Leicester City won their first ever FA Cup on Saturday evening, beating Chelsea 1-0 in a historic affair at Wembley Stadium.
Both sides had decent early chances, with Jamie Vardy seeing a close-range shot blocked by Reece James, and Mason Mount hitting a deflected strike just wide of Kasper Schmeichel’s post. Cesar Azpilicueta then had the whole goal to aim at with a far-post header, but Timo Werner prematurely nicked the ball off his head and let the Foxes off the hook.
Leicester threatened in the second half and they were rewarded in style on 63 minutes, when Youri Tielemans strode forward with the ball and unleashed a missile which rocketed into the top corner from 25 yards, sending his supporters into meltdown.
Chelsea pushed to try and draw level, and former Fox Ben Chilwell came close, but his header was tipped onto the post by Schmeichel, and the Dane then showed insane reactions to flick Mount’s goal-bound volley wide for a corner.
The Blues thought they’d grabbed a late equaliser when Wes Morgan turned the ball into his own net, but the goal was ruled out for the tightest of offside calls by VAR, and Brendan Rodgers’ men held on to lift the FA Cup for the first time in their history.
Let’s check out the player ratings from Saturday’s big event.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – 6/10 – No serious saves of note to make in the first half, and looked confident enough with the ball at his feet. No chance of saving Tielemans’ rocket.
Cesar Azpilicueta (CB) – 7/10 – Would have had a simple far-post tap-in, but Werner nicked it off his head. Swapped to wing-back in the second half, where he’s thrived in recent weeks. Wasted a good crossing position, but may not have cost his team like James did…
Thiago Silva (CB) – 6/10 – A delicate winger’s cross to clip the ball onto Werner’s head, but the German couldn’t find the net. Positioned himself excellently so as not to get caught out by Vardy’s pace. Slow to close down Tielemans for his thunderbolt.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) – 7/10 – Carried the ball into the Leicester half and added an extra body to the attacking play. Didn’t really put a foot wrong all afternoon.
Reece James (RWB) – 6/10 – Great block on Vardy to deny a certain goal. Couldn’t get too much joy in the opposition half, and moved to centre-back in the second period. Gave the ball away with a loose pass, leading to Tielemans’ strike. Costly.
N’Golo Kante (CM) – 7/10 – Buzzed around his former side, popping up on the edge of both boxes and looking to make a difference. Pressed Leicester so high up the pitch, trying to force an error in their backline. The best Chelsea player on the day.
Jorginho (CM) – 6/10 – Calm on the ball, and careful with his back-passes, this time. Not really able to imprint a rhythm onto the game, and it all passed him by. Subbed.
Marcos Alonso (LWB) – 6/10 – Planted a header on target, but directed it straight into the hands of Schmeichel. Either side, and it’s causing problems. A surprise that he started, really.
Hakim Ziyech (RW) – 6/10 – Smashed some raking balls across field, looking to free Werner over the top. Struggled to make any inroads into the stubborn Leicester defence and was substituted.
Timo Werner (ST) – 5/10 – Pinched the ball off Azpilicueta’s head, and didn’t make enough of a connection to send it towards goal. Just leave it, Timo! Not the focal point Chelsea needed. Disappointing.
Mason Mount (LW) – 7/10 – Drove at the Leicester defence and fizzed a shot towards goal, but it just missed the far post. Shouldered the attacking responsibility, but it appeared to weigh too heavily at times. Thought he’d equalised but Schmeichel pulled off an unreal save.
Christian Pulisic (RW) – 6/10
Ben Chilwell (LWB) – 7/10
Kai Havertz (ST) – 6/10
Callum Hudson-Odoi (LW) – 6/10
Olivier Giroud (ST) – 6/10
Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – 9/10 – Little action of note in the first half, but nervously watched a Mount strike trickle wide. Stayed alive as Chelsea began to push late on. Got across his goal to tip Chilwell’s header onto the post. Vital. Unbelievable save to deny Mount soon after. What a performance!
Wesley Fofana (CB) – 9/10 – Picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon for a clumsy tackle from behind. Let them know you’re there, Wes. So aggressive, and forced some heavy touches from unsettled forwards. Commanding beyond his years.
Jonny Evans (CB) – 7/10 – Clearly not fully fit but gave it a go. Had Werner’s number until he pulled up. Lasted half an hour, but couldn’t soldier on. What a shame.
Caglar Soyuncu (CB) – 9/10 – Won headers in both areas, but couldn’t threaten Kepa’s goal with his effort. Defended stoically against Werner and Ziyech, repelling plenty of aerial balls into the box. Another hero of the defence.
Timothy Castagne (RWB) – 8/10 – Knew he had a tough afternoon on his hands with Mount, and stuck a few challenges on the winger to set out his stall. Marauded up and down that flank all day long.
Wilfred Ndidi (CM) – 8/10 – Broke up Chelsea’s counter-attacks, and sat in deep to deny Mount the chance to play through the lines. Typically disciplined. Tireless and a deserving winner.
Youri Tielemans (CM) – 9/10 – OH MY WORD! One of the great FA Cup final goals. Strode forward with the ball, and unleashed hell on the Chelsea goal. A brilliant goal from a brilliant player. Dominated the centre of the park.
Ayoze Perez (AM) – 7/10 – Forced into more defensive action than he would have liked, but it was his work rate that supplied Tielemans, intercepting a pass to allow Leicester to overturn possession. A moment in history.
Luke Thomas (LWB) – 8/10 – Solid first half against the tricky Ziyech, but safely shepherded him away from goal, or forced him to lay the ball off to a teammate. Got the assist for Tielemans’ wonder strike. A brilliant moment for the boy.
Kelechi Iheanacho (ST) – 6/10 – A marked man in the first half. Couldn’t find the spaces he usually operates in, and the ball just never quite fell for him. Substituted in the second half.
Jamie Vardy (ST) – 7/10 – Eyes must have lit up when the ball fell for him in the box, but James got in the way. Ran the channels brilliantly and never gave up on a loose ball. A fairytale come true.
Marc Albrighton (RWB) – 8/10
James Maddison (CM) – 7/10
Hamza Choudhury (CM) – 7/10
Wes Morgan (CB) – 7/10