Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi were in action for Leicester City as they edged Chelsea 1-0 in the final of the FA Cup at the Wembley Stadium thanks to a second half screamer from Youri Tielemans.
From the first blast of the whistle, Leicester City looked set to struggle as their more illustrious opponents created numerous openings, but were unable to carve out any clear cut chances. The first warning sign for Chelsea came when a long ball over the top caught Marcos Alonso out, and wingback Timothy Castagne put in a cross for Jamie Vardy who saw his shot blocked. Iheanacho struggled to come into the game as Chelsea dominated the ball, rarely giving their opponents any space to use throughout the first half. The second half continued in a similar fashion with Chelsea creating the better chances until Tielemans struck an absolute worldie. Reece James’ pass into midfield was intercepted by Ayoze Perez, and young wingback Luke Thomas slipped the ball to Tielemans a good 35 yards from goal. The Belgian shifted the ball, and without any Chelsea players pressuring him, released a rocket that left Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga clutching at thin air as the ball nestled into the top right corner of the net from what was Leicester City’s first attempt on target in the game. Chelsea threw on former Leicester City leftback Ben Chilwell in a bid to level matters and the English man thought he had helped Chelsea equalise when his 90th minute effort rebounded off Wes Morgan and into the Leicester City goal, but the VAR ruled him offside by the slightest of margins to dampen Chelsea’s euphoria.
The Foxes held on to pick up their first ever FA Cup title, making them the 44th different winners of the tournament. The FA Cup victory capped up a very special season for Leicester and Nigeria forward, Iheanacho who became the all-time African top scorer in the competition this season as his goals helped the club reach the final. Ndidi also won his first major trophy with the club as they ensured Chelsea faced consecutive FA Cup final defeats. Both teams face again on Tuesday in the league in a game that has important ramifications for who gets to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.