From the Viewsroom

The romance of the FA Cup

B Baskar | Updated on May 16, 2021

Leicester City were the deserved winners in a worthy final

The FA Cup has always held a special place in the hearts of English football fans. Where else will you get lower division clubs such as Crawley Town, Marine, Shrewsbury Town and Morecambe rubbing shoulders with Premier League clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United?

Last night’s FA Cup final between Leicester City and Chelsea was another classic that lived up to its billing, with Leicester winning its maiden Cup. The match was decided by a solitary goal – a 30-yard thunderbolt by Leicester’s Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans. But it was not without its last minute drama. Chelsea thought they had a late equaliser only for the dreaded Video Assisted Referee (VAR) to rule it offside. If the goal had stood the match would have surely gone into extra time and who knows, even into penalties.

Apart from Tielemans’s wonder strike Leicester will also have to thank its goalkeeper and captain Kaspar Schmeichel who made a couple of outstanding saves late in the second half to deny Chelsea a chance to get back into the game.

But Leicester after having been runners-up for four times were the deserved winners. After a cagey, tactical first half, it was a thrilling end-to-end second half where Leicester were the better team. Full credit to coach Brendan Rodgers, who for the last couple of seasons, has turned Leicester into a top-four club. What made the victory even sweeter for Leicester was that 21,000 fans were allowed into the Wembley Stadium, for the first time this season.

Leicester City is also a club whose fans, players and coaching staff seem to have genuine affection for their Thai owners. This is particularly noteworthy in an era where fans, especially of top clubs, have a frosty relationship with their owners. Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha was there at the Wembley Stadium to celebrate with the players and the coach.

In a world ravaged by the Covid pandemic, the FA Cup has given us something to smile about.

Published on May 16, 2021

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