Cole: Chelsea have to pick themselves up
Former Chelsea star Ashley Cole has called on the Blues to brush off their FA Cup disappointment and make a strong finish to the 2020-21 season.
"Chelsea have three cup finals now basically, if they want to finish in the top four and win the Champions League," he told the BBC.
"They have got to pick themselves up and go again. They can't feel sorry for themselves.
"Is it the same team as Frank Lampard's? When Frank was here they controlled and dominated games but couldn't finish it off. The last couple of weeks it has felt the same."
Was there a handball before Tielemans goal?
"I didn’t see it," Tuchel said of the incident. "My assistant saw it on the screen on the bench and the players said straight away that it was a handball.
"Now for the second time. There was a handball against Arsenal who denies a goal on the goalline against us and VAR is not interfering. Today again with the goal, very decisive. Arsenal denied a goal against us, today they score a goal.
"I am not an expert in handball honestly anymore. I don’t absolutely know when it is hand and when it is not. So you need a little bit of luck in these decisions."
Tuchel explains James playing centre-back
"Reecey played in the back three and we put Azpi up higher," Tuchel said. "They changed the position because we know about the favourite position of Jamie Vardy in transition and we wanted to have Reecey’s power, Reecey’s acceleration and top speed against him to eliminate this threat.
"He did fantastic today. Very very happy. On the same side we wanted to have Azpi a bit higher because he takes from his experience and his character he takes a bit more risk than Reecey in the last line.
"If Azpi could have scored the first goal and it was not deflected before him, it would have been a great decision."
Tuchel calls on Chelsea to show mentality
The Blues are in a fight for a top-four finish and have a Champions League final later this month as they aim to come away with something to show for their dramatic turnaround this season.
"Now it's about coming back, bouncing back and showing mentality again on Tuesday," Tuchel said. "We lost a trophy and we are very sad about that, but we have another competition now.
"Now we have two finals against Leicester and Aston Villa, and then another final in the Champions League. We have a lot to do and we cannot regret too long."
'Disappointed and not angry'
We are getting some press conference reaction from Thomas Tuchel, who says that he's "disappointed and not angry" about his side's defeat.
"We are disappointed and not angry with our performance from the boys," the manager said.
"I think the performance is enough to win it. I think today we were unlucky and we've never hidden that we need to have that to win at this level. You need momentum, decision making, little details, the referee.
"I think we defended well, counter-pressed well, didn't allow counter-attacks by one of the best counter-attacking sides in Europe."
Tuchel's Chelsea sitting on a fine line between success and failure
After a humbling week that saw their top-four hopes damaged and the FA Cup lost, Chelsea are in danger of finishing the season empty-handed.
Nizaar Kinsella looks at a Blues season that is teetering on the edge of failure right here
Chelsea make unwanted history
Defeat for Chelsea
What a goal! 👀
All even at the break
Chelsea almost open the scoring
And we're off!
Kovacic, Christensen and Abraham left out of the FA Cup final squad for varied reasons
Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen have been left out of Chelsea's squad despite training ahead of kick-off.
Manager Thomas Tuchel has opted against playing the pair after their recent returns from injury, likely allowing them more time to prepare for Tuesday's Premier League match.
It will allow Chelsea to look after their squad in a double header that could define their season. Meanwhile, Tammy Abraham has been left out despite being fit and ready. It is expected that he will be sold in the summer.
Ahead of kick-off, Tuchel explained his choices: "There are some guys who feel hurt at the moment and have the chance to come from the bench and make a huge impact," he said.
"We go for Marcos [Alonso] for a bit more height and stability at set-pieces and a bit more experience."
Fans back at Wembley
Tuchel anticipates 'tough' final
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes his team will have to work hard if they wish to triumph in the FA Cup final over Leicester City.
"I've had worse days in my life. You cannot get much better. I feel grateful to arrive at a strong club with a strong team. It is quite a big day and we absolutely want to win. We know that is going to be tough but the mind is clear - we want that trophy," he told the BBC.
"We face a very strong side full of confidence. They are very dangerous on counter attacks and we have to be careful when we have the ball. They have always two strikers on the front foot and a solid back three. Strong side but we are as well."
Atmosphere builds ahead of the FA Cup final with 22,000 in attendance
The FA Cup final welcomes 22,000 people back as a live crowd in one of the UK Government's test events ahead of fully re-opening.
There will be 6,000 fans in both the Chelsea and Leicester City end along with a selection of NHS heroes and FA stakeholders in attendance at English football's showpiece event.
There are also the families of the players and coaching staff in attendance for the first time in over a year.
The teams are in!
Abraham out of Chelsea squad as Cup final XI confirmed
Abraham out on Wembley pitch
Azpilicueta backing for Kepa
Kepa Arrizabalaga will be starting for Chelsea against Leicester, with fellow countryman Cesar Azpilicueta confident that the Spanish goalkeeper can prove his worth after coming through some testing times.
The Blues skipper has told the club's official website: "When things are not going well, he is a close friend and I try to help him as much as I can.
"He has had good moments and bad moments, and this is when you see the reaction. I think Kepa has shown from the bad times that he has been working very hard trying to improve and learn from the goalkeeping coaches.
"We have many open conversations about everything. He has always felt that he can learn and push himself, he is still a young goalkeeper and I’m sure he still has a lot to offer. As a captain and a friend, I’ll help him as much as I can.
"The most important thing that we have is an amazing team of goalkeepers. We have Willy, Edou has been amazing since he has joined us, and Kepa. All three of them, for me it’s a position we have very well covered. I have full confidence in whoever steps in the goal because I see these guys in training every day."
Chelsea to raid FA Cup final opponents?
Chelsea are, according to Fichajes, mulling over a raid on FA Cup final opponents Leicester for James Maddison.
Manchester City are also said to be keen on the England international, who would add more creativity to Thomas Tuchel's ranks if a move were to be made.
Words of wisdom from Mount Snr
Mason Mount will be hoping to land himself an FA Cup winners' medal later on, with his father hoping that experiences from last season stand his son and the rest of Thomas Tuchel's side in good stead.
Tony Mount has told The Other Side Of The Coin on the advice he has been handing out: "I told Mason to send a picture of last year's losers medal to every single player on the team and tell them there's no way we're coming home with another one of these."
Chelsea came unstuck in the 2020 final against Arsenal, with Frank Lampard's team slipping to a 2-1 defeat.
Blues have plenty of FA Cup pedigree
Niamh Charles: From fan to Champions League finalist
Two years ago, Niamh Charles got her hands on tickets to watch her beloved Liverpool face Tottenham in the Champions League final. She is now preparing to take on Barcelona in a European showpiece of her own.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the 21-year-old has said: "I can hardly believe that it’s happening.
"If you’d told me when I was at that final in Madrid — let alone back in 2005 — that I’d be part of a squad playing in one, a few years later… well, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s incredible to be preparing for this and to be with a group of unbelievably experienced players, watching how they approach a match like this."
Charles added on taking inspiration from Liverpool full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson: "They are unbelievable players, attacking as well as defensively.
"But of course there are so many other players, too. I take little bits from everyone. At the end of the day, I’m me. I’m not trying to be them."
Vardy out to tick last box in FA Cup final
Today's final is likely to be far from a one-sided affair though, and Chelsea will be wise to watch the dangers of the evergreen Jamie Vardy, who says that victory at Wembley would tick the last box of his career with Leicester.
The 34-year-old becomes the first man to play in every round of the competition, following his non-league start, and has reflected on it, stating: "To have gone all the way from the bottom and played in every round just makes it even more interesting and me even more determined to try and get the win on Saturday."
"It just shows you that having the chance and working hard for it can really achieve things. I couldn't see any of this, not at all, when I first signed. But it's where the club wanted to go and what they wanted to achieve."
Sinclair reflects on 'best-ever' cup final
Former Blues and Foxes man Frank Sinclair enjoyed triumphs at the old Wembley Stadium with both clubs, and he's been reflecting on a League Cup victory over Middlesbrough in 1998 as his best-ever game.
"The form I took into that game was good and I made a couple of last-ditch tackles early on in the game," he has told the club's website.
"It definitely rivals winning the FA Cup the year before on a personal note. Scoring at Wembley is something very few people get to do so I treasure that."
Manager still 'angry' ahead of showpiece game
That said, the German has acknowledged that he remains frustrated by the manner of his side's defeat to Arsenal in their final game ahead of today's encounter, and that he is still dwelling on it.
An absolute shocker of a Jorginho backpass allowed the Gunners to snatch victory, in a result that has left the Blues at risk of missing out on the top four, alongside Leicester, with Liverpool prowling beneath them.
"I am not in the mode to enjoy it yet," Tuchel stated. "I still have a bit of a hangover from the last defeat. I am a bit angry."
Tuchel recalls old preparations ahead of FA Cup final
Thomas Tuchel has quipped about the time he used to go in goal to help break the ice ahead of cup finals with Borussia Dortmund, as he prepares to be the first German to manage in the FA Cup's showpiece game.
"I gave a lot of confidence to my players!" he told the club's official website. "[But] you cannot do it artificially, sometimes it happens, and anything that can mean laughter is always very welcome.
"But if you try too hard to make the group smile, it will not happen. It has to come naturally."
Rudiger ready for return of fans at FA Cup final
For the first time since the latest lockdown arrived, supporters will be allowed back into matches starting with today's FA Cup final, and Antonio Rudiger hopes that Chelsea will be able to feed off their energy.
‘We’ve really missed it because football is about fans,’ he told the club's official website. ‘It’s about emotions and it’s about the emotions of the fans.
‘When we had a few thousand fans earlier in the season, it was like “wow” because it was so loud so I can imagine what it will be like with 22,000. It’s great to have them back, definitely!'
Rudiger reflects on 2018 FA Cup triumph
Antonio Rudiger, an unsung hero of this Blues side if there is such a thing following their revival, was man of the match last time Chelsea won this trophy at Wembley, and he admits that it holds a special place in his heart for him.
"It was a special day,’ he has told the club's website. "It was the first club trophy that I won so it was very special and to experience it with the fans and a full stadium, against a big opponent like Manchester United, was really nice.
"We played really well as a team and defended very well but the man of the match award was not really something that special for me. It’s more important that we won the trophy as a team and we deserved it because we were very good in the FA Cup that season."
Cole backs Blues for FA Cup glory
Former Chelsea star Joe Cole, speaking in support of Budweiser's #SupportYourPubs campaign, has backed his old side to emerge victorious when they play Leicester in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
He said: "Both teams are excellent. The benefit Brendan [Rodgers] will have is that they’ve played in the Europa League, not the Champions League, and they got knocked out early, so he’s been able to mix the team around, but Chelsea have been really at it, competing at all fronts.
"So I think that might come into it but I fancy Chelsea to win the game, obviously."