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Leicester City win FA Cup in Wembley

Saturday, 15 May 2021

 



Football

Leicester's FA Cup victory was a defining moment in the club's history - and that wasn't just down to the fact it was their first success in this competition.

 

The Foxes have been battling among England's traditional top-six in the aftermath of their incredible 2016 Premier League triumph. Top-four has always been the aim but they have found it difficult to achieve that.

 

The difference between that remarkable title win five years ago and the Wembley glory on Saturday was that this didn't feel like the one-off miracle that is attached to that Claudio Ranieri squad - this shows that Leicester now have their spot at the top table.

 

That 5000/1 story was just the beginning of the modern Foxes story. They didn't fluke it then, far from it, but the reason why that tale is remembered fondly is the fact that we feel it will never happen again. For Leicester, it put them on this path to what should become sustainable success.

 

The main statistics from the FA Cup final

Don't expect them to be securing trophies every season, no team will regardless of how good they are, but silverware in the cabinet demonstrates their ability to now be considered among the 'leading' clubs in England.

 

They won't replace a member of the 'big-six', that will never happen when we look at revenues and the metrics that matter most to some, but there's now a case to say that England currently has a 'big-seven' - with Leicester added to that group.

 

Brendan Rodgers has guided the Foxes to top-four contention, but the difference this time is that they look like they are going to do it.

 

Youri Tielemans' wondergoal will grab the headlines but the all-round team performance best highlighted their current position - although goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel's inspired performance kept them in it when they were looking to keep Chelsea out.

 

He only made three saves but the timing of them was crucial. His stop on Mason Mount will go down as one of the all-time great Cup final saves - it was a stop that left you wondering just how he got across to stop a shot with such pace on it.

 

Leicester players throw Brendan Rodgers in the air after winning the FA Cup

The defensive duo of Wesley Fofana and Caglar Soyuncu not only adapted to losing partner Jonny Evans to injury in the first-half, but they would go on to neutralise a Chelsea attack that has gained plaudits since Thomas Tuchel came in. Whichever combination the Blues opted for, they just couldn't find a way through.

 

Perhaps it was always Leicester's afternoon. Chelsea's late leveller was ruled out due to Ben Chilwell being marginally offside, but for all of the Chelsea possession and efforts on goal, it was the Foxes who did enjoy some of the better opportunities - Tielemans' incredible effort was one of their least-fancied.

 

All eyes will turn to Tuesday's league meeting between the pair and the potential implications that will have on the top-four race.

 

The Foxes will be keen to build on this with Champions League football next season - but regardless of what happens in that game, Saturday's result at Wembley shows that they are now prepared to battle among the very best in the future.

Credit: www.sportinglife.com

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