Ross Barkley came on as a substitute to fire Chelsea into the semi-final of the FA Cup with his 63rd-minute strike as manager Frank Lampard’s half-time changes transformed th FA Cup quarter-final at the King Power Stadium.
Chelsea was on the back foot for the entirety of the first 45 minutes of the game as the Foxes held sway at the King Power Stadium.
They had the best chance in the opening minutes as it took a flying save from Leicester keeper, Kasper Schmeichel, to keep out Christian Pulisic’s powerful drive.
Lampard’s obvious discontent could be seen and he acted by introducing Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta at the interval for Reece James, the subdued Billy Gilmour, and Mason Mount.
It had the desired effect as Chelsea improved remarkably. Barkley, who was on target in the 2-0 win against Liverpool in the last round, scored the winner after 63 minutes when he reacted to get in just ahead of Jonny Evans and sweep Willian’s clever cross past Schmeichel.
Leicester, missing the injured James Maddison, were out of sorts after the break although they applied late pressure and defender Caglar Soyuncu was frustrated late on when his header struck Azpilicueta and flew over.
Leicester City would have themselves to blame for losing this one to Chelsea as they had a plethora of opportunities to score but could not hit the target.
They began the game strongly and could have gone ahead inside three minutes.
Inside the first 30 seconds, Harvey Barnes stole possession before driving towards the area, but he was unable to make the most of a neat interchange with Jamie Vardy.
Leicester went close again a few minutes later when Wilfred Ndidi stole the ball from N’Golo Kante in midfield to spark a counter-attack, but Dennis Praet’s cross evaded Perez, Barnes, and Vardy inside the area.
Chelsea’s shot-stopper, Willy Caballero, was in action again shortly after to deny Youri Tielemans with a low stop.
Leicester almost grabbed a late equaliser to send the game into extra time, but Caglar Soyuncu could not direct his header on target.
Stats and Facts from the game
- Leicester have now lost each of their last five quarter-final matches in the FA Cup. Losing each of the last three against Chelsea (also 2012 and 2018).
- Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers remains winless in all 15 of his meetings with Chelsea as a manager (D8 L7), the most he’s faced a single opponent without winning in his managerial career.
- Since his competition debut in January 2014, Willian has been directly involved in 17 FA Cup goals (11 goals, six assists); this is at least six more than any other Chelsea player during this time.
- Chelsea has won 11 of their last 12 FA Cup matches, only losing to Manchester United in last season’s fifth round in this run.
- Chelsea has reached the semi-final of the FA Cup for the 10th time in the 21st Century, a joint-high in this time along with Arsenal (also 10 when including 2020).
- This was the first time that Leicester had conceded a goal in this season’s FA Cup, making them the last of the 123 sides to participate in the competition proper in 2019-20 to concede a goal.
- Chelsea has won five consecutive matches across all competitions, their best such winning run since they won seven in succession between September and October 2019.
- Chelsea’s Barkley has scored three of his four goals in all competitions this season in the FA Cup; those three goals (four FA Cup games) are as many as he netted in 16 appearances in the FA Cup prior to 2019-20.