The agony of the Cup final for Chelsea and Tuchel is again as the astonishing goal hands Abramovich’s club to England’s third season without a trophy (VIDEO)
Chelsea will spend a third year without a trophy in England after losing the FA Cup final for a second consecutive season, succumbing to a superb long-range strike from Youri Tielemans as Leicester won a tight 1-0 centerpiece at Wembley.
Leicester were far from regulars at Wembley, last seeing the trophy in 1969 in the last of their four previous unsuccessful final appearances, but the confidence of a season in which they have always been above Chelsea showed.
Neither side produced a shot on target in a cautious first half that many might have expected between two teams known for their firm defenses, offering little reward to the 20,000 fans allowed to attend as part of the loosening of pandemic restrictions around sporting events in the UK.
That all changed in the 63rd minute, when 19-year-old Leicester full-back Luke Thomas found Tielemans well outside Chelsea’s penalty area. The Belgian midfielder took a forward touch before throwing a soaring shot into the upper right corner of Kepa Arrizabalaga’s net, leaving the Chelsea keeper no chance despite his best efforts to add a finger or two to the strike.
Chelsea coach Tuchel had felt the pain of losing in the Cup final when he led Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League final last season. Anxious to be a game-changer, the manager known for his tactical adjustments introduced US winger Christian Pulisic for Moroccan livewire Hakim Ziyech and replaced defender Marcos Alonso with Ben Chilwell, a summer signing from Leicester.
The former Foxes full-back was the closest to bringing Chelsea back into the game. As Leicester fans happily booed him, Chilwell jumped in to meet a suspended N’Golo Kante cross in front of goal, only to see goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel turn him down with a nice save to his right side, clawing the last effort. as he spun towards the corner of his net.
Perhaps taking a more direct approach, Tuchel introduced Olivier Giroud to top scorer Timo Werner in attack. There was no Schmeichel pass, however, which produced another notable stop, descending quickly to full extension to narrowly deflect a Mount Mason strike around the opposite pole from which he produced his first moment. for the highlights reel.
Mount had caught the shot softly, kicking the ball towards the corner of the full-fur net. England’s dynamo was about to celebrate, failing to negotiate Schmeichel’s sharp and supple intervention.
As the end of normal time drew near, there was an agonizing drama for both sides. Thiago Silva cut through Leicester’s defense with a long, perceptive ball in the center, choosing Chilwell, whose diversion to goal was kept out of the line by Marc Albrighton.
Wes Morgan couldn’t escape the rebound, sending the ball into the net and Chelsea fans in ecstasy. Just as their players’ wild celebrations in a corner had subsided, a VAR decision ruled Chilwell offside by a slim margin.
It was the last of Chelsea’s chances. Tuchel reduced an increasingly frustrated figure as Leicester largely kept possession in the Blues’ half of the field in added time, completing the job to lift the trophy for the first time in their history.
The owner, Roman Abramovich, was perhaps happy not to be there to see Leicester congratulate his ecstatic fans at the end. The Russian now hopes to prove a lucky charm in person at the end of the month, when Chelsea face Manchester City in the Champions League final in Porto.
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