Leicester City's path to FA Cup glory
 Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester holds the Emirates FA Cup Trophy in celebration following The Emirates FA Cup Final match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium on May 15, 2021, in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Two weeks ago today, Leicester City won the FA Cup for the first time in their history after beating Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley Stadium. 

The Foxes' journey in the 140th edition of the oldest club football tournament in the world began on 9 January 2021 and ended five months later on 15 May 2021, with a 100% win record – scoring 13 goals and conceding just two in six matches overall.

VAVEL takes a look back at Leicester's journey to FA Cup glory. 

Early rounds

The Third Round draw was made at the end of 2020, on November 20. Leicester were pitched to face Stoke City on the back of a narrow victory away at Newcastle United in the Premier League.

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An emphatic 4-0 victory ensued at the Bet365 Stadium, with James Justin, Marc Albrighton, Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes thumping in goals against the Championship side’s disappointing display. As the Foxes dominated the Potters, Brentford dispatched Middlesbrough to set up a clash against Leicester in the Fourth Round.

The West London side took an early lead within the first ten minutes, when Bech Sorensen slotted home after a defensive mishap. The capital club were hopeful of a first-ever victory over Leicester in the competition having faced them seven times previously. But a transformed team led by James Maddison took to the pitch in the second half and equalized just 49 seconds after the restart, thanks to Cengiz Under’s clinical finish. A Youri Tielemans penalty and a Maddison tap-in helped secure a 3-1 win.

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In the Fifth Round, Leicester faced a resilient Brighton & Hove Albion outfit that did not let in a goal until the 94th minute. Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho headed in Tielemans’ pinpoint cross to settle the contest right at the death, helping the Foxes enter the Quarter Finals of the competition for the second successive season.

Right before the international break took place at the end of March, King Power Stadium welcomed heavyweights Manchester United in arguably the most mouthwatering of the four last-eight clashes.

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United were put to the sword by a Leicester City team inspired by Iheanacho. Mason Greenwood’s answer to the Nigerian striker’s opener proved to be inadequate as Tielemans struck right after half time, before the centre-forward hammered in a brace to send United packing.

Injuries to Barnes and Maddison hampered Leicester’s creative spark in the season as they slumped in the Premier League with losses against Arsenal, Manchester City and West Ham United.

Wembley success

Southampton, who had previously ousted Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal in previous rounds, awaited the Foxes, who reached had now reached the Semi-Finals for first time since 1981/82.

4,000 fans at Wembley were witness to Leicester’s previous round hero, Iheanacho, whose second half goal proved decisive to propel Leicester to their first FA Cup final since 1969 – when they lost 1-0 to Manchester City in the showdown then.

Thomas Tuchel’s renewed Chelsea proved to be a force to be reckoned with in previous matchdays, putting in impressive performances against Real Madrid in the Champions League and Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final.

The Foxes might have ended their Premier League campaign in disappointing fashion, losing key games against Newcastle, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur and throwing away a top-four position on the final matchday of the season after spending 242 days there – more than any other side.

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But nonetheless, the 2020/21 season proved to be far-reaching for the Foxes as they lifted one of the two most prestigious domestic titles in the country.

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Youri Tielemans’ remarkable 63rd minute surgical strike against Chelsea in the final will go down in history as not only one of the greatest FA Cup final goals in history, but also as one of Leicester City’s most important ever.

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