Thomas Tuchel enters the 2021-22 FA Cup final against Liverpool knowing that Chelsea will end their season without a domestic trophy if they do not triumph against the Premier League contenders.
A dramatically late Champions League quarterfinal exit to Real Madrid and an EFL Cup final shootout defeat to the Reds in February means the FA Cup is the only English trophy left for Chelsea to win before the season ends.
The Blues only need to avoid defeat or win one of their final two league matches of the season to guarantee qualifying for the 2022/23 Champions League, but the league otherwise holds little interest for fans.
Liverpool and Manchester City, who are competing for the Premier League title, have opened up an unassailable lead on Chelsea in the table. So what does Tuchel’s track record in the FA Cup tell us about Chelsea’s chances of victory at Wembley?
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What trophies has Thomas Tuchel won at Chelsea?
Few fans anticipated the impact Tuchel would have at Chelsea when he took over in 2021, having left Paris Saint-Germain under something of a cloud in late 2020.
Former boss Frank Lampard had steered Chelsea to the knockout stage of the Champions League, and Tuchel became an instant hero by guiding Chelsea past Atletico Madrid, Porto and Real Madrid before a crowning 1-0 win over Manchester City in the final.
Kai Havertz spurned the first penalty of the shootout in their subsequent UEFA Super Cup date with Villarreal, but Chelsea recovered to win 6-5 on spot-kicks and land Tuchel his second trophy with the Blues.
They added the FIFA Club World Cup in February 2022, winning in Abu Dhabi in a mini-tournament also involving Palmeiras, Al Ahly and Al Hilal. They could not add EFL Cup glory to the list, though, losing 11-10 on penalties to Liverpool after a goalless draw.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2022
What is Thomas Tuchel’s FA Cup record?
Lampard’s final game in charge of the club where he remains a legend was a 3-1 win at home to football league side Luton Town in the 2020-21 FA Cup.
In his first season in the competition, Tuchel then won three games to take Chelsea to the final, including a 1-0 win over Man City in the semifinal at Wembley.
Two weeks before the ecstasy of winning the Champions League, Chelsea underperformed in a 1-0 defeat to Leicester City in the FA Cup final in May 2021, when Youri Tielemans’ second-half strike made the difference.
Chelsea have won five games in the competition this season, although they needed extra time to scrape past third-tier Plymouth Argyle in the fourth round and only played Premier League opposition for the first time when they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in the semifinals.
That gives Tuchel an impressive overall record in the competition of eight wins, one draw and one defeat.
Looking to write another chapter this weekend. 📖
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2022
Has Thomas Tuchel ever won the FA Cup?
Despite turning Chelsea into a force on all fronts, the most high-profile domestic cup in England has eluded Tuchel during his short spell in London.
A winner of the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue during his time with PSG between 2018 and 2020, Tuchel would love to add another iconic national trophy to his list of honours.
The former defender also won the DFB-Pokal in Germany when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund during the 2016-17 season.
The pain of Chelsea’s EFL Cup final loss to Liverpool, when they were only beaten after goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the decisive spot-kick, could give Tuchel extra motivation to win the FA Cup for the first time.
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What is Chelsea’s record in the FA Cup?
Only Arsenal (14) and Manchester United (12) can better Chelsea’s total of eight FA Cup victories. They most recently lifted the trophy when Eden Hazard scored the only goal of the final against United in 2018.
Chelsea first won the FA Cup in nail-biting style in the 1969-70 season. After a 2-2 draw against Leeds United when their opponents had twice been ahead at Wembley, a replay at Old Trafford was settled by David Webb’s goal in a 2-1 win after extra time.
The club had to wait 27 years for their next FA Cup triumph, but they made up for it with a purple patch between 2007 and 2012, finishing with the silverware at Wembley in four seasons out of six.
Leicester scored with their only shot on target — a spectacular long-range effort from Tielemans — to win last season’s final after Chelsea had far more of the possession and attempts. Tenacious Tuchel will be hoping he does not end up lamenting their luck again after their latest appearance at Wembley.