It was the fifth minute of injury time, Chelsea’s Chilwell crosses from the left, Leicester’s Morgan crashes a header upfield. The Referee blows the final whistle, and another chapter in the 137 years history of Leicester City FC was written… Leicester City are FA Cup winners in 2021, on their fifth final.
A huge beam plays across Brendan Rodgers’ face. He waves up at the club owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, who will no doubt be thinking of his late father Vichai right now.
Mr. Vichai had said after the incredible Premier League win of 2015, “if you can dream it, you can do it”.
Leicester players have dreamt it, and they have lived it. Chelsea, to a man, are down on their haunches. Gutted.
Belgium International, Youri Tieleman had produced one of the great FA Cup final goals to give Leicester City the trophy. His spectacular right foot drive flew beyond Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner from 25 yards in the 63rd minute.
The Foxes were indebted to two crucial saves from keeper Kasper Schmeichel, who turned former Leicester defender Ben Chilwell’s header on to a post then produced an even better stop to turn Mason Mount’s powerful shot wide.
And in a final act of drama, Chilwell thought he had equalised in a last-minute goalmouth scramble before it was ruled out by the barest of margins following the intervention of VAR.
The Foxes were contesting just their first FA Cup final since 1969, when the Beatles were number one with Get Back and Neil Young’s goal sunk the hopeful Foxes – and an eight-year-old Gary Lineker cried all the way home on the train.
The only tears of Leicester blue this time out were of joy and relief however, as Rodgers’ men capitalised on Chelsea’s toothless final-third play.
Leicester chairman Top Srivaddhanaprabha took a moment to reflect on his late father, Vichai, following the team’s Wembley success.
Schmeichel said on BBC One: “On the inside of our shirts, we have a picture of him (Vichai). He is always with us.
“For Vichai and for Top, this is what we have talked about for so many years and today, for the fans, it is amazing.”
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.