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Ndidi makes amends to earn Leicester a point at Chelsea

Chelsea 1:1 Leicester City

1920 chelsea away

Wilfred Ndidi went from villain to hero at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, presenting Chelsea with the opening goal, and then nodding home the equaliser from a corner…

Brendan Rodgers made one change to his side for this Sunday afternoon trip to West London, with Fuchs coming in for the injured Chilwell.
City, resplendent in their new pink and black strip, soon found themselves under the cosh, as the pre-match fervour celebrating the return of Frank Lampard continued into the game.
Before the first minute was up Azpilicueta’s cross from the right was chested down by Giroud and Pedro lashed his shot into the side-netting.
A minute later Giroud set up Mount for a shot that was saved by Schmeichel, the City keeper recovered swiftly to block Pulisic’s follow up effort.
With City looking bewildered at the back Pulisic met the resulting corner with a near-post header that zipped across the face of goal.
When Chelsea took a 7th minute lead it already seemed overdue. As City played out from the back Ndidi dawdled too long on the ball and was robbed by Mount who stayed upright after being clipped by Ndidi and managed to stab the ball past a wrong-footed Schmeichel.
After the goal the pace relented a little and City began to slowly feel their way into the game. But Chelsea were still creating chances. In the 21st minute Mount got a head to a Azpilicueta cross but directed his effort straight at Schmeichel from the penalty spot.
Then an Emerson cross was back heeled by Giroud into the path of Kante, who was denied an 8 yard tap in when Fuchs flew in with an excellent last-ditch challenge.
At this stage City’s best chance had come when Kepa dithered over a clearance and Vardy chased him down, and the Chelsea keeper only just managed to prod the ball clear.
City had more of the possession in the closing stages of the first half, but were still struggling to create anything. A Maddison free-kick into the area that just evaded Ndidi was the closest they got.

The game turned on its head in the second half with City the better side and the chances had gone from famine to feast.
Maddison burst into the area down the left and rounded Kepa, but his cut back ball for Tielemans was intercepted by Mount.
After a corner was cleared Choudhury attempted a curling effort into the top corner, but it was too close to Kepa.
Maddison then twisted and turned his way past Christensen before delivering a cross/shot that flashed wide of the far post.
Inspired by Maddison it was all City now. Tielemans fired over from a corner, and then a Fuchs shot deflected over the keeper missing the bar by inches.
City made the breakthrough in the 67th minute, with Ndidi evading his marker and rising to meet Maddision’s flag kick with a thumping header that gave Kepa no chance.
Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 72nd minute, with debutant Praet replacing Choudhury.
A minute later City should have taken the lead. Praet send Fuchs in down the left and his cross into the area was touched in Maddison’s path by Pérez. Maddison created himself room for a shot but lifted it over the bar from 8 yards.
Chelsea had a rare chance when a Pedro chip missed Abraham’s head by a whisker, but City were soon threatening again. More good work from Praet in midfield saw Maddison breaking forward and he slipped Vardy in down the left, but the striker’s low angled drive went just beyond the far post.
With ten minutes remaining Albrighton came on for Pérez, as City pressed for a winner.
In the 88th minute another breakaway came from Praet winning the ball and finding Maddison (the third time he’d done this). Maddison fed Albrighton on the right and his precise cutback saw Tielemans connecting well with a first time effort that went straight at Kepa.
Seconds before the full time whistle Albrighton and Kepa were involved in a straight race for the ball which the Chelsea keeper narrowly won, and both sides had to be content with a point.
It had been a strange game, City could have been 3-0 down very early on, but were also genuinely disappointed not to have claimed victory.
Brendan Rodgers commented: “It was obviously a tough start for us in the game. Frank got a great reaction when he came back, which fed into the players and gave them momentum at the start of the game. But that tests you as a team, your spirit and resilience, so we had to hang in there for that opening 10-15 minutes But I thought after that, we regained our composure again, the decision-making in the first half could have been better at times with the final pass, but it’s a case of reinforcing that to the players, there were a couple of little items to look at at half-time. Second half, we were very, very good. Defensively, we didn’t give a way much, we were really tight in our organisation and we created a number of chances, and good chances, too, to win the game.”

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson, Kanté, Jorginho (Kovacic 71), Pedro, Mount, Pulisic (Willian 71), Giroud (Abraham 61). 
Substitutes: Alonso, Barkley, Caballero, Tomori.
Leicester: Schmeichel: Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Fuchs, Ndidi, Pérez (Albrighton 80), Tielemans, Choudhury (Praet 73), Maddison, Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho, Barnes.

Referee: Oliver Langford. Attendance: 40,629.

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End of Term feel as Leicester and Chelsea reach stalemate

Leicester City 0:0 Chelsea

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

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.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

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.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

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.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

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.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

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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Vardy strike seals fine Leicester victory at Chelsea

Chelsea 0:1 Leicester City

1819 chelsea away

City stunned Chelsea on Saturday with a huge team performance, and a goal from Jamie Vardy, being enough to earn the first win at Stamford Bridge in 18 years…

Claude Puel made eight changes to the line-up that drew with Manchester City in the League Cup, with Choudhury retaining his place in a five-man midfield.
It was a defensive set up that was happy to sit back as Chelsea probed for an early opening. There was an early scare when Luiz lofted a ball forward for Willian clear on goal but Schmeichel came out to meet him and neither made meaningful contact.
City’s first foray upfield came in the 12th minute. Maddison went over in the area but referee Lee Probert wasn’t interested. Albrighton then delivered a cross which Morgan headed wide.
Chelsea increased the pressure, but Kovacic fired a shot into the visitors’ section and then Luiz just failed to get his head to a flicked on corner from close in.
Azpilicueta then fired a shot well over, Hazard was judged to be narrowly offside as he went clear on goal, and a couple of corners were cleared as City’s defence stood firm.
Ndidi picked up a yellow card for sliding in on Hazard on the half hour.
Hazard recovered and soon wriggled through City’s defence before lashing a shot against the bar after Maguire had given the ball away.
Four minutes before the break Ndidi produced a fine 30-yard shot which Arrizabalaga tipped over the bar. As play swept up the other end Hazard and Kante combined to set up Willian, but Schmiechel saved.
Just before the break Jorginho struck a thunderous volley which Schmeichel punched away.
It had been one-way traffic, but City survived to half-time with their clean sheet intact.

The game turned on its head seven minutes into the second half when City delighted their followers by going ahead. It was a superb breaking move, Ricardo won the ball, made himself some space with a back-heel and then found Maddison who slipped Vardy through to smash the ball home.
Chelsea appeared to have run out of ideas at this stage with both Willian and Hazard sending long-range efforts straight at Schmeichel.
But then Hazard broke in down the left and delivered a blistering near post shot that Schmeichel did very well to get a hand to.
City were looking threatening on the break now, with Ricardo and Chilwell putting in a huge shift on the flanks. When Arrizabalaga made a hash of gathering a cross the ball dropped for Vardy but his back-heeled shot was blocked by a grounded Azpilicueta.
City were holding on to possession well now, and Choudhury was magnificent, snuffing out danger all over he middle of the park.
Albrighton then hit a well-struck 20-yarder but Arrizabalaga did well to see it through a crowded area and pull off a fine save.
Puel made a couple of changes to tired legs as the game moved into the final ten minutes, with Gray on for Maddison and then Iheanacho replacing Vardy.
City were managing the game well but had two big scares as went into time added on.
Rudiger headed wide from a Pedro corner when he should have buried the chance.
And then it looked like Chelsea had rescued a point when Alonso went clean through on Schmeichel. The City keeper was beaten by the shot, and the fans were up and celebrating, when the ball hit the inside of the post and flew across the goalmouth to safety.
The final whistle heralded a superb win for City, with the second half probably being their best performance of the season. It had been an energised and grittily determined display, with counter-attack once again proving to be this side’s forte.

Claude Puel responded to news stories about player unrest: “I have no comments about this. I do my work. It’s not always easy, but it’s important to analyse the games. You can’t always look at the table. We’ve not had the consistency. We’ve conceded some early goals and had some red cards. We had problems in first half , but had the mentality and quality after that. I was happy with our players today.”

It was a highly unlikely win for City, but ensured a Merry Christmas… Manchester City up next.

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, David Luiz, Alonso, Kanté, Jorginho (Fàbregas 75), Kovacic (Loftus-Cheek 61), Pedro, Hazard, Willian (Giroud 61).
Substitutes: Fàbregas, Barkley, Caballero, Zappacosta, Cahill.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Choudhury, Mendy,
Ndidi, Albrighton, Vardy (Iheanacho 84), Maddison (Gray 82).
Substitutes: Evans, Ward, Okazaki, Iborra, Fuchs.

Referee: Lee Probert. Attendance: 40,558.

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Chelsea edge Leicester out of the Cup in extra time

Leicester City 1:2 Chelsea aet

1718 chelsea home fac e

A Pedro header in extra-time settled a classic cup-tie in Chelsea’s favour at the KPS on Sunday evening…

Claude Puel made two changes to his side, with Iheanacho and Albrighton in for Okazaki and Gray, as City attempted to reach their first FA Cup semi-final since 1982.
The game moved from end to end almost from the start, and City went close in the 3rd minute. A low Simpson cross from the right found Albrighton, whose half-volley flew a yard wide of the right hand post.
City then looked exposed as Chelsea broke forward, but Willian over-hit his pass.
Morgan got his head to two corners, but the first deflected off Rudiger’s shoulder and the second cleared the bar.
Moses incurred the wrath of the home crowd, twice falling over in the hope of a free-kick, neither of which fooled the ref.
Ndidi then launched a long-range shot that was too close to Caballero to trouble him.
Morata began to look threatening, but sent one shot straight at Schmeichel and then sent a header over the bar from a decent position.

1718 chelsea home fac f

In the 36th minute Maguire’s through ball set up a race between Vardy and Caballero, which the Chelsea keeper narrowly won.
The box to box nature of the game was summed up when Chelsea took a 42nd minute lead. Mahrez was crowded out by three defenders as he attempted to get into the area, and Chelsea broke swiftly with Willian easing round Chilwell and racing upfield.
His perfect pass to Morata took three defenders out of the equation and the Spaniard produced a cool finish to beat Schmeichel, ending a thirteen game goal drought.

City started the second half in a more attacking frame of mind and Chelsea looked stretched. A minute into the second half Caballero’s clearance went straight to Mahrez, but his long range shot at an empty goal was high, wide and not very handsome.
In the 53rd minute a delightful chip from Ndidi found Vardy between the two centre-halves, but he ballooned his header over the bar.
As City pressed forward Albrighton attempted a snap-shot from a tight angle but Caballero fielded it comfortably.
At the other end Moses sent a dangerous cross, into the goalmouth but Schmeichel’s touch took it away from the waiting Morata.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 68th minute, bringing Okazaki on for Iheanacho.
There was a lengthy stoppage when Moses caught Iborra in the face with an elbow, and City seemed more switched on after the restart, grabbing a 76th minute equaliser.
Mahrez ghosted past Kante and Alonso down the right and cut the ball back to Vardy whose shot was blocked. Iborra seized on the rebound, which was also blocked, but came back to him for another shot which was well saved by Caballero. The loose ball fell for Vardy who blasted it home from close range.

1718 chelsea home fac d

City had their tails up now and three minutes after the goal Okazaki was a couple of inches away from putting a finishing touch to Chilwell’s cross.
City looked the more likely winners at this stage, but Caballero got down well to save a Vardy shot after he’d been sent through by Maguire.
Schmeichel then made two fine saves in as many seconds, twice denying Morata from close range.
Moses’ flying elbows claimed another victim in time-added-on and Albrighton had to be treated for a nosebleed, though Craig Pawson didn’t allow more added time for the lengthy stoppage.
So extra-time awaited for an already freezing crowd.

Pedro replaced Willian, just two minutes after the restart, before VAR was used for the first time after Fàbregas claimed an assault by Vardy.
With both teams looking leggy, Chelsea regained the lead in the 105th minute.
Kante chipped a ball into the area, Schmeichel came racing off his line to claim it, but Pedro nipped in ahead of him to nod the ball into an empty net.

1718 chelsea home fac b

For the second half of extra-time, Puel replaced Iborra and Simpson with Silva and Diabaté, and City had a quarter of an hour to keep their cup hopes alive.
Two minutes into the final period City won a free-kick 35 yards out.
Silva back-heeled it for Mahrez who lofted it into the area, Okazaki nodded it on for Maguire who blasted it across the goalmouth. It went just behind Diabate at the far post but got fed back to Mahrez who had a fierce shot blocked by Kante. The loose ball fell for Diabate but his shot was blocked by Moses.
As play raced to the other end Kante had a shot brilliantly blocked by Albrighton, City’s Man of the Match.
Puel’s final change saw Gray on for Albrighton, but Chelsea were in full time-wasting mode now and play was broken up.
Despite Craig Pawson pointing to his watch every time a Chelsea player went down, or took an age to take a free-kick he only added one minute on, and the final whistle brought loud booing from the stands and an inquest between the City players and the ref.

1718 chelsea home fac c

Sadly, a real opportunity to chase the one trophy that has always eluded City was missed, and the disappointment wasn’t eased when Chelsea drew Southampton in the post-match semi-final draw.

Claude Puel wasn’t impressed with the mysterious time-keeping: “They waste a lot of time and there was just one minute at the end. I think it was harsh. It would have been important to come back in the game. But they were trying to keep the result and to waste time because they have a lot of experience We can have more time to try to come back.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Diabaté 105), Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Iborra (Silva 105). Ndidi, Albrighton (Gray 115), Iheanacho (Okazaki 68), Vardy. Substitutes: Hamer, Dragovic, Fuchs.
Chelsea: Caballero, Azpilicueta, Christensen (Cahill 101), Rüdiger, Moses, Kanté, Bakayoko (Fàbregas 45) Alonso, Willian (Pedro 92) Hazard, Morata (Giroud 105)
Substitutes: Zappacosta, Emerson, Eduardo.

Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 31,792.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester have to settle for a point at Chelsea

Chelsea 0:0 Leicester City 

1718 chelsea away

City earned a point at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but were the much the better side until Ben Chilwell’s dismissal…

Claude Puel made seven changes to the side that drew at Fleetwood, with Vardy returning from injury, but Silva left out of the squad.
Chelsea had a couple of early attacking moves, with shots from Kanté and Moses being blocked, but then City got a grip on the game and didn’t let go.
In the 7th minute a great run by Chilwell saw him get in behind the Chelsea defence on the left and tee up Okazaki at the near post, but he sent his shot on the stretch wide.
A minute later Chilwell delivered another ball from the left, but Vardy’s attempted flick found the side-netting.
City were all over the Champions at this point and Vardy, sent through by James, then fired a low drive across Courtois that went narrowly wide.
Moments later Vardy fired in a cross for Okazaki at the near post but his touch was blocked. From the resulting corner the ball bounced up for Ndidi, but his header was tipped away by Courtois, James’ follow-up shot being charged down by Rüdiger.
Chelsea then broke forward and Schmeichel had his palms stung by a Fàbregas shot, but City were soon pushing forward again. An Albrighton cross from the left found Mahrez in space on the edge of the area, but he got his shot all wrong and sent the ball into the top tier.
A fine ball from Mahrez then sent Vardy through, but his miscued shot went well wide of the right hand post.
The home side were forced into a change after 32 minutes when Cahill limped off to be replaced by Christensen.
Morata then wriggled past a challenge on the goal-line, but his shot was blocked by Schmeichel at the near post.
Mahrez was having a superb game and ghosted round Rüdiger down the right before firing a low shot across the goalmouth, but no black shirts were in the six yard box.
Okazaki had a shot on the turn blocked, before Albrighton latched onto the loose ball and fired it wide of the left hand post.
As half-time approached Fàbregas saw his shot tipped over by Schmeichel.
0-0 at the break, and after a superb display you wondered if a stat of 12 shots (only one on target) would come back to haunt City later in the game.

However, the second half continued in much the same vein, with City pressing forward and Chelsea looking disjointed.
City earned a couple of early free-kicks, but James had a shot blocked from Mahrez’s delivery, and Albrighton sent the second one drifting wide.
There were big shouts for a penalty in the 54th minute when Mahrez dribbled through the Chelsea defence before tumbling over a Christensen challenge, but the ref was right to wave play on.
Mahrez was loudly booed as he cut in from the right and loosed a shot on goal that struck Christensen and span narrowly wide of the right hand post.
There was more booing from a frustrated home corwd when Hazard was replaced by Pedro in the 58th minute.
The game had a more physical edge now and Kanté got an overdue yellow, before Okazaki and Chilwell followed him into the book.
Sadly for Chilwell, and for an intriguing game, he received another yellow just five minutes later. It was unfortunate, with Chilwell only having eyes for the ball, but Moses arrived on the scene and was caught in the shin by a raised foot.
This changed the pattern of the game, with Fuchs brought on for Okazaki and City now defending a point. But this they did very well.
Schmeichel fielded a low shot from Willian, and then Bakayoko sent a shot well wide.
In the final ten minutes Puel brought Gray on for Vardy and then Iborra for the injured James.
City defended doggedly, frustrating the Champions, and the only nervy moment came in time added on when Chelsea were award a free-kick 25 yards out. Alonso’s well struck effort was heading for the bottom right hand corner, but Schmeichel got down to it well and tipped it behind.
Moses then attempted a shot that was nearer the corner flag than the goal, and City had earned a rare point at Stamford Bridge.
It had been a fine performance that could have seen a win, but a point away at Chelsea was most welcome.

Claude Puel commented: “Of course it’s a good reward after playing 10 against 11 at the end. But we deserved the point and perhaps more with all the chances we had. In the first half it was crazy not to find the possibility to score. They have had some opportunities but with all the good moves we make on the pitch, with quality and good chances…It’s a little disappointment because we had a lot of chances without finding the clinical edge, but it’s good for the confidence.”

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill (Christensen 33), Rüdiger, Moses, Fàbregas (Willian 58), Kanté, Bakayoko, Alonso, Hazard (Pedro 58), Morata.
Substitutes: Caballero, ZappacostaBatshuayiDavid Luiz.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, James (Iborra 90), Albrighton, Okazaki (Fuchs 73), Vardy (Gray 82).
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Hamer, Slimani, Benalouane.
Referee: M Jones. Attendance: 41,552.

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Kante strike sees Leicester edged out by Chelsea

Leicester City 1:2 Chelsea

1718 chelsea home a

Goals from Morata and Kante were enough to ease Champions Chelsea to victory over City at the KPS on Saturday.

With Okazaki suffering from jet lag after international duty, Slimani made the starting line-up, the only change to Craig Shakespeare’s side. Adrien ’14 seconds’ Silva watched from the stands, and Danny Drinkwater from the Chelsea bench.
In a lively opening spell Morata saw his shot saved by Schmeichel, while Vardy’s low cross from the left flashed across the goalmouth with no blue shirt on hand to apply a finishing touch.
Vardy then chased down Courtois after the Chelsea keeper took a poor first touch to a back pass, but the clearance was made with inches to spare.
Chelsea then settled into their stride and City had some defending to do, with Morgan producing a couple of vital blocks to keep them at bay.

1718 chelsea home c

In the 25th minute City broke upfield and Mahrez set up Vardy for a shot across Courtois that beat the far post by a couple of yards.
Morgan then produced another good block to deny Morata.
Chances were rare for City, with Chelsea dominating possession,  but they should have taken the lead five minutes before the break.
Mahrez raced upfield, with Vardy unmarked on his left, but as the Chelsea defence caught up he opted to pass to Slimani whose shot was brilliantly saved by Courtois.
A minute later this missed opportunity was compounded when Chelsea took the lead.
Azpilicueta delivered an inch perfect cross from the right and Morata rose above Morgan to plant a header past Schmeichel.
As City pressed forward looking for an instant reply James had a shot blocked by Bakayoko.
In a sudden heavy shower, the last action of the half saw Schmeichel save a well-struck Moses effort.

1718 chelsea home b

Craig Shakespeare had a reshuffle at the break, bringing Gray and King on for Slimani and Albrighton, but City went two goals down five minutes into the second half.
Kante was given an acre of space to line up a 25 yard shot which Schmeichel saw late, and it crept beyond his reach into the bottom left hand corner.
City had a big job on now, and Chelsea were content to sit back and let them try to pick their way through with everyone behind the ball.
After much sideways passing to little effect City got a break on the hour when Courtois clumsily upended Vardy in the box.
Although it looked as though Mahrez wanted to claim the spot kick, before James dissuaded him, Vardy placed the ball and crashed it home.

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With City pressing forward in search of an equaliser referee Lee Mason then angered the home crowd following a clash of heads between James and Willian, that looked like a foul on the City player. Not only did Mason proceed with a drop ball, but he told Vardy it couldn’t be contested, somewhat exceeding his juristiction.
Iheanacho then replaced James as City looked to strengthen their forward line.
Although Willian went close with a couple of efforts, City piled on the pressure with time running out.
Vardy was inches short of getting his head to a King cross, and the Chelsea defence dealt with crosses from Fuchs and Gray.

The final whistle heralded a third defeat in four games which, despite the toughness of the opening fixtures, was not a good start to the season.

Craig Shakespeare summed up:  “When we got back to 2-1 we just couldn’t find that final bit that was required to get something from the game and I just feel at the moment the big moments aren’t going our way.”

With City at the wrong end of the table, some big moments need to start going their way soon.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, James (Iheanacho 78), Albrighton (King 45), Slimani (Gray 45), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Hamer, Amartey, Ulloa.
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rüdiger, Moses (Zappacosta 74), Kanté, Bakayoko, Alonso, Pedro (Willian 63), Fàbregas (Hazard 78), Morata. Subs Not Used: Caballero, Drinkwater, Batshuayi, Christensen.
Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 30,923.


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Leicester outplayed by leaders Chelsea

Leicester City 0:3 Chelsea

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City were no match for Chelsea at the KPS on Saturday evening, the league leaders easing the Champions out with a comfortable 3-0 win…

Claudio Ranieri made three changes to his side with Vardy, Fuchs and Musa returning for Simpson, Ulloa and Gray.
The 3-5-2 formation was tailored to combat Chelsea’s game, but seemed to be an awkward fit that took the players time to adapt to. Although it was City who almost took a second minute lead with their first attack.  Musa battled his way past Azpilicueta on the left and fired in a shot from a tight angle that Courtois managed to block.
But Chelsea took a 6th minute lead with City’s defence all at sea. Azpilicueta hoisted a ball into the box which City’s back-line failed to clear despite having two touches. Hazard squared neatly to the unmarked Alonso who curled the ball round Schmeichel and in at the far post.

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City bounced back with a decent attacking spell which saw a number of well delivered crosses from Albrighton. One just went behind Vardy, one was headed wide by Chilwell, and the others were snuffed out by Chelsea’s defence.
In the 36th minute, Vardy turned Cahill on the right and fizzed in a low cross which Courtois did well to tip away from Musa.
Chelsea should have gone 2-0 up just before the break when Hazard set Pedro up, but he blazed his chance over from 15 yards.

City had just about matched the best side in the country for 45 minutes, but sadly that wasn’t the case after the break and the game was gone when Alonso repeated his trick of a sixth minute goal.
A Willian free-kick from the right was cleared only as far as Alonso in the D and he was given time to line up a shot that deflected in off Morgan, taking it past Schmeichel’s outstretched hand.

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An impressive Chelsea were in complete control of the game at this stage
and Morgan did well to deny Hazard as he attempted to pick his way through the defence.
Ranieri made his first change on the hour, bringing Okazaki on for Huth.
Chelsea continued to pass their way round City: Cahill had an overhead kick blocked by Morgan and then Alonso came within three inches of a hat trick, sending a low shot just wide of the post.
Chelsea put the game beyond doubt in the 71st minute. Kante played the ball into the area, Pedro cleverly backheeled on the spin to Willian on the right, his cross span up off Schmeichel and Pedro was on hand to nod the ball past Morgan.

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The rest of the game was a training exercise played out in an emptying stadium.
City’s second half performance had been truly woeful.

Claudio Ranieri didn’t appear to agree with the concensus of opinion: “I’m happy with the performance – we tried to do our best. Of course, I’m not happy that we conceded a goal at the beginning of the first half and the beginning of the second half, but if you take out those two goals, the match was good for us. We closed the space, we mirrored Chelsea with a 3-5-2 and it was good.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Morgan, Huth (Okazaki 60), Fuchs, Chilwell, Mendy, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton (Simpson 77), Musa (Gray 71), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Wasilewski, King, Kapustka.
Chelsea: Courtois, Alonso, Kante, Hazard (Fabregas 79), Pedro (Loftus-Cheek 84), Moses, Matic, Willian (Batshuayi 84), Cahill, Azpilicueta, Luiz. Subs Not Used: Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Chalobah.

Referee: A Marriner. Attendance: 32,066.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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