Youri Tielemans produced one of the great FA Cup final goals to give Leicester City the trophy the first time in their history with victory over Chelsea at Wembley.

The Belgian settled a closely contested encounter with a spectacular right-foot drive that flew beyond Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner from 25 yards in the 63rd minute.

It sent manager Brendan Rodgers down the touchline in celebration although Leicester City’s fans – inside Wembley as 21,000 supporters formed the biggest attendance since lockdown – had to survive a nerve-jangling closing phase before they could celebrate the win in their first final since 1969.

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.

Leicester closed out the win to spark emotional scenes as those inside Wembley rejoiced in a landmark victory.

Rodgers’ outstanding work gets its reward

Foxes boss Rodgers had a smile that illuminated Wembley as he joined Leicester City’s players in joyous scenes of celebration after the manager and his players had written their name into the club’s folklore.

Tielemans, the gifted 24-year-old, will claim the glory for the sheer quality of the strike that won this FA Cup final and the rest of his performance oozed the quality that saw him named man of the match.

The Foxes had heroes elsewhere, particularly in veteran keeper Schmeichel, who was well protected for most of the match but made a huge contribution when required. His second key save from Mount, one-handed diving away to his left, even had Rodgers turning around and blowing out his cheeks in relief and admiration.

Youngster Luke Thomas was composed and Leicester even survived the premature loss of the experienced and influential defender Jonny Evans, who was a doubt before the game and suffered a recurrence of his heel injury, to keep Chelsea at bay.

And for Rodgers, who cleaned up with Celtic in Scotland, this was another significant addition to his CV, as his expert guidance of Leicester – who are in a strong position to finish in the Premier League’s top four and face Chelsea again at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday – now has a tangible reward in the shape of the FA Cup.

This was the result of outstanding work by Rodgers and his players and the rest of the season may yet produce another high point if they can clinch a place in next season’s Champions League.

Chelsea suffer bitter disappointment

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel revealed he was in “angry mode” after the surprise home loss to Arsenal suddenly put pressure on their top-four hopes in the Premier League – although the Champions League final against Manchester City could yet prove the most glittering safety net.

He certainly looked an angry man throughout this final, the body language increasingly frustrated right up until that final twist when a late equaliser was snatched from Chelsea’s grasp by VAR.

Chelsea now face a massive game against these same opponents in midweek but they will have to recover swiftly from this disappointment and the knowledge they did not do themselves justice.

They certainly had their moments and will complain of ill-fortune, about a suspicion of handball before Tielemans’ goal and those magnificent saves from Schmeichel but this was a stuttering Chelsea, not the smooth machine that saw off Real Madrid with such comfort in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Timo Werner seemed a particular source of frustration to Tuchel, the manager enraged when he lost a physical challenge to Tielemans, and it may be he regrets that he did not start with the improving Kai Havertz.

And Chilwell, left out for Marcos Alonso, was a source of real danger when he was eventually introduced as a substitute, almost rescuing Chelsea twice.

Chelsea and Tuchel now face a huge fortnight with the fight for the top four in the balance and that Champions League final to come against Manchester City – and the manager will know they will have to perform better than this.

More to follow.

Player of the match

SchmeichelKasper Schmeichel

Chelsea

  1. Squad number7Player nameKanté

  2. Squad number11Player nameWerner

  3. Squad number29Player nameHavertz

  4. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva

  5. Squad number24Player nameJames

  6. Squad number21Player nameChilwell

  7. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger

  8. Squad number10Player namePulisic

  9. Squad number20Player nameHudson-Odoi

  10. Squad number28Player nameAzpilicueta

  11. Squad number1Player nameArrizabalaga

  12. Squad number5Player nameJorginho

  13. Squad number3Player nameAlonso

  14. Squad number18Player nameGiroud

  15. Squad number19Player nameMount

  16. Squad number22Player nameZiyech

Leicester City

  1. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  2. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  3. Squad number3Player nameFofana

  4. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

  5. Squad number33Player nameThomas

  6. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

  7. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  8. Squad number27Player nameCastagne

  9. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  10. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  11. Squad number5Player nameMorgan

  12. Squad number20Player nameChoudhury

  13. Squad number17Player nameAyoze Pérez

  14. Squad number6Player nameEvans

  15. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

Line-ups

Chelsea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 24James
  • 6Thiago Silva
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 28AzpilicuetaSubstituted forHudson-Odoiat 76′minutes
  • 7Kanté
  • 5JorginhoSubstituted forHavertzat 75′minutes
  • 3AlonsoSubstituted forChilwellat 68′minutes
  • 22ZiyechSubstituted forPulisicat 68′minutes
  • 19Mount
  • 11WernerBooked at 40minsSubstituted forGiroudat 82′minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Pulisic
  • 15Zouma
  • 16Mendy
  • 18Giroud
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 21Chilwell
  • 23Gilmour
  • 29Havertz
  • 33Emerson

Leicester

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 3FofanaBooked at 36mins
  • 6EvansSubstituted forAlbrightonat 34′minutes
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 27Castagne
  • 8Tielemans
  • 25Ndidi
  • 33ThomasSubstituted forMorganat 82′minutes
  • 17PérezSubstituted forChoudhuryat 82′minutes
  • 14IheanachoSubstituted forMaddisonat 67′minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 5Morgan
  • 10Maddison
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 18Amartey
  • 20Choudhury
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 24Mendy
  • 26Praet

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