A chance for vengeance and history for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

It has not even been a year since Chelsea last faced FA Cup heartbreak.

The Blues fell short in last year’s final to London rivals Arsenal, on a day where nothing went their way. Injuries, refereeing decisions and a red card, all topped off by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s decisive double for the red half of the capital.

Not many clubs get the opportunity for instant vengeance, but for Chelsea, it is standard.

Another successful cup run sees them back at Wembley on Saturday for a fourth final in five years, a remarkable record that has borne mixed outcomes at the final hurdle.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Chelsea will be desperate to avoid a seventh final defeat, which would move them joint third in the list. It could be worse, though – opponents Leicester City hold the record for reaching the most finals without a victory, aiming to win their first in their 137-year history.

For Thomas Tuchel, the stakes could not be higher. Not even four months into the Stamford Bridge job, he could become the first German to win the coveted competition, and the eighth Chelsea manager to win it in his first season. From a young boy watching the FA Cup final back home in Bavaria, to leading his team out onto the Wembley turf.

It has been an overwhelmingly positive stint for Tuchel so far, who has single-handedly revived the once-deflated Chelsea. The 47-year-old has restored the spine and spirit into the Blues, something which is evident on the pitch. Even off it, there is a fresh aura around west London, one which has put them within 90 minutes of silverware.

That being said, this season has been far from plain-sailing for Chelsea.

(Plumb Images:Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

It was almost four months to the day that Leicester humiliated the Blues in the Premier League, cruising to a 2-0 win in comfortable fashion.

The Foxes failure was the final straw for Frank Lampard, who would be sacked six days later after accepting his fate at the King Power stadium.

In many ways, Chelsea would not be where they are now without that game. That proved to be the ultimate changing of the tides, where the board knew that change was needed and they had to find a new man to lead the Blues in battle – that man was Tuchel.

Lampard deserves credit for the run for the final, having overseen the third and fourth round victories, and now Tuchel is responsible for finishing off the job.

(Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

It would be poetic for Chelsea to earn vengeance against Leicester, whose victory damaged the Blues so deeply, on the biggest domestic stage of them all. Especially ahead of their critical league meeting next Tuesday, striking the first blow would be a huge success for the west Londoners.

Chelsea are aiming for vengeance not only against their opponents, but for themselves.

Last year’s FA Cup shortcoming was painful, a day all Blues fans want to finally put behind them. Chelsea can set the record straight with victory on Saturday, something they have done before when they lost in 2017 and went all the way the following year.

(Emirates FA Cup)

FA Cup glory would be the perfect way to commemorate a tumultuous season for Chelsea and a difficult year for all, making the long-awaited return of fans even sweeter.

A ninth triumph would move them outright third in the all-time winners’ list, clear of bitter rivals Tottenham whose last victory came 30 years ago. This Chelsea generation can write their names into the Blue record books if they win, alongside the likes of Didier Drogba, Roberto Di Matteo, David Webb.  

Chelsea are back at Wembley, vying for the silverware and success that is integrated into the club’s philosophy. Ninety minutes stand between Tuchel’s men and glory. Ninety minutes from number nine. Ninety minutes away from another Blue Day.

(Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

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READ MORE

Read my Chelsea articles here

Two months of Thomas Tuchel

FA Cup heartbreak is Chelsea’s toughest yet most significant lesson


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