Leicester City 0:0 Chelsea
Leicester and Chelsea failed to trouble the scoreboard in a low-key end to the season at the King Power Stadium on Sunday…
Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged side, City’s only change being the first airing of next season’s Adidas kit, reverting back to white shorts.
It was a game played out in bright sunshine with City lacking their usual zip and Chelsea’s minds firmly on the Europa League Final.
Chelsea should have gone ahead in the 3rd minute when City’s defence were caught out by a Jorginho chip into the box that found Barkley unmarked, but Schmeichel stood up well and the shot clipped his shoulder.
Four minutes later Chelsea threatened again when Zappacosta crossed from the right but Loftus-Cheek couldn’t get his header on target.
City’s first chance came in the 9th minute when a clearance fell for Choudhury on the edge of the area, but he volleyed over the bar.
Chilwell was the next to try his luck but his 20 yarder went straight at Caballero.
City gradually got control of the game and, following a corner, Tielemans struck a long range effort but it went straight at Caballero again.
The Chelsea keeper didn’t have to move to collect the next effort either, a header from Vardy.
After a fairly uneventful first half both sides spurned gilt-edged chances in the final minute. Luiz slipped over to allow Vardy in down the left, but he opted to pass to Tielemans instead of shooting and there was too much weight on the ball. Tielemans shot from a tight angle at the far post was smothered by Caballero.
As play moved up the other end Willian fed Alonso, whose cross set up Higuain with a sitter from six yards but his attempted back heel went wrong and the ball trundled wide of the left hand post.
City pressed forward early in the second half and a wayward ball sent Vardy haring down the left. As he shaped to shoot Azpilicueta gave him a sly nudge and all City got was a corner. The flag-kick was cleared as far as Tielemans, 30 yards out, and though he connected beautifully with a half-volley it went narrowly wide.
The game returned to its lacklustre pace. Barkley, in plenty of space, sent a shot well wide, while City were failing to create any chances.
There was a rousing rendition of ‘Vichai Had a Dream’ in the 61st minute, and then huge cheers when Brendan Rodgers made his first change, bringing on Okazaki for his farewell appearance in place of Ndidi.
Chelsea also made a change bringing on Hazard, who also received applause for his part in our title win.
Ten minutes later Simpson also came on for his last appearance in a City shirt, replacing Albrighton for another warm reception.
In the 80th minute Chilwell went on a long run that ended with him cutting a ball back from the byline, but it evaded all the onrushing blue shirts.
With seven minutes remaining there was a scramble in the City area which saw Loftus-Cheek playing a ball to Hazard but he was flattened by Evans who thankfully also got the ball.
Barnes replaced Maddison for the final five minutes, and set up Tielemans for a shot that the Belgian fired well over the bar.
The final whistle brought an end to a game lacking in incident, but the vast majority of the crowd remained in place for the lap of appreciation. There were special tributes for the departing Immortals Danny Simpson and Shinji Okazaki, while Top led the lap of the pitch to huge applause.
City finished the season in 9th place which, considering everything, wasn’t too bad at all.
Brendan Rodgers was already thinking about next season: “We beat Arsenal, played well against Manchester City and got a point today. People thought we would not get any points from the last three games. It’s been a nice induction into the club – the players have been good, the supporters. We’ll now add that bit of depth to the squad.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi (Okazaki 66), Albrighton (Simpson 76), Tielemans, Choudhury, Maddison (Barnes 84), Vardy.
Substitutes: Morgan, Gray, Iheanacho, Ward.
Chelsea: Caballero, Zappacosta, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Alonso, Barkley (Kovacic 76), Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Higuaín (Giroud 84), Willian (Hazard 69).
Substitutes: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Emerson, Guehi.
Referee: Anthony Taylor. Attendance: 32,140.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
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