Chelsea lucky to claim draw against fierce Foxes

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 8,262

Pin Conte will have been disappointed by his side's display. EFE/Archivo
Conte will have been disappointed by his side's display. EFE/Archivo

Chelsea lucky to claim draw against fierce Foxes

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 8,262

Chelsea were fortunate to claim a point against Leicester a Stamford Bridge on Saturday as Claude Puel's side put in an impressive display at the home of the champions.

A game between the last two Premier League champions was always going to be an interesting encounter and so it proved as the pair played out a pulsating game at the Bridge.

The visitors were the better side for long stages but failed to take advantage in a first half that was largely one-way traffic.

Shinji Okazaki had the first real chance of the game after eight minutes, but he could only lift an effort from six yards over the bar after excellent work from Ben Chilwell down the left.

The young left-back was heavily involved early on and barely 60 seconds later Jamie Vardy flicked a cross from the youngster into the side-netting.

Vardy flashed an effort across the face of goal before Thibaut Courtois was finally called into action with 12 minutes gone.

Riyad Mahrez’s corner from the right found its way to an unmarked Wilfred Ndidi but he was denied by a fine stop from the Belgian, before Aleksandar Dragovic saw his rebound blocked away to safety.

Mahrez was a constant thorn in the Chelsea side but he should have done better when he blazed over after a low cross from the left halfway through the first period.

- Chelsea's injury blow - 

The hosts lost captain Gary Chill to injury with 33 minutes gone, with more defensive upheaval not the ideal solution to the wave of Leicester attacks.

Both sides had chances to break the deadlock before half-time as Mahrez fizzed a beautiful low ball across the six-yard box, but no blue shirt was able to force the ball home, before Marc Albrighton fired just wide from the edge of the box.

At the other end, Cesc Fabregas forced Kasper Schmeichel into a save with a powerful drive from range, before Harry Maguire did well to get in between Fabregas and the ball after Eden Hazard had set the Spaniard away over the top.

Despite Leicester’s dominance, the two sides went in level at the break.

Chelsea didn’t exactly perk up after the break either, with the hosts started the second half as they had ended the first.

Mahrez continued to be at the heart of Leicester’s best stuff and could have had a penalty when he was felled by Andreas Christensen, but the referee was unmoved.

Just minutes later, the Algerian was inches from giving his side the lead as his effort from range deflected off Christensen but dropped narrowly wide with Courtois beaten.

- Gamechanger - 

The game then turned in the blink of an eye. The introductions of Pedro and Willian helped, but it was the dismissal of Chilwell for two yellow cards in quick succession that perked the hosts up.

Leicester were largely forced to defend for the final 22 minutes but they never looked like being sliced open as Chelsea resorted to efforts from range.

N’Golo Kante, Victor Moses and Tiemoue Bakayoko all took aim from outside the box, but only the former managed to hit the target and Schmeichel was equal to his effort.

Marcos Alonso had the final chance of the game but Schmeichel dealt with his free kick to ensure his side a share of the spoils.

 

 

The result means that Chelsea could lose ground on the top two, with Manchester City and Manchester United set to play on Sunday and Monday respectively. Leicester meanwhile, reinforced their place in the top-half and showed that they are no pushovers under Claude Puel.

Matt Morley

Matt Morley

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