Building Up to the FA Cup Final: Last five Results Against Leicester City

Chelsea and Leicester City will square off once again in a fixture that has now been played three times in each of the past two seasons. This time there is more than ever to the fixture, with the FA Cup on the line. Both teams have a solid squad and recent history has seen some great battles between these two sides.

The Blues do not have a great record over the last two years against the Foxes. The only win the Blues have registered against the Foxes in the last five fixtures came away from home in a 1-0 win during the FA Cup in 2020. Leicester have had the Blues’ number in the league as of late. Ahead of the epic clash between two of England’s better sides over the last several years, let’s revisit the last five fixtures and re-cap the results ahead of the FA Cup Final on May 15th, 2021 in Wembley Stadium.

Sunday, May 12, 2019: Leicester City 0-0 Chelsea

The end of the Premier League season in 2019 ended in a goalless draw to close out the final league match of the Maurizio Sarri era. Eden Hazard was missing from the as the attack was led by Willian, Pedro, and the much-maligned Gonzalo Higuain. The starting midfielders in a 4-3-3 formation were Ross Barkley, Jorginho, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The backline comprised Davide Zappacosta, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, and Marcos Alonso, with Willy Caballero in between the sticks. With this start as goalkeeper, Caballero became the second-oldest player to appear for Chelsea, aged 37, which is only behind fellow goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer who appeared for the Blues at age 41.

The Blues were generally lackluster and wasteful in attack during this match, but luckily Leicester City were equally wasteful. Chelsea had 14 shots with only four being on target. The Foxes were able to put three of their four shots on target, but this match was always a bit of a stalemate, as Chelsea had one eye on the Europa League Final in Baku. A great chance in this match fell to Barkley who was unable to beat the Foxes’ goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel. Higuain continued his poor run of form with the Blues as he missed chances and even kicked over his own feet in attack.

With a draw offering no impact on the final standings in the league table, both sides had little to highly contest for in this match, and the final scoreline more than reflected that fact. Chelsea also had a midweek friendly in Massachusetts, United States for a match that was centred around fighting anti-Semitism, and rest for key players was prioritized for this reason and the looming Europa Final against Arsenal.

Ngolo Kante in action for Leicester City in 2016. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Ngolo Kante in action for Leicester City in 2016. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Sunday, August 18, 2019: Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City

Frank Lampard managed his first match with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge against the clever Foxes in an early-season clash. Lampard called managing at home in front of the Chelsea faithful as “stuff of dreams” in what was a magical moment for all involved even if the result itself was not. The Blues lined up in a 4-3-3 with Kepa, Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, and Emerson making up the defence. The midfield was filled out with N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mason Mount. The attack was led by Pedro, Olivier Giroud, and Christian Pulisic.

Early in the match the scoring was opened by Mount in what ultimately was a sign of things to come. Mount pressed up high up the pitch, won the ball from Wilfried Ndidi, and slotted home to give the Blues the early lead. Chelsea were all over Leicester City to begin the match and it was a highly encouraging, early showing for Lampard’s squad in front of Stamford Bridge for the first time. However, the Blues began to fade as the match wore on and the Foxes were able to grow in stature and performance.

The equaliser was scored by Ndidi, which was a fitting way to atone for his mistake that led to Mount’s goal. This left the Blues with one point from the opening two matches, but was a solid base to build this result from, considering how stubborn Leicester City have been for Chelsea to topple in past Premier League clashes. Possession was equally shared in this match between the two squads, but Chelsea had an ever-slight advantage with 14 shots to Leicester’s 12, with the Blues having five on target compared to the opponent’s three. Overall, this was a highly contested fixture that was more than deserving of a draw.

Mason Mount grabbed his first Chelsea goal against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.  (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)
Mason Mount grabbed his first Chelsea goal against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Saturday, February 1, 2020: Leicester City 2-2 Chelsea

The Blues once again shared the spoils in what was an enthralling match to watch from a neutral point of view. Leicester entered the match in 3rd place with Chelsea in 4th, trailing by an eight-point margin. Lampard was again unable to outfox the Foxes and get all three points back to Stamford Bridge. The Blues lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Reece James, Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, and Azpilicueta comprising the back four. The midfield pivot consisted of Kante and Jorginho, with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mount, and Pedro ahead of them in the 3 attacking midfield roles. Tammy Abraham led the line for the Blues. The shock in the lineup was that Kepa was benched for Willy Caballero in goal.

The scoring was opened in the beginning of the second half as Rudiger headed a cross from the corner spot, delivered by Mount. The lead did not last for long as the Foxes equalized through Harvey Barnes’ deflected goal. Leicester then kept pushing and found yet another goal, this time through Ben Chilwell as he finished a cross off from Tielemans. The Blues found themselves grasping defeat from the jaws of victory.

In stepped Mr. Hustle himself – Antonio Rudiger – once again to be the hero for the Blues. He was able to pull off yet another headed goal once again from Mount’s delivery to assure both clubs shared the spoils in this match. Once again against Leicester under Lampard, the Blues took the lead against the Foxes, only to waste the lead and end in a draw. However, this was a solid result once again. Rudiger was rightfully handed Man of the Match for his valiant, goal-scoring efforts.

Possession was once again equally split between the two sides. However, Leicester were much more lively in the attacking third as they registered 14 shots with four being on target. Chelsea managed to find seven shot attempts with three being on target. The Blues were much more clinical in taking their chances, mostly in part to set pieces and Rudiger.

Sunday, June 28, 2020: FA Cup Sixth Round, Leicester City 0-1 Chelsea

Frank Lampard finally got the best of Leicester when it mattered most. The FA Cup Sixth Round once again saw the Blues travel to face the Foxes in a match that saw both clubs vying for a trophy. Chelsea did switch up for the formation and lineup from the previous meeting away to Leicester, by playing a 4-3-3. The backline was James, Rudiger, Zouma, and Emerson, with Caballero again favored in between the posts over Kepa. The midfield saw the inclusion of young Billy Gilmour, alongside Kante and Mount. The attack was rounded out with Willian, Pulisic, and Tammy Abraham. The Blues were mixing the lineup with rotation and youth.

The best chance of the match first came to Captain America – Christian Pulisic – as he saw his great shot attempt saved by a skillful jump and save by Kasper Schmeichel. The Blues did not manage many other clear attempts throughout the first half, and this was rectified by the manager as he made three changes after the stroke of halftime. Barkley, Mateo Kovacic, and Azpilicueta replaced James, Gilmour, and Mount. Luckily for Lampard, this move paid off in a big way. Barkley repaid the manager’s decision by opening the scoring in what turned out to be the only goal of the match from an assisted cross by Willian.

The Blues were able to continually stifle and frustrate the Foxes as they lacked any decisive actions or decision-making to make the difference in the final third. The decision to rotate and rely on the rotational players paid off for Chelsea and sent them on their way into what eventually became an FA Cup final appearance for the Blues.

Possession was finally favored for the Blues unlike the previous two meetings where possession was equally shared between the two teams, although this was a slight favoring with the Blues having 52% possession to Leicester’s 48%. Leicester managed to have more shots with 10 compared to the Blues’ eight shots, but the Blues were just a tad bit more clinical having four on target compared to the opposition’s three.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021: Leicester City 2-0 Chelsea

A dark day came to a crushing end as the Foxes furthered the despondency of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. The Blues succumbed to yet another miserable defeat with morale seeming to drain away like the plug had been pulled. The Blues were simply dejected, lacking all answers, and seemed to also lack the intensity and work required to wear the badge. All was not well after this defeat, and this match personified the behind-the-scenes issues that came to be elucidated in due time.

The Blues desperately fielded a 4-2-3-1 with Edouard Mendy in goal. Ahead of Mendy saw James, Rudiger, Thiago Silva, and the former Fox, Chilwell. The pivot was made out of Mount and Kovacic. The attacking 3 was Hudson-Odoi, Kai Havertz, and Pulisic, with Abraham leading the line. Despite a strong lineup, every player had a poor performance, and the Blues were rightfully and swiftly humbled to defeat from goals by Ndidi and Maddison. This victory saw the Foxes move to the top of the Premier League, as Chelsea never presented any challenge to Brendan Rodger’s side.

The Blues lost this match before half time, and the slide under Lampard’s management only fell further into a downward spiral. Ultimately, this proved to be a match all Blues fans wanted to forget and were left clinging to the smallest of hopes that a managerial change would not be in the offing. The stats support this, as Leicester managed to score two goals from only eight shots, proving their clinical play in front of goal. Despite trailing and chasing the match, Chelsea only managed nine shots despite having 64% of possession. All Chelsea fans know this eventually became the final nail in the Premier League coffin for club legend Lampard, and the performance was suggestive that players had stopped fully buying in. It was a dark, miserable, sufferable result and match for the Blues, and their fans alike.

Despite ending on such a low note last time out to Leicester, the tables have dramatically turned heading into the FA Cup Final. Thomas Tuchel has navigated the Blues squad to two finals, and into the top four of the Premier League. Meanwhile, Leicester have won four out of their last eight matches, including a heavy 4-2 defeat to Newcastle at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes have much more variable form than the Blues. However, if the last five results have anything to say, this will be a match that will be fought tooth and nail. The Blues have struggled against Leicester, but hopefully Tuchel can put to bed that lackluster form against the Foxes and lift the FA Cup trophy!

Written by Travis Flock (@Crossroads_CFC)

Edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)

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