can consider their burrow complete...although who'd bet against them topping Europe's best at some point in the future?
Great moment down on the pitch just now...
The full Leicester squad were in a huddle celebrating but Schmeichel noticed that someone was missing. The great Dane runs over to where Vardy was being interviewed by TV cameras, grabs him, and brings him back into the group.
The players, manager and all the coaching team have been running towards the fans that are in the stadium.
What a story this club has written over recent years, from almost being relegated out of the Premier League to winning it the following season. From the tragic helicopter crash that killed their owner, to Champions League football and now that elusive FA Cup.
That Schmeichel save
Earlier I shared with you the Tielemans cracker of a goal. Well, just as impressive was that late save from Schmeichel.
Those two moments defined this final and will be captured for eternity in FA Cup history.
Peep, peep, peeeep!!! The final whistle blows and the Leicester City collective lose their minds.
The idea to hold onto possession from the corner doesn't work out and Chelsea win the ball back quickly.
The London side hit it long but it's not falling for them and Leicester again get it away from their area. That could be that.
Vardy gets control in the opposition full-back position and he looks for support to waste a few more valuable seconds.
He wins a corner. The fans are believing.
Leicester digging in and battling for every ball. Chelsea may now feel like it is not meant to be.
The emotions of those final few minutes were incredible. Just looking at the players, managers and fans go through that shows how much this means.
It's only a game, they say. They know nothing!
We've got five minutes of added time
GOAL!!!! Chelsea have an equaliser, Chilwell at the back posts nicks it past Schmeichel and then the clearance goes in off the defender.
But wait...VAR is checking for a possible offside. THE GOAL IS RULED OUT!
Schmeichel denies Mount
Brilliant play from the English youngster sees him hit a delicious volley goalwards and Chelsea fans are celebrating a late equaliser...
That is until they see a flying Dane throw out a strong hand to push it clear.
What a hit. What a save.
The Foxes decide not to commit too many forward and Chelsea deal with it easily.
As Chelsea push, the danger exists behind. And Vardy just gave them a reminder of that.
A high bouncing ball is not dealt with by Silva and the striker almost gets away to run at goal. Nice recovery from the Brazilian to stop him though. Corner.
What Tuchel does not want to see is his defenders taking stray pot shots from distance.
Fingers crossed he was looking the other way just now.
Could late subs decide this?
Werner has had his chance and hasn't delivered. Giroud replaces him.
Choudhury on for Perez; Morgan replaces Thomas.
The game is all taking place at one end of the field.
Chelsea looking for an opening but struggling to make in-roads. Time is ticking on.
Chilwell off the post
The action is back underway - we should be looking at a good few added minutes after the 90 - and Chelsea have a chance to deliver from a deep set-piece.
Chilwell gets on the end of it and watches helplessly as his header comes back off the post. Leicester survive.
Jorginho off, Havertz on.
Azpilicueta off, Hudson-Odoi on.
Thomas appears to have a knock to the head and is receiving treatment on the pitch.
As there is a stoppage in play, Tuchel making more changes.
Castagne does brilliantly to rise above every other player in his penalty box and head a corner away firmly.
The Foxes are happy to go down under challenges and let the seconds tick away. Chelsea looking more and more frustrated, and complaining at Oliver whenever something doesn't go their way.
A clear change in the flow of this game as Leicester camp themselves around their penalty area and let their opponents have the possession.
Rodgers' side has plenty to offer on the counter too!
Tuchel shuffles the pack
Pulisic and Chilwell on for Ziyech and Alonso
Maddison also on for Leicester, Iheanacho off.
What can Chelsea do now? Pulisic is one option that we're going to see, but Leicester are reinvigorated and have something to hold onto.
Goooooaaaaaaaaallllll!!!! Tielemans opens the scoring!
And what a goal! Collecting the ball in the centre of the pitch he steps to around the 25-yard mark and strikes the sweetest effort you're likely to see.
Kepa threw himself but was never getting there.
It looks as though a rare American is going to be brought on for Chelsea, Pulisic warming up.
More Foxes pressure brings them two corners in quick succession.
Once again the defence comes out on top.
This is the 140th edition of the FA Cup but as Miguel reminds us, we're on track for just the fourth goalless 90 minutes.
Silva carefully guides a first-timed ball over the Leicester defensive line for Werner to chase but there's enough cover to prevent him causing any problems.
The striker liked that from the Brazilian, though, and gives him a big thumbs up.
Some decent pressure from Leicester in the last couple of minutes, first from a Castagne ball into the area for Vardy and then from the resultant corner.
Nothing to show for it though.
Alonso straight at Schmeichel
The Chelsea wing-back draws back away from the covering defenders to find space. He then has time to place a header where he wants... which is clearly straight into the arms of a waiting Schmeichel.
Long ball from Albrighton forces Kepa to be alert, and he is stepping out to the edge of his area and booting it clear.
Mount takes the ball out of the sky and kills it on his foot...like every professional footballer should be able to do.
Ayoze Pérez complaining to Oliver after he gets hurt from following through on Kante. Yes, you read that right.
Werner with an early chance to show something better. He attempts to find Mount in space but gets the weight of the pass all wrong. More expected from the striker, as can be sensed from the fans.
Chelsea get us going and are put under immediate pressure from Leicester, Iheanacho sliding in to try and win the ball back deep in opposition territory.
Peeep! We're off again...
The players are heading back out...
No substitutions at the break.
Azpilicueta's almost header
I told you on minute 29 that some necks had been stretched to the max to get onto a cross. Here's the footage.
Has it been the greatest 45 minutes of football? No. Has it been rewarding enough to watch? Yes, Ndidi.
Pre-match favourites Chelsea have had more of the ball and attempted to create more openings although it's arguably been Leicester who have had the better chances at goal. A Vardy blocked shot and a misplaced header from Soyuncu the best of those.
There did, however, feel like something was lost from The Foxes' play after Jonny Evans went off injured on the half-hour mark.
Mason Mount has looked industrious and like a potential game-changer, while Timo Werner has found himself in decent positions but failed to provide that clinical finish or final pass.
Peeep! The whistle blows and the players head towards the changing rooms.
A corner for Chelsea sees Thiago Silva make his way forward (I think for the first time this half).
It's the 36-year old who meets the cross but his diving header is blocked and then cleared downfield. That should be the last action before the break.
Two minutes to be added
Vardy glances wide
After a Chelsea corner, The Foxes scamper away and the move ends with the English forward getting the slightest of touches off his head, nowhere near enough to redirect it in Kepa's worry zone.
Soyuncu comes close
A free-kick from the left is glanced goalwards by Soyuncu but Kepa not particularly bothered by its trajectory.
The keeper is more enraged by the marking of the set piece.
Talking of pointless, Werner chases back and makes a rather clumsy challenge which earns him a special place in Michael Oliver's book.
Werner's double chance
The Chelsea man is played into the inside right channel by Ziyech and fires hard and low. Great sliding block from Fofana who is quickly up to block again.
Oh, how I've missed the pointless claims of distant fans screaming in vain, "penalty!"
Cracking control and turn from Mount, he's leading the race for my MOTM vote at this early stage.
Castagne does well to cover across and nick the ball away.
Ball lifted forward to Vardy but the striker is unable to hold it up under pressure from Reece James.
Chelsea bossing things at the moment.
Castagne is the winner of the first booking of this final, after a late challenge. Well done him.
We're back underway after that brief stoppage and Mount is immediately in behind the defence on the left. He chips the ball across the penalty area but it's well covered and cleared.
Earlier I mentioned how pleased Rodgers and Leicester fans must have been to see Jonny Evans back from injury for this game.
Well, the big defender has signalled to the bench that he cannot now continue. Marc Albrighton is coming on.
The last few minutes has been the best so far for Chelsea.
The latest effort saw a dinked cross into the back post by Kante but it just evades the stretched necks of two supporting players in blue.
Werner is set free to run towards the opposition penalty area after great play from Kante. The striker lines up a shot carefully and then gets under the ball like an enthusiastic schoolboy.
Poor attempt from the German.
The last time it rained during an FA Cup final was in 2005.
That game ended 0-0 between Arsenal and Man Utd, with the Gunners taking it on penalties. Fancy that today?
Lovely turn from Mount in the middle of the Leicester half gives him space to run into.
As he reaches the edge of the area, and defenders are eyeing a challenge on him, the youngster has a go. It's just wide but Schmeichel threw himself across in case.
Ziyech on the left does well to create space but the maroon shirts are quick to get across and smother the danger.
Free-kick to Leicester deep on the right. The box is loaded.
Soyuncu is the one to rise highest near the back post but the defender can't keep the header on target. Decent opportunity.
The rain has started to fall here...
Vardy shot blocked
Possibly the best chance of the game thus far falls to the Leicester striker, who latched onto a low cross from the right.
Reece James is standing between Vardy and the goal and does his job.
Rudiger tries his luck
The Chelsea defender is not known for regularly causing problems for opposition goalkeepers and he just gave a perfect reminder of that from around 25 yards.
Schmeichel untroubled as it bounces well wide.
Ziyech gets down the left and curls in what first appeared to be a useful cross, before it flew over everyone's heads...and all the way out for a thrown in to Leicester.
Nice flow to the game without any real attempts at goal being created.
Vardy: ever present
13 rounds of FA Cup football for the wise old Fox. He's the first player to have done that.
Vardy flies into a challenge on Azpilicueta.
There was no danger to the defender, and no advantage gained by the striker, but it was one of those tackles that gets the crowd going. Clever thinking, Jamie!
Let me interrupt my own chat to say that I am loving hearing real fans making real noise.
Another corner for Chelsea. Ziyech this time delivers and again the defence comes out on top.
A quick game of head tennis later and now Leicester get a chance to head down the other end.
Chelsea win first corner
James plops the dead ball onto the six-yard line but it's met by a defender's head and straight out for a throw.
Having Evans back in today was a massive plus for Brendan Rodgers.
First opportunity for The Foxes as some sloppy play from Azpilicueta hands Tielemans the ball, who in turn finds Vardy on the left.
The English striker sends in a cross but Kepa grabs it out of the air.
Werner again fed in to run into the space behind the Leicester backline.
He holds it up under pressure before again trying to find another blue shirt in the centre. Once again it's covered with ease.
Good start from the London lads.
Chelsea, playing from right to left as we look on, quickly get on the ball and Werner is sent free down the right wing.
The German hits a low first cross into the area but it's easily gathered by Schmeichel.
Peeeeep! We're off...
It's almost time...
God Save My Gran
Prince William meets the teams before a song he's heard a few times before rings out.
The FA Cup trophy is led out. Remember that this is the oldest football competition that is still in existance - league or cup format - in the world.
The first edition was played in the 1871/72 season and it has been held once a year since then (with exception for interruptions during the first and the second World War).
In the beginning, the FA Cup also included Scottish and Welsh clubs. A Welsh club, Cardiff City won the Cup in 1927. No Scottish clubs have won the tournament with Queen's Park, reaching the final twice, nearest a victory.
Abide with me rings around Wembley
The choir are out on the pitch and are belting out a beautiful rendition of the song. That has a few of the fans in the crowd a little teary.
...or maybe they're sad that so many haven't yet got to grips with how to wear a mask!
FA Cup fluttering
If you want to have a responsible little bet ahead of the game then it's worth noting that Chelsea are favourites today (around 12/5). They are, afterall, also in the Champions League final as well.
In the first goalscorer market the favourite is Timo Werner (4/1).
Stretching it out
The players have been out in front of the fans (how good must that feel for them?) and getting their limbs in gear.
FA Cup: if you know your history
As Miguel Delaney says, talk is always of the FA Cup final losing meaning, so he went in search of what that meaning is.
It is more important than ever post covid, he argues, given it first fostered football's communal power. It was English football's national day, and a feat equal to title.
Check out his excellent read below (you've just about got enough time before kick-off)
If you like numbers, stats and history then you’ll love this short video.
Did you know, for example, that Iheanacho is the competition’s top scorer? Or that Pulisic is looking to score in consecutive finals, something that hasn’t happened since another Blue over a decade ago.
Chelsea's German efficiency
The Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has brought a steely nature to the side as a defensive unit but did you know that he is about to become the first ever German manager of an English FA Cup final team?
You do now...
According to figures released by the Football Association (FA), the winners of the 2020/21 FA Cup final will get £1.8m (about $2.5m), while the runners-up will walk away with £900,000 (nearly $1.3m).
Taking into account prize money accumulated from the five previous rounds of this season’s FA Cup - Premier League clubs enter the competition in the third round - today's winners will have earned a total of just over £3.3m (approximately $4.7m) this term, while the losers will have netted a little over £2.4m ($3.4m).
Read more on how the money prize fund has been slashed.
Chelsea-Leicester: contrasting pasts
Leicester, who saw off Southampton in the semi-finals, will be making their first appearance in the FA Cup final since 1969.
As I mentioned earlier, The Foxes have lost all four of their previous finals: to Wolves in 1949, Tottenham in 1961, Manchester United in 1963 and Manchester City in 1969.
Chelsea, on the other hand, will lift the FA Cup for the ninth time in their history if they beat Leicester. Together with Spurs, they are the tournament’s joint-third-most successful club, behind Arsenal (14 FA Cup wins) and Manchester United (12).
The Blues reached what will be their 15th FA Cup final by beating Manchester City, a side they are also due to face in the Champions League final in Porto on 29 May.
FA Cup performances
These two Premier League sides have played five games to reach this showpiece final, with almost identical records.
Chelsea scored and conceded one less than their opponents today, although they have created more than a third more chances per game.
Who's your favourite?
Starting XI: Leicester City
Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas, Ndidi, Tielemans, Ayoze Pérez, Iheanacho, Vardy
Starting XI: Chelsea
Kepa, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Rüdiger, James, Kanté, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Mount, Werner, Ziyech
It looks as though the teams are in...
The FA Cup. English club football's annual competition is the oldest one still in existence, both in terms of cup and league formats. It all began in the 1871/72 season but another final is now upon us.
Way back in 1872 it was Wanderers Football Club that laid claim to being the first winner of the FA Cup. The club went on to win four more before it was dissolved in 1883. A short, but successful early spell in The Beautiful Game.
The Foxes dreaming of first FA Cup
The start of the new millennium saw Leicester City reach the league cup final.
In terms of the FA Cup, this is the fifth final in their history...but not once have the held the famous trophy aloft.
That means they carry the unfortunate tag of the team to have made it to the most finals without ever winning it.
Could this be their day to swap bridesmaid for bride?
Chelsea: looking for yet another trophy
The London Blues have won this famous FA Cup on eight occasions which has them sitting joint third in the clubs to have lifted this trophy.
Their last victory came in 2017-2018 when they overcame Manchester United in the final and, incredibly, today means that Chelsea have been in four of the last five finals.
FA Cup final FANS!
Today is all about blue...but which shade will adorn the famous FA Cup trophy come the end of this game?
One wonderful factor that we are delighted to experience is that it will be played in front of 21,000 spectators. How much have we missed that sound? A lot!
FA Cup Final: a preview
Before I get going with my chat on this intriguing encounter, why not watch our little preview video.
There you'll hear from both managers, Thomas Tuchel, describing his own first final in England (he has only just arrived to be fair) as "huge", and Brendan Rodgers, talking about creating "an incredible legacy."
Chelsea vs Leicester City: welcome
Hello and a very warm welcome to you wherever you are joining me from in the world today.
It's been a strange old time for football - as it has been for life in general - over the last year but as things start to improve for many, and a level of normalcy edges into sight, the long-standing annual cup final in England is with us.
Chelsea and Leicester City are our teams for today's silverware clash at Wembley stadium and I'll be taking you through all the action and reaction.
Our build up starts here...