Youri Tielemans struck a stunning winner as Leicester City lifted the FA Cup for the first time with a 1-0 win over Chelsea despite unbelievable late VAR drama.
Over 20,000 fans were in attendance at Wembley as football made its latest step towards welcoming back supporters and it was the Leicester City support who left happy having seen their team achieve history.
The first half was a high-intensity affair between two well-matched sides as the fans inside Wembley contributed to a slightly scrappy pattern of play with several crunching tackles cheered.
Leicester City’s game plan was disrupted when Jonny Evans was forced off through injury just after the half-hour mark. The Northern Irishman had been a doubt before kick off with a heel injury and was replaced by Marc Albrighton.
Tielemens lit up the occasion after 63 minutes, finding the top corner of Kepa Arrizabalaga’s net with a thunderous strike from 25 yards out, sending the Leicester City fans delirious.
Thomas Tuchel responded by introducing Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic, and Chilwell looked to have bundled home a dramatic equaliser in the 90th minute, only for VAR to highlight a controversial offside.
Despite the late drama, Leicester City repelled everything Chelsea threw at them in the final few minutes to hold firm and secure a truly historic achievement for the club.
TALKING POINT - Rodgers has turned Leicester into bona fide members of English elite
Leicester City were slumped in 12th place in the Premier League table at the time of Brendan Rodgers’ appointment. Just over two years later, the Foxes are on course to finish third and have now won the FA Cup. At a time when there has been a lot of talk about elites in the sport, Leicester City have established themselves among the very best in England. This result and performance further underlined the incredible job Rodgers has done at the King Power Stadium.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester City)
There were a number of standout performers for Leicester City with Tielemans and Kasper Schmeichel both in sparkling form, but Caglar Soyuncu was a brick wall at the back. Chelsea’s attack is one of the strongest in Europe, but they couldn’t get the better of the Turkish centre back, who put his head on everything. Leicester could have crumbled defensively after the withdrawal of Evans, but Soyuncu produced one of his best performances. This demonstrated why he is so important to the Foxes.
Leicester City's English-born Jamaican defender Wes Morgan (L) and Leicester City's Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (R) hold up the winner's trophy as the Leicester players celebrate victory after the FA Cup final
Image credit: Getty Images
Chelsea - Kepa 5, Azpilicueta 5, Silva 6, Rudiger 4, James 6, Kante 6, Jorginho 5, Alonso 4, Ziyech 5, Werner 4, Mount 7. Subs - Chilwell 6, Pulisic 4, Havertz 6, Hudson-Odoi 4, Giroud 3.
32’ Evans injury! Oh dear! This isn't a good sign for Leicester City. There were doubts over Evans' fitness and the Northern Irish defender is now sat on the Wembley turf. Change coming.
63’ GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Leicester City: What a goal! Incredible! One of the great FA Cup final goals! Leicester City won the ball high up the pitch, Tielemans took on the strike from 25 yards out and finds the top corner of Kepa's net! Nothing the goalkeeper could do about that!
87’ MOUNT... saved! Schmeichel comes up with a stunning save to deny Mount the equaliser! The Chelsea midfielder struck it so cleanly on the volley, but the Dane tips round the post!
89’ GOOOOOOOOO… NO! Chelsea think they’ve scored a late, late equaliser! Chilwell broke in behind the Leicester City defence, he touched the ball, fell over and then Morgan struck the clearance off the Chelsea left back and into the back of the net! But was he actually offside?! He was! Ruled out!
Chelsea became the first team to finish runners-up in consecutive FA Cup finals since Newcastle United in 1998 and 1999.
Youri Tielemans became the third Belgian to score in an FA Cup final after Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard.