From Stamford Bridge to Wembley – via Leicester

Last 4 times we've played Leicester in the FA Cup... We've won it!

Chelsea have been drawn against Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals, which is good news for the more superstitious parts of our fanbase as we look to lift the famous trophy for the ninth time.

The two clubs have faced each other four times in FA Cup ties during the Premier League era, with the Blues triumphant each time.

However, what’s even more remarkable is the fact that every single one of those victories has been followed by us going on to lift the trophy – which means the Foxes have been conquered in exactly half of our FA Cup-winning campaigns!

The first of those was in 1997, which was perhaps our most thrilling tie with Leicester, as we were drawn to face the side managed by Martin O’Neill in the fifth round having just knocked out Liverpool following a thrilling comeback.

This time, we were on the wrong end of a fightback after letting a two-goal lead slip at Filbert Street, and the replay looked set for penalties as neither side could find a breakthrough.

Then came an incident deep into extra-time which has gone down in club folklore.

Norwegian centre-back Erland Johnsen showed genuine pace to accelerate through the midfield, before attempting a one-two with Gianluca Vialli and hitt the deck among the flailing arms and legs attached to the mass of bodies in the 18-yard box as he attempted to run on to the lofted return pass.

The ref pointed to the spot, the nerveless Frank Leboeuf did the rest and Ruud Gullit’s side marched all the way on to Wembley, where we made it a Blue Day with a win over Middlesbrough.

Three years later, there wasn’t quite the same level of drama – but the quality of the goals made up for that.

We went in front when George Weah superbly flicked a cross into the path of Gustavo Poyet, who finished it off with an acrobatic volley. Weah then put us further ahead in the second half with a wonderful strike which ranks as his best as a Blue.

There were red cards for Steve Walsh and Dennis Wise, the two skippers, before Matt Elliott netted a consolation goal, but it was too late to change the outcome.

We went on to reach the last final at the old Wembley Stadium and, just as he was against Middlesbrough, Roberto Di Matteo was the hero to see off Aston Villa.

By the time we faced Leicester in the FA Cup again, in 2012, the Italian had taken over as Blues boss for the remainder of the season in place of Andre Villas-Boas.

While all of you will recall our epic Champions League triumph that year, we also went all the way in the FA Cup, beating Liverpool in the final at Wembley and seeing off Leicester along the way.

The Foxes were a mid-table Championship side at the time, but an entertaining one at that, and there were goals galore in this quarter-final tie.

After early goals from Gary Cahill – with his first for the Blues – and Salomon Kalou put us in control, Fernando Torres scored twice either side of a consolation for the visiting side. The Spaniard ended a 24-game scoring drought in the process.

After another Leicester goal threatened to make it interesting, another ex-Liverpool man, Raul Meireles put us out of sight to see us through with a rare 5-2 scoreline.

Lastly, we met in another quarter-final in 2018 and plenty had changed during those six years. Chelsea had won a pair of Premier League titles, but the Foxes had also added their name to the list of champions with the unlikeliest of triumphs under our old manager, Claudio Ranieri.

They have never won the FA Cup, though, finishing as runners-up four times, and they were looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1982 with a home tie against the Blues.

Alvaro Morata’s composed finish should have been enough to see us through inside 90 minutes, but Jamie Vardy headed Leicester level and sent the tie into extra-time.

But Pedro settled it midway through the additional period, beating Kasper Schmeichel to an N’Golo Kante cross and heading us into a semi-final against Southampton.

By the end of the campaign we were celebrating our eighth FA Cup triumph, following victory over Man United. 

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