Outrageous Tielemans rocket seals Leicester FA Cup glory against Chelsea


Leicester survived a late Chelsea attack to win their first FA Cup after Yuri Tielemans’ spectacular long-range strike settled a boisterous final.

Chelsea were looking to end their season on a high note with genuine hopes of finishing in the top four to complete a brace in the FA Cup and Champions League. Leicester, meanwhile, were aiming to lift the famous trophy for the first time in club history after being a finalist on each of their last four final visits.

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A cautious opening hardly saw the action of the goal mouth. Perhaps overpowered by the weight of the occasion, neither side could snatch control of the game.

The first major chance came after 15 minutes when Marcos Alonso’s lack of pace was brutally exposed. Timothy Castagne beat his opposite winger before spotting Jamie Vardy in the box.

The hitman shot on goal for the first time, but Reece James was perfectly positioned to block the shot.

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Caglar Soyuncu was the next to try his luck after encountering a free kick from Yuri Tielemans, but the Turk has been unable to score goals in consecutive games by going over the crossbar.

Chelsea quickly came to life and came a hair’s breadth away from the opening goal by Cesar Azpilicueta.

The Blues refused to let Leicester clear a corner before Thiago Silva threw a teasing cross to the far post. Timo Werner’s header contact was minimal, but was just enough to deflect the ball past Azpilicueta who looked destined to score at the far post.

Jonny Evans confused pre-game speculation to get over his recent injury and start, but only lasted half an hour before succumbing to pain. Marc Albrighton replaced the Northern Irishman with Castagne in the last three.

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The second half started with struggles on both sides to create clear opportunities. Youri Tielemans took matters into his own hands and, with one swipe of his right boot, scored a goal that will remain in Leicester City folklore.

A clearance from James deflected to a Leicester player off Ayoze Perez. Calls for a handball were turned down as the ball burst in Tielemans which sparked a thunderbolt in the top 25-yard corner.

Thomas Tuchel sounded the changes in search of an immediate response, quickly bringing Kai Havertz, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Ben Chilwell into action.

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It was the latter who almost restored parity, forcing a superb save from Kasper Schmeichel who tilted the head of the left-back on the post.

The Danish striker would be forced to turn Chelsea down again, defying all expectations to make a spectacular full-length diving stop to tip Mason Mount’s powerful drive around the post.

Tuchel’s men were exerting the pressure and believed they had found the breakthrough with a few minutes to spare. Soyuncu and Wes Morgan conspired to regroup the ball into their own net to enthusiastic cheers from the Chelsea fans in attendance, but Chilwell was judged by VAR for straying slightly from the game.

This would prove to be decisive as Leicester survived the dying minutes to win their very first FA Cup.