Brendan Rodgers was thrilled to see his dreams come true after a breathtaking goal from Youri Tielemans saw Leicester beat Chelsea at Wembley and win the FA Cup for the first time in its history.
It was a special day for Leicester as they fought for a tense victory in front of some 21,000 supporters. Rodgers paid tribute to club owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, whose father Vichai died in a helicopter crash in 2018, and praised his players for showing courage against a team as strong as Chelsea.
Leicester, who made history by winning the Premier League title five years ago, held on after a brilliant strike from Tielemans. They survived a late scare when Chelsea, who must rebound quickly to qualify for the Champions League, were ruled out an equalizer for offside following a VAR review and hope to finish a strong season in s ‘hanging on to his first four. in law.
“I’m very proud,” Rodgers said. “This is a historic day for the club. Winning the FA Cup for the first time is clearly a special day. I’m so happy for the players and Khun Top [Aiyawatt’s nickname] and their family, it was one of their dreams to win the FA Cup and we made it happen. It was an incredible goal from Yuri and well deserved.
“Each trophy is special. I am personally proud to be the manager to win it for Leicester. Days like today, you have to make history. We were able to do it. I am extremely proud to reach the final and beat such an incredible club. I have the overwhelming sense of satisfaction that we have done a job well. I’m happier for everyone. The feeling that this gives to the supporters. The FA Cup is the one the club really wanted to win.
Leicester, third with two games to go before visiting Chelsea in the league on Tuesday, showed a knack for disrupting big clubs and Rodgers, who moved to King Power Stadium in 2019, challenged them to keep pushing after winning his first trophy. in English football.
“When I arrived my first challenge was whether we could have European football?” he said. “It means finishing in the top six. We did it last year and that will be the goal this year. If we could get a place in the Champions League that would be amazing. Success at Leicester upsets the big teams. “
Rodgers, who is the first UK coach to lift the FA Cup since Harry Redknapp won it with Portsmouth in 2008, said it was great to have supporters in attendance. “This is what the game is about – this connection between the players and the supporters,” he said. “We felt that there were well over 20,000 supporters. Perhaps people were hopeful in a neutral perspective that we could thwart the odds. It was a fantastic atmosphere.
Chelsea need to recover quickly. They risk breaking out of the top four before facing Leicester and Aston Villa in their last two games and also face Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29. “There isn’t much to do,” Tuchel said. “We focus on performance. Now we’ll talk about what we did right and what we can do better on Tuesday. It is now a question of bouncing back. We missed a trophy and we are very sad about it. We have another chance with two finals against Leicester and Villa.
Chelsea felt Leicester’s goal should have been ruled out, claiming Ayoze Pérez used an arm to block a pass from Reece James in the build-up. “My assistant saw him on the bench,” Tuchel said. “The players immediately said it was handball. But I am no longer an expert in handball. You need luck in these decisions. My opinion is irrelevant. “