Historic FA Cup success the stuff of dreams for FoxesSports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 17 May 2021
Kasper Schmeichel described leading Leicester to the club's first-ever English FA Cup as a dream come true after he played a huge role in beating Chelsea 1-0 in the final.
Youri Tielemans' stunning strike just after the hour mark separated the sides in front of the largest sports attendance in England since the coronavirus pandemic hit, with 22,000 fans at Wembley. But goalkeeper Schmeichel had to rescue Leicester late on with brilliant saves from Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount.
"I've dreamed about this since I was child," said Schmeichel, whose father Peter Schmeichel won three FA Cups with Manchester United. "We have talked about wanting to win trophies. The performance, the grit and determination, I'm so proud ... everybody contributed to get to the final. Everyone has been sensational."
Even when Schmeichel was eventually beaten, Chilwell's late equalizer against his former club was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.
"What a moment, I'm really happy. I can't think of a better goal than this," Tielemans said of his game winner.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers dedicated the victory to club chairman Aiyawatt 'Top' Srivaddhanaprabha. "It is an amazing feeling. I was not aware before I came into Leicester that they had never won the FA Cup, they had lost in four finals previously," Rodgers said. "To be able to give that to the supporters, to Top and his family, it is such a special occasion. It was a monumental performance, and what a day for everyone involved with Leicester."
A historic week for Rodgers' men could get even better as they are on the verge of sealing a place in next season's Champions League. The sides meet again on Wednesday (HK time) at Stamford Bridge in a pivotal clash to decide who secures a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Chelsea need a quick response after losing for just the fourth time in 27 games since Thomas Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
The Blues also have a Champions League final to look forward to against Manchester City in two weeks' time, but could end the campaign without silverware or a place in Europe's premier club competition next season. "Of course we are disappointed but we are not angry," said Tuchel. "This performance was enough to win it, we are simply unlucky."