Brendan Rodgers hailed Youri Tielemans’ instant FA Cup classic after the midfielder spectacularly gave Leicester glory with a 1-0 final win over Chelsea at Wembley.
The Belgium international took aim from 25 yards in the 63rd minute to spark bedlam among the Leicester supporters in a 21,000 crowd at England’s national stadium – the largest attendance for a sporting event in the UK since the coronavirus lockdown last March.
Leicester needed heroics from goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and VAR spared another of the favourites from their Premier League success five years ago.
Substitute Wes Morgan turned a ricocheted shot from Ben Chilwell into his own net to apparently herald extra time, but replays showed the ex-Leicester left-back was offside.
Delirious celebrations, with fans and players as one, greeted the full-time whistle and Tielemens was deservedly named man of the match
“Youri’s goal was like an old school FA Cup-winning goal but also Kasper Schmeichel’s save, those are the special moments you need in games,” Rodgers told BBC Sport.
“Overall I thought we were the better team, we pressed the game really well, super-aggressive tactically. We were always a threat with the ball.
“Chelsea are an amazing team, that’s why they’re in a Champions League final but I thought we deserved it.”
As was the case when Schmeichel, Morgan, Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton starred in Leicester’s 2015-16 Premier League title win, this was a maiden triumph in the FA Cup.
“It’s an amazing feeling, I wasn’t aware before I came to Leicester that they’d never won the FA Cup, they’d lost in four finals previously,” said the former Liverpool boss.
“So, to be able to give that to the supporters and the owners, so special.
“I’m so proud. It’s a real collective effort at Leicester City – the board, the players, staff, supporters, an amazing day for the city. I’m just so proud for everyone.”
Rodgers added: “I’ve been lucky enough to be in six finals [with Celtic] before and lucky enough to win them. Today being the seventh was truly special.
“It’s the FA Cup and as a British coach it means so much to us. I’m so proud, but happier for everyone else.”