Chelsea hosted Leicester City at Stamford Bridge and cruised on to victory within the first 35 minutes of the game with 2 goals, one from Diego Costa and one from Eden Hazard respectively. Leicester city improved their game in the second half, but it was too little coming too late. Chelsea grabbed another goal through Victor Mosses towards the end that effectively sealed the game in Chelsea’s favour with a score 3-0. Here are 5 major talking points from the Chelsea vs Leicester City tie.
1) Chelsea’s 3 at the back continues to impress
Chelsea’s second game with 3 at the back. After back to back defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, Conte had to do something different and shake up the squad. That main change was the formation change, with 3 at the back. This is the second game, where he has employed that formation and both the games Chelsea has won. Victor Mosses and Alonso look as if they have been tailored for this formation (I know it’s early times, but still).
2) Squad rotation by Ranieri backfired
Keeping Slimani and Mehrez in the bench was a big decision by Ranieri that backfired ultimately. Returning from the international break, Leicester has a set of 3 games in 7 days, including a Champions League home tie against FC Copenhagen. In order to keep everyone fresh, Ranieri decided a starting XI bereft of these 2. In their absence, Vardy cut a lonely figure and couldn’t avoid Chelsea’s domination.
3) Diego Costa managed to avoid a yellow card
All eyes were on Diego Costa as a yellow card in this game would’ve prevented him from taking part in the subsequent game against Manchester United. With 20 minutes to go for the final whistle, he shouted out to Conte to substitute him and prevent the possibility of a yellow card. But Conte had other plans and showed who the boss at the Bridge is, by keeping Costa on the field for the full game. Having said that, Costa had a good game by getting his name on the score sheet once and avoided any cards.
4) Leicester still haunted by the transfer of N’Golo Kante
Leicester City FC looks a shadow of the team in the previous season, the main reason being the absence of N’Golo Kante. He was a vital cog in their run last season and the fact that the same man controlled the midfield against them would indeed be hard to digest for the home team fans. In fact, Kante almost scored the third goal for Chelsea if not for a fantastic block by the Foxes captain Wes Morgan.
5) Stats in Brief
It was a deserved win and clean sheet for Chelsea. Only the second goal involved a little bit of luck, but was well capitalized by Eden Hazard.
Stats, Chelsea, Leicester City
Possession, 55%, 45%
Shots, 16, 5
Corners, 8, 5
Fouls, 6, 12
Important games in line
The next game for Chelsea is against Manchester United at home. With Chelsea temporarily moving on the 5th in the table, the race for the Top 4 has intensified. With Spurs, Gunners and Sky Blues playing at a different level, the fourth spot is likely to be one of Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea. Hence the next game between the Blues and Red Devils is an important one.
For Leicester City, the next game is a Champions League tie against FC Copenhagen at home. City has had a good run in the Champions League so far winning both their games, and is expected to proceed to the next round easily.