It's been over 24 hours since Chelsea’s disappointing end to their FA Cup campaign versus Leicester at Wembley. Despite the heartache of Youri Tielemans’ 63rd minute winner, there are plenty of positives for fans as normality has resumed with more stadiums set to host supporters in the coming weeks.
From overpriced cans of beer to singing in the rain, it is safe to say football is back for supporters as the Blues enjoyed a day out at Wembley for the first time in over two years. Upon arriving in Wembley, two sets of fans flocked towards the home of football in good spirit as anticipation of the next 90 minutes began to build. The match day procedure seemed all too familiar considering the long period away from stadiums as general discussion and chants began to build close to the ground.
Fans were greeted with new steps to walk up which has replaced the iconic ‘Wembley way’ as fans began to filter towards their allotted turnstiles. Due to Covid restrictions, all supporters had to pass a lateral flow test 1-2 days before the fixture and had to provide evidence of this to staff before entering. The concourse was packed and large drink queues began to form as friends began to greet each other after over a year away from stadiums.
Slowly, seats were beginning to fill up in time for the national anthem and kick off. Both teams sold out their allocation with the majority of fans being placed in the lower tier and a minority scattered higher up. Although loud in the first half, the lethargy of the game combined with the poor Chelsea performance began to disrupt the atmosphere within the crowd as soaking wet Chelsea fans watched Tielemans’ strike putting Leicester ahead in the 63rd minute.
Despite there being half an hour still to play, it was clear Chelsea were likely to lose back-to-back finals with the team failing to produce many chances in a disappointing game of football. The last two games have humbled a Chelsea side who have been in scintillating form in the second half of the season as Thomas Tuchel will look to turn it around in the next three fixtures which ultimately define our season.
Despite the result, the mixing of supporters and catching up with old friends was a pleasant reminder of what football represents to match going fans. Although the team were disappointing, it's hard not to smile at the prospect of showing up every week, win, lose or draw supporting the team we all know and love.