First chance for the title missed: Thomas Tuchel missed out on becoming the first German team manager to win the FA Cup. In the final for the world’s oldest football trophy, his Chelsea FC lost to Premier League rivals Leicester City 0-1 (0-0).
“We are disappointed, but not angry with the boys’ performance,” said Thomas Tuchel. “I think our performance is good enough to win this game. But we didn’t have the luck. You need the momentum, the right decisions, it’s the little details.”
The Belgian international Youri Tielemans (63.) scored in front of a good 21,000 spectators at London’s Wembley Stadium for Leicester, which triumphed for the first time in the fifth final in its club history.
“Overall we were the better team, super aggressive, pressed well, were always dangerous with the ball. Chelsea are a fantastic team, that’s why they are in a Champions League final, but I think we deserve it”, said Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers after winning the title. His keeper Kasper Schmeichel struggled for words: “What a day. Indescribable, I dreamed of it as a child.”
The Blues still have a chance of their second success in the Champions League in exactly two weeks. Opponents on May 29 in Porto are the new English champions Manchester City, whom Chelsea were able to defeat in the league just a week ago.
Chelsea FC will face Leicester again on Tuesday
Tuchel, who won the DFB Cup in 2017 with Borussia Dortmund and the Coupe de France in the previous year with Paris St. Germain, appointed Timo Werner and Antonio Rüdiger as well as the regular second goalkeeper Kepa. Kai Havertz came on in the 76th minute.
“It will be a shock, but also wonderful,” said Tuchel about the unusually high number of spectators after months of ghost games. Despite the heavy rain at times, it was atmospheric in the English football temple, but there wasn’t much going on in front of the gates in the initial phase.
In the 16th minute, the Chelsea defense barely blocked a shot from Leicester striker Jamie Vardy from a central position, on the other side Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta missed a cross from Thiago by a hair’s breadth (29th). In the 43rd minute Werner stepped on after the Foxes lost the ball, his low shot was deflected and missed the goal.
Overall, Chelsea lost a bit of game control before the break. Leicester risked more, found space and took the lead with a brilliant 25-meter shot from Tielemans.
After that, Tuchel switched offensively, bringing along with Havertz, among others, the former Dortmund-based Christian Pulisic. In the 78th minute, Chelsea were close to equalizing, Kasper Schmeichel rescued Ben Chilwell’s header in the Leicester goal. In the 87th minute he parried a long-range shot from Mason Mount first class, two minutes later Chelsea cheered – but only briefly because the curious equalizer by Chilwell was withdrawn due to offside according to the video images.