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Chelsea 0-1 Leicester City, FA Cup Final: Post-match reaction, ratings

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VAR’d

Chelsea v Leicester City: The Emirates FA Cup Final Photo by Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

As one might have expected, Chelsea dominated possession from the off, but neither team really came close to creating dangerous opportunities, especially through open play.

Chelsea came closest to a goal in the first half in the second phase of a corner, when Thiago Silva chipped a ball towards the far post that Azpilicueta surely would’ve headed in, had Werner not gotten a few hairs to it ahead of him. At the other end, Soyuncu got his head to a couple free kicks, but missed the target.

Other than set pieces and a few inaccurate long-range efforts (Werner, Mount), it was a cagey, hard-fought first 45 minutes, as it so often is in Cup finals.

The second half continued in similar vein, until a Pérez blocked a pass with his hand and Tielemans took advantage of the space to unleash a piledriver into the top corner from 25 yards. Neither the referee nor VAR deemed that worthy of a call, so the goal stood, which is a joke.

Tuchel rang the changes, throwing on increasingly attacking options, with all five of Mount, Havertz, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, and Giroud on at the end, but still found no joy. Leicester defended valiantly and kept Chelsea at arm’s length. They still needed a couple ridiculously great saves from Schmeichel, to keep Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount out, and yet another ridiculous VAR offside call to deny Chilwell’s late equalizer.

Carefree.

  • Starting lineup mostly as expected, with Alonso at left wing-back and Ziyech up front the only semi-surprises. Once the game started, the tactical wrinkle of James played in the back three and Azpilicueta at right wing-back became apparent as well. James essentially man-marking Vardy, with Rudiger doing the same on Iheanacho on the other side.
  • When you play for small margins, defeats will sting even more.
  • Chelsea lose the FA Cup final for the third time in five years. Not ideal.
  • Next up: Leicester City again, this time in the battle for the top-four, on Tuesday
  • KTBFFH

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