History

The road through Leicester – Chelsea’s FA Cup clashes against the Foxes

Having reached the final after our last five FA Cup matches against Leicester City, Chelsea will aim to extend our excellent record in the competition against the Foxes when we face them in this season’s showpiece game at Wembley.

Chelsea’s record against Leicester in the world’s oldest national cup competition makes for pretty good reading as we have won all seven previous clashes, beginning in 1920 with a 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in the third round and continuing in 1946 when we prevailed 3-1 on aggregate in a two-legged third round.

While we were eliminated in the semi-finals and fifth round respectively in those two campaigns, we have enjoyed better cup runs since then whenever we have been drawn to play against the Foxes.

1997 – Fifth Round

Ruud Gullit’s side were in good shape to progress after a stunning opener by Roberto Di Matteo and clinical finish by Mark Hughes gave us a two-goal lead at halt-time at Filbert Street. But after recovering from a two-goal deficit to beat Liverpool in the previous round, we were on the wrong end of a comeback as a Steve Walsh header and late own-goal by Eddie Newton sent the tie to a replay.

The Blues dominated the second meeting at the Bridge but were frustrated by goalkeeper Kasey Keller as the visitors forced extra-time. However, with a penalty shoot-out looming, the referee awarded a spot-kick after Erland Johnsen went down in the Leicester box and Frank Leboeuf calmly converted to send us through.

Chelsea’s path to Wembley got a lot easier after that hard-fought win as we trounced Portsmouth 4-1 and Wimbledon 3-0 before ending our 27-year drought in the competition with a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the final.

2000 – Fifth round

Three years later, we met Leicester again at the Bridge in the fifth round and took the lead when George Weah cut the ball back for Gustavo Poyet to fire home an acrobatic scissor-kick.

The future Liberian president made it 2-0 himself just after half-time, meeting Chris Sutton’s cross with a fine first-time finish, and the Foxes’ woes were compounded when Steve Walsh was sent off for elbowing Sutton on the hour.

The numbers were evened up when Dennis Wise received his second yellow card for unnecessarily handling the ball but the only response the visitors could muster was a consolation goal by Matt Elliott in stoppage time.

Chelsea despatched Gillingham 5-0 in the quarter-finals and edged Newcastle United 2-1 in the last four before lifting the cup for the second time in three years after a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the last final at the old Wembley Stadium.

2012 – Quarter-finals

The Blues met Leicester in the 2012 quarter-finals just days after our memorable Champions League comeback win against Napoli, but there were no signs of fatigue as a Gary Cahill header and Salomon Kalou’s strike on a swift counter-attack put us two goals up after 17 minutes.

Fernando Torres made it 3-0 midway through the second half and although the visitors attempted to rally late on, the Spaniard netted again and Meireles also got on the score sheet to seal a comprehensive 5-2 win.

The Blues scored five again in the semi-finals in a 5-1 trouncing of Tottenham Hotspur before lifting the Cup for the seventh time after a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the final.

2018 – Quarter-finals

With quarter-final replays scrapped in 2017, our last-eight meeting at the King Power Stadium the following year went into extra-time after Alvaro Morata’s fine finish on the counter-attack was cancelled out by Jamie Vardy’s late scrambled effort.

The Blues would find the net again, however, as Pedro outjumped Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester box to head home N’Golo Kante’s inviting cross and seal a 2-1 victory.

Antonio Conte’s side saw off Southampton 2-0 at Wembley in the last four and we returned a month later to beat Manchester United 1-0 in the final as we claimed our ninth FA Cup crown.

2020 – Quarter-finals

After a scintillating 2-0 victory over league champions-elect Liverpool in the fifth round in early March last year, the coronavirus lockdown meant Chelsea had to wait nearly four months before we travelled to Leicester for our quarter-final against the Foxes.

The rustiness of the players after the long lay-off was apparent in a disjointed first half and Frank Lampard reacted by making three changes at half-time. It proved decisive as a cross by Willian was met by substitute Ross Barkley for the only goal of the game in the 63rd minute.

We reached the final again after a 3-1 victory over Manchester United in the last four but for once, we came up short in the final against Arsenal after untimely injuries suffered by Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic and a debatable red card for Mateo Kovacic.

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