Schemichel replicates father's success with Wembley display in Leicester win

His dad was English football’s goal-keeping king for the best part of a decade.

But Kasper Schmeichel now has a save to match any his famous father ever made.

As Leicester City hung on for dear life to a spectacular Youri Tielemans goal never did the Foxes need Schmeichel more than in the 87th minute of a tense 140th FA Cup Final.

Belgian midfielder Tielemans surely never have thought his 30-yard screamer would be eclipsed even if Chelsea did allow him a free hit at goal.

But that was before Mason Mount let fly from inside the box with a shot that looked to be scorching past Schmeichel as Chelsea turned the screw.

In true family tradition the Leicester keeper proved a chip off the old block diving to his left and breaking Chelsea hearts with a save that will live long in FA Cup folklore.

Kasper Schmeichel helped Leicester win their first FA Cup
Kasper Schmeichel helped Leicester win their first FA Cup

It wasn’t his first worldie either.

Ten minutes earlier the Foxes keeper had dived the other way to make another stunning save to keep out substitute Ben Chilwell’s header from N’Golo Kante’s cross as Chelsea desperately threw the kitchen sink at Leicester.

“It’s what dreams are made of” said Schmeichel – and boy was he right.

This was a day when Leicester produced a performance full of quality and character that proved the perfect antidote to a European Super League idea that’s shamed English football.

Leicester were never part of the ESL carve-up.

A club as small as their history the big boys might have sniffed – in the unlikely event Leicester’s name was ever mentioned, that is.

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But after breaking Chelsea hearts in the FA Cup Final who would be brave enough now to say they don’t deserve to have a shot at the biggest prizes?

The Dane's father won three FA Cups
The Dane’s father won three FA Cups

Run superbly with owners who have a moral compass the Foxes are a shining example of a club operating on decency and respect.

And at the helm a manager in Brendan Rodgers who has finally escaped the cruel jibes that came his way after his Liverpool side blew the Premier League title-race in 2014 with that infamous Steven Gerrard slip at Anfield.

It was Chelsea who saddled him with an unfair reputation as a choker.

But at Wembley yesterday – of all ironies against Chelsea – Rodgers had his revenge.

Leicester’s first win in five cup finals condemned the Londoners to a second successive Cup Final defeat and proved himself a winner on both sides of the border after seven titles at Celtic.

But what of Chelsea?

Now isn’t the time to see their season start to unravel.

But that’s the shocking reality staring at Thomas Tuchel after a midweek defeat against Arsenal that’s left the League clash with Leicester on Tuesday as a must-win game for Champions League football next season.

Chelsea flickered but never caught fire until it was too late and when they did VAR ruled out a late equaliser by Ben Chilwell.

Youri Tielemans fired home a magical strike
Youri Tielemans fired home a magical strike

Critics might say Tuchel got his selection wrong and reacted too late by bringing on key players to chase the game.

And now the demanding German coach must draw on all his experience at Borussia Dortmund and PSG to arrest a slump that’s threatening to derail their season.

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Instead of heading to Porto for the Champion’s League Final against Manchester City with a trophy already in the bag, Chelsea have been left scrambling to end up in Europe’s elite competition next season.

By the end of the month Chelsea fans hoped the TT on Tuchel’s tracksuit may have stood for Two Trophies.

That would have looked good on a Chelsea CV that’s only been four months in the making.

As much as the ghost of Frank Lampard still hangs over this Chelsea team there’s little doubt that Tuchel has made instant and impressive strides at Stamford Bridge in his short time in the job.

Yet even though it’s early in his reign, Tuchel may never have as big a fortnight at the Bridge as the one now facing him and his team.



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