Leicester City 1:3 Chelsea
Despite a half-time lead, City’s winning run was halted by champions-in-waiting Chelsea at the KPS on Wednesday night…
Despite the rumours that he might field a weakened team against the best side in the country Nigel Pearson retained the starting XI that won at Burnley, and they competed very well with Chelsea despite a couple of first half set-backs.
In the 18th minute King’s 300th appearance for City ended prematurely when he limped off to be replaced by James; and then, just six minutes later, Huth had to go off after unsuccessfully trying to run off an earlier knock , with De Laet coming on and Wasilewski moving into the middle.
In a tight game Chelsea had the first real chance in the 29th minute when Willian set up Drogba who fired his shot off-target.
James then cleared a Fàbregas cross as Chelsea began to get their attacking game together, but it was City who ended the half on top.
An Albrighton cross found Konchesky, but his effort was well saved by Čech. The ball remained in the danger area and a goalmouth scramble ensued with Cambiasso setting up Albrighton, for a shot that was blocked by Cahill before the visitors’ defence finally managed to scramble it clear.
But City lifted the roof off the KPS taking the lead on the stroke of half-time. James sent Vardy in down the left and his low cross saw a slip from Azpilicueta, allowing Albrighton to pick his spot past Cech.
The stadium was buzzing during the half time interval, but sadly reality kicked in soon after the restart. In the 48th minute Ivanović’s square ball to Drogba was fired home from 12 yards to put Chelsea back on level terms.
Drogba should have made it 2-1 soon after when City’s defence were unzipped again, but this time he sent his shot sailing over the bar.
Although City never matched the heights of their first half performance, when they were the equal of Chelsea they held out until the 79th minute. Then a Fàbregas corner was nodded on by Cahill, and although Schmeichel got a touch to it the ball landed for Terry who couldn’t miss from close in.
Four minutes later, Chelsea struck again when Fàbregas set up Ramires, for a fine finish from the edge of the area.
This was a great shame after City’s first half performance but much encouragement could be taken for May’s four ‘cup finals’ that will decide City’s destiny, although the injuries remained a worry.
Sadly another Nigel Pearson post-match press conference descended into farce and that was to become the only talking point of the evening…
Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth (De Laet 24), Morgan, Albrighton, King (James 18), Cambiasso, Drinkwater, Konchesky, Vardy (Mahrez 76), Ulloa. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Hammond, Wood, Kramarić.
Chelsea: Čech, Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires (Zouma 84), Matić, Willian, Fàbregas (Mikel 90), Hazard (Cuadrado 88), Drogba. Subs Not Used: Courtois, Filipe Luís, Ake, Oscar.
Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 32,021.