68 min: In the meantime, Chelsea make a double change, swapping Ziyech for Pulisic, while replacing Alonso with the former Leicester charge Chilwell. The full-back is immediately on the receiving end of some extremely loud pantomime boos.
66 min: That was such a sweetly struck shot by Tielemans. One of those when you knew, just knew, it was flying in, the split second the ball left his boot.
65 min: Chelsea are livid, claiming Perez handled while charging down James’s pass. But they’re not getting the decision. Still, they go up the other end, Ziyech’s speculative effort deflected out for a corner. Nothing comes from the set piece, but that’s a decent immediate response to falling behind.
James passes upfield. Perez blocks. Thomas rolls a pass infield for Tielemans, who takes a touch forward, strides calmly towards the ball, and creams a rising shot into the top left! Kepa had no chance! That’s a wonderful strike, and one for the canon.
62 min: A bit of space for Azpilicueta down the right. He shins a cross towards the bottom right, an easy gather for Schmeichel. And then …
61 min: Tielemans and Perez play the corner short, and dear me, what a waste. But this is a decent period of sustained pressure by Leicester, their first of the match. Their fans respond accordingly with some of the much-missed hollering, and then Chelsea give it a chorus of Carefree. Ah the sweet, sweet sound of non-artificially-generated crowd noise!
60 min: Vardy chases a long ball down the right and earns a throw, deep in Chelsea territory. Albrighton’s cute shimmy earns him a yard, and his low whip is sliced out for a corner by Rudiger.
58 min: Silva loops long down the inside-right channel for Werner, but there’s never a chance of the Chelsea striker reaching the ball. Schmeichel shepherds it out for a goal kick.
56 min: Tielemans whips viciously in from the right. With Vardy lurking, James does extremely well to deflect the ball out for a corner. Chelsea only half-clear the set piece, allowing Tielemans to curl in again from the right. Soyuncu isn’t far away from making his third attempt on goal, but Alonso eyebrows away just in time. Much better from Leicester.
55 min: This is scrappy nonsense. Time for your annual reminder that, even during the FA Cup’s heyday, more finals were deathly dull than not.
53 min: Jorginho does indeed try to open the game up, but it’s by sliding a lovely pass down the right channel for Kante, who reaches the byline and cuts back. Alonso, rushing in from the left, heads goalwards but softly and straight at Schmeichel.
52 min: It looks like James Maddison might be on soon. He’s warming up in the determined style. “This needs Jorginho to open the game up with another priceless back pass to Kepa,” quips Paul Janaway.
50 min: Alonso briefly threatens to break down the left but Fofana steps in to intercept. Leicester launch a long ball up towards Vardy, who sniffs around only for Kepa to race out of his box to bash clear. That’s got the crowd going again, if nothing else.
48 min: Mount scampers down the left only to run the ball out for a goal kick. A quiet start to the second 45, and a reminder that this could go to extra time and penalties.
47 min: Leicester start the half on the front foot, albeit very gently. Not a whole lot going on, but it’s happening in Chelsea’s half.
Chelsea get the second half underway. There have been no half-time changes, so presumably Werner has recovered from his self-inflicted injury.
Half-time checklist. Pint: yes. Pie: yes. Personal comfort break: yes. Subscribe to the Fiver: well if I must.
The whistle goes to end a poor first half. Not a single effort on target. Second-half scoring spree, please!
45 min +2: Mount grooves down the right and forces Soyuncu into sliding out for Chelsea’s sixth corner of the afternoon. Ziyech takes; Vardy blooters clear.
45 min: James hoicks the corner straight out of play. Meanwhile Werner looks to have hurt himself when making that challenge on Thomas. He’s not moving freely, and was down on his haunches before that corner, blowing hard. Leicester go up the other end, Tielemans wedging gracefully down the inside-right channel, Vardy stealing into the Chelsea box and eyebrowing the dropping ball wide left. That would have been some goal.
44 min: Albrighton’s poor pass inside from the Leicester right finds Werner, who drives at the Chelsea box and slams a low shot wide left. But it’s taken a little nick off Fofana, and it’s another Chelsea corner.
42 min: Thomas looks lively for Leicester in attack, thrusting up the left whenever he can. His latest sortie up the wing finds Perez infield. Perez turns Jorginho and is fouled for his trouble. Tielemans sends the resulting free kick towards Soyuncu, 12 yards out and level with the left-hand post. Soyuncu flashes his header wide.
40 min: Werner busies himself down the right and creams a couple of cross-cum-shots. Both are blocked by Fofana, who flings himself around in the heroic style. Werner goes chasing after the second rebound, and slips as he hysterically lunges towards Thomas. He catches his man and earns Chelsea’s first yellow card.
37 min: Leicester are putting in a few strong challenges right now, enraging the Chelsea support while entertaining their own.
35 min: Castagne comes through the back of Jorginho, then seconds later Fofana clatters into Werner. The second challenge earns the first yellow card of the game. Leicester’s defence is a wee bit rattled at the minute, as they react to the departure of Evans.
34 min: Evans departs the field of play, disappointment etched across his face, and is replaced by Albrighton.
32 min: The selection of Evans was a gamble, it would seem, because the poor chap can’t continue. He drops to the floor and waves sadly to the bench.
31 min: Leicester are a little bit ponderous when they do attempt to launch attacks. Under no pressure, Ndidi rolls a simple pass behind Iheanacho and out for a throw.
29 min: Another Chelsea corner down the right. They’ve been getting plenty of joy along this flank. Ziyech takes. Evans clatters a header upfield, but Chelsea come straight back at Leicester. Mount swings in from the right. Silva returns it from the left. At the right-hand post, six yards out, Werner and Azpilicueta await … then both miss the cross, which flies out for a goal kick. Leicester were rocking a little there.
27 min: Werner is allowed to romp down the middle of the park, Evans happy to back off and let him shoot from distance. Good decision this time, as the eventual effort sails miles over the bar.
26 min: A little bit of room for Tielemans, 25 yards out, after some good work down the left by Soyuncu and Perez. He takes too much time, though, and his eventual shot is blocked the nanosecond it leaves his boot. “I should point out that when The Mighty Jambos were routed in ‘86 (as referenced at 4pm) we were in our weird silver change strip,” writes Neil Irving Colquhoun. “I feel this bodes well for Leicester, but what do I know.”
23 min: Ziyech makes room down the left and passes infield for Alonso, who makes a meal of trapping the ball, eight yards out, allowing Tielemans to clear. But Chelsea come again, Mount drifting in from the right and aiming for the bottom right from the edge of the box. The ball whistles inches wide of the post, Fofana deflecting it out for a corner.