Leicester City won their first Cup. After losing four finals throughout their long-suffering history as an aspirational club, the foxes approached the encounter as a highlight in itselfu steady rise to the aristocracy of English football. With a Premier in the window since 2016, Leicester were the only team that, having won the league title, did not have an English Cup. He broke the exception by beating Chelsea, who have won seven finals since 1997. A shot from Tielemans from 30 meters solved an intriguing match by tense and locked, dominated by defenses, dissected by mutual pressure, and very inflamed with emotion with the presence than 21,000 spectators at Wembley.
Without Evans, injured before half an hour, Leicester made what looked like an honorable withdrawal. From the start of the match it had been clear that their players could not find the place, games by an approach that did not foresee more midfielders than the rocky Ndidi and the ubiquitous Tielemans. The three centrals, the two lanes and the pivots could not harmonize a single play with Vardy, Iheanacho and Ayoze, hanging at the top waiting for Tielemans to feed them, when they could not take advantage of an error, a bad delivery, or a rebound.
Always supported by an optimistic Kanté, who floated more than running, the Chelsea players were accommodating to the field and to the position of the rival. If the time and space with which each striker can receive a ball is an indication of good order, Tuchel’s team dominated the final from the organization. Chelsea only lacked the intangible of lucidity in the last meters to specify in shots the control that it exhibited in almost all departments of the game. Ndidi’s harassment of Mount weighed heavily. Ziyech’s melancholy weighed, progressively disappearing; Werner’s nerves weighed heavily, stubborn to dial in a hurry. Evans’ injury suggested a door opening. Paradoxes of the competition, the departure of the rival defense leader was bad news for Chelsea.
Wesley Fofana, the man at the center of the tough rear, became the first hero of the evening. At 20 years old, this fast and sharp Marseille man raised in the school that Claude Puel runs at Saint-Étienne, did not allow Werner to finish any play. He also did not allow Chelsea’s centers to end in anything other than punts, well escorted by Soyuncu and the young Luke Thomas, the last representative of the quarry of a model club in the development of the bases.
So much frustration began to disconcert the Chelsea players, who were disappointed after allowing a comeback to Arsenal in the last league match. The game was going through a jam when a misdirected pass from Reece James was intercepted by Ayoze, who passed to Thomas, who passed to Tielemans. The Belgian opened the periscope and since Jorginho couldn’t close him and neither did Thiago, he advanced through the clearing and fired. The ball was embedded near the squad without Kepa’s popcorn being able to avoid the goal in the only serious shot he received.
The entry of veteran Morgan to cement the bulwark deepened the sense of siege to the Schmeichel area. Leicester held out thanks to the solidity of their defenses, a prodigious intervention by Schemeichel, who took a shot from Mount from the edge of the area, and the revision of the VAR. Video refereeing annulled Chelsea’s 1-1 after a long shot by Thiago that found Chilwell in a deflection that, after examination of the machines, was declared offside to the millimeter.