Tag Archives: chelsea

Kante strike sees Leicester edged out by Chelsea

Leicester City 1:2 Chelsea

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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.

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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.

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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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Chelsea inflict more travel sickness on Leicester

Chelsea 3:0 Leicester City

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City came a distant second in this meeting of the last two Premier League Champions, with Chelsea cruising to a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday…

Claudio Ranieri employed some squad rotation, with Tuesday’s Champions League game against Copenhagen in mind, and  Hernández, Schlupp and Musa replaced Simpson, Mahrez and Slimani in the starting line-up.
Chelsea dominated from the start, and had the lead by the 7th minute.
Once again, it was a from a set-piece with Hazard’s near post corner from the right flicked on by Matic. Costa, deserted by a frozen Morgan, had half the penalty area to himself as he strolled in to put the home side ahead.
The rest of the half was played almost entirely in City’s half, with Vardy and Musa completely starved of possession.
A second goal for the Blues looked almost inevitable and there was a close call in the 28th minute. Huth was booked for a foul on Hazard 25 yards out and Luiz sent his dipping free kick against the left hand post.
Antonio Conte’s side doubled their lead in the 33rd minute, and although they enjoyed a stroke of luck, City’s defence lacked any authority. Huth and Hernandez got in a tangle trying to get to Matic’s through ball. It fell for Pedro, who set up Hazard. A lucky deflection saw the Belgian through and he rounded Schmeichel before netting with a shot that just evaded Fuchs last-ditch attempted block.

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City’s first chance came in the 38th minute, when Vardy met a Hernandez near post cross, but Luiz managed to intervene.
Luiz then delivered another tricky, swerving free-kick, which Schmeichel punched clear.
City had plenty to think about at half time after a desperately poor first half performance in which they had chased shadows and created next to nothing.

Chelsea had loud penalty appeals turned down just seconds into the second half when a Pedro shot struck Fuchs raised arm, but there was a distinct improvement in their play.
City had penalty appeals of their own turned down a couple of minutes later when Schlupp was baulked by Moses as he charged into the penalty area, but Andre Marriner waved play on again.
In City’s best spell of the game, Musa and Albrighton both missed the target with shots.
Chelsea wasted a 57th minute chance to seal the game when Kante went on an energetic run down the left, before setting up Moses. Schmeichel produced a fine save to keep City in the game.

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Although City didn’t manage an on-target effort all game, they went close in the 62nd minute with a bit of help. Albrighton delivered a low cross from the right and Luiz lunged in with a block to deny Vardy, waiting in front of goal, the ball firmly striking the right hand post with Courtois beaten.
Claudio Ranieri made his first changes in the 67th minute with Slimani on for Musa, and Mahrez replacing Schlupp.
What would have been a very painful goal was avoided in the 73rd minute when Morgan did very well to block a Kante shot from close in.
However, Chelsea’s third arrived with ten minutes to go. Moses cut in from the right and passed Chalobah with his back to goal. A brilliant backheel unlocked City’s defence and Moses beat Schmeichel from close in.

City have still to pick up a point on their travels this season, but Claudio Ranieri made no apology for his team selection: “The Premier League is one year long. Champions League is two months, in or out. We want to go in the knockout in Champions League or Europa League. To achieve this you have to have all your players fit and I prefer to preserve some players for Tuesday night.”

Chelsea: Courtois, Alonso, Kante, Hazard (Loftus-Cheek 81), Pedro (Chalobah 68), Moses (Aina 81), Diego Costa, Matic, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Luiz. Subs Not Used: Begovic, Batshuayi, Terry, Solanke.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Hernández, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Amartey, Albrighton (King 74), Schlupp (Mahrez 67), Musa (Slimani 67), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Zieler, Simpson, Gray, Ulloa

Referee: A Marriner. Attendance: 41,547.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester fall at the first after Chelsea comback

Leicester City 2:4 Chelsea

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A two goal lead against Chelsea wasn’t enough to see City into the next round of the League Cup on Tuesday night at the KPS…

Claudio Ranieri made 7 changes to his starting line-up for this third round tie with only Zieler, Simpson, Morgan and Drinkwater retaining their places.
Chelsea also started with four player from their last outing and were on the front foot in the early stages. They had the ball in the net in the 4th minute but Pedro fell foul of a tight offside decision.
Chelsea then had a penalty appeal turned down when Wasilewski appeared to handle a Pedro cross, with City looking stretched.
After a quarter of an hour City’s first opportunity came when a Cahill error saw Musa charging towards goal, but the defender managed to recover for a face-saving challenge.
For all Chelsea’s early pressure, it was City who took a 17th minute lead.
A Musa cross wasn’t dealt with by the visitors defence and Okazaki stole in at the right hand post to nod the ball home.

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City were running the show now and doubled their lead in the 34th minute. Okazaki struck again from the same place, this time with a clever finish, struck downwards and over Begovic.
Gray then went close with a rasping shot, but some of the good work was undone when Chelsea pulled a goal back just before the half-time whistle. Cahill headed home a Fabregas corner, the ball over the line before Drinkwater’s clearance rebounded in off Luiz.

Four minutes into the second half Chelsea were level when a half clearance fell for Azpilicueta, who lashed an unstoppable volley into the top  right hand corner.
As City pressed to regain their lead there were loud penalty appeals when Gray went over after an Azpilicueta challenge, but referee Bobby Madley waved play on.

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The game changed in the 67th minute when Antonio Conte brought Costa on, and he put himself about as only Costa can.
He soon had a golden chance, putting a shot beyond Zieler but also the post.
City then missed a couple of great chances of their own. The first saw Musa in on goal after a Luiz mistake, but Begovic produced a fine save to deny his lofted effort. The second saw King plant a header wide at the far post when it looked easier to score.
Claudio Ranieri made his first changes in the 75th minute,  bringing on Ulloa for Okazaki, and Vardy for Musa.
Costa then breached the centre of City’s defence but Zieler produced a good save.
The German keeper then denied an increasingly dangerous looking Costa with a double save moments later.
With extra-time looming City were reduced to ten men after a reckless barge by  Wasilewski on Costa. It was the Pole’s second yellow and City were now up against it.

The extra-time that no one wanted was made more annoying when a great move ended with a Fabregas goal two minutes after the restart.
It was then game over when Febregas made it 4-2 with another excellent strike two minutes later.
The rest of extra-time was played at a pedestrian pace, with both sides knowing that Chelsea were in the fourth round.

Although it was disappointing to lose after being two goals ahead, no one will mourn this extra burden on the fixture list for too long.

Leicester: Zieler, Simpson, Wasilewski, Morgan, Chilwell, Drinkwater, King, Gray (Amartey 90), Schlupp, Musa (Vardy 76), Okazaki (Ulloa 75). Subs Not Used: Hamer, Benalouane, Mahrez, Kapustka.
Chelsea: Begovic, Alonso, Fabregas, Pedro (Hazard 89), Loftus-Cheek (Costa 67), Moses, Matic, Batshuayi (Chalobah 80), Cahill, Azpilicueta, Luiz. Subs Not Used: Kante, Courtois, Willian, Aina.

Referee: R Madley. Attendance: 29,899.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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Leicester end greatest ever season with a draw at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 1:1 Leicester City

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A 1-1 draw, thanks to a Danny Drinkwater blockbuster, at Stamford Bridge on Sunday was enough to see City finish an incredible 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League…

Claudio Ranieri, who returned to a very warm welcome at his former club, made two changes for his final line-up of the season, with Gray and Drinkwater in for Albrighton and Okazaki.
The game unfolded at a strange, almost pre-season friendly pace, and Chelsea were the first to threaten, with Pedro sending a shot across goal and within a whisker of the right hand post.
At the other end a firm header from Wasilewski sent Vardy off on a run, but his shot also narrowly beat the right hand post.
Gray, starting in the Premier League for the first time, had a curling effort on goal, and then tested Courtois with a low shot.
Schmeichel was then the busier keeper up to the break. He saved a Fabregas effort, and then got down well to a low Willian shot from close range, before denying Fabregas and Baba to keep the game scoreless at the break.

Claudio Ranieri made two changes for the second half, with Schlupp on for King and Okazaki replacing Gray.
A shot from Vardy and an Okazaki header from an improved City failed to test Courtois, while Morgan produced a fine saving tackle to prevent sprightly sub Abraham from going clear on goal.
Chelsea finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute, when Matic tripped over a grounded Schlupp in the area. Fabregas sent Schmeichel the wrong way with a halting run-up to put the home side ahead.
However, City were not to suffer their fourth defeat of the season, summoning up an equaliser with 8 minutes remaining. Drinkwater received the ball 30 yards out, took a touch and then fired a swerving shot beyond Courtois. A fitting goal to end a fine season.

Both teams seemed fairly happy with a 1-1 draw and the final whistle on a happy sun-drenched afternoon saw City finish 10 points clear of second placed Arsenal.

Claudio Ranieri summed up a season when Leicester shocked the football world:
“We weren’t super consistent, but the other teams they go up, they go down. Our strength was that every match for us was the last match. We played with this mentality. A winning mentality – but also that this is the last match. Of course, we are all happy because we lost just three matches all season. It is an amazing achievement. It was important for us to be ready when the other big teams were not.”

We will never forget this incredible, unbelievable 2015-16 season. Thank you to the manager, players, coaching staff, owners and fans who made it possible.

Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic (Tomori 60), Cahill, Azpilicueta, Baba, Fabregas, Hazard, Traore (Abraham 53), Pedro (Loftus-Cheek 53), Matic, Willian. Subs Not Used: Begovic, Oscar, Pato, Kenedy.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Wasilewski, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Kanté, King (Schlupp 46), Mahrez (Albrighton 80), Gray (Okazaki 46), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Amartey, Chilwell, Ulloa.

Referee: C Pawson Attendance: 41,494.

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Leicester beat Champions to regain top spot

Leicester City 2:1 Chelsea

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Goals from Vardy and Mahrez saw City topping the Premier League table again with a 2-1 victory over champions Chelsea at the KPS on Monday night….
Claudio Ranieri made no changes to the side that won at Swansea for this much-anticipated meeting, though he was forced into one after just 16 minutes.
Mahrez slipped past two markers before testing Courtois with a low shot soon after kick off and then Morgan blocked a dangerous Hazard effort.
But then Drinkwater appeared to pull his hamstring and after a fruitless attempt to carry on he was replaced by King.
This didn’t have an effect on City who were the better side throughout the first half. Mahrez forced another save from Courtois and then Kanté curled an effort narrowly over from the edge of the area.

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City deservedly took the lead in the 34th minute, Mahrez crossed from the right and Vardy nipped in like a greyhound between Zouma and Terry for a finish from close in past Courtois. It was his 15th of th eseason, ending his goal drought of one game.
If defending corners has been City’s Achilles heel this season they dealt with five of them in the first half, though Matic did get his head to a Willian flag kick and brushed the top of Schmeichel’s crossbar.
City managed to preserve their lead to half-time, something they didn’t manage against Manchester United.

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Even better, City extended their lead just three minutes into the second half.
Albrighton saw Mahrez unmarked and picked him out with a long cross. The Algerian international changed direction several times and despite the close attention of Azpilicueta, half a yard was all he needed to curl an incredible unstoppable shot round Courtois and into the net.
An increasingly agitated Jose Mourinho then replaced Terry with Fàbregas and three at the back helped Chelsea regain some ground in midfield.
This led to their best spell around the hour, though their most clear-cut chance – Costa in a one on one with Schmeichel – saw the City keeper pull off a fine block. That did nothing to dispel the little black cloud above Costa’s head.
Simpson blocked a Pedro shot and then Ivanović was twice denied by Fuchs after another Chelsea corner.

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Chelsea finally made a breakthrough with 13 minutes remaining when Rémy got his head to a Pedro cross to beat Schmeichel from close range, and this made for a nervy closing spell.
Goalscorers Vardy and Mahrez were replaced by Inler and Okazaki, and City rallied well, with Pedro’s narrowly wide shot being the most alarming moment.
At the other end Albrighton capped a fine performance with a run and shot that whistled past the post.
After five minutes of time added on the final whistle brought scenes of utter delight as City reclaimed top spot with a win over the Champions.

Claudio Ranieri looked delighted, but was keeping his feet firmly on the ground: “For our fans we are top of the league, for my players we need another five points. Don’t laugh. It’s true…”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez (Inler 82), Kanté, Drinkwater (King 16), Albrighton, Ulloa, Vardy (Okazaki 88). Subs Not Used: Dyer, Wasilewski, Benalouane, Schwarzer.
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanović, Zouma, Terry (Fàbregas 53), Azpilicueta, Ramires, Oscar (Rémy 65), Hazard (Pedro 31), Matić, Willian, Diego Costa. Subs Not Used: Begović, Mikel, Kenedy, Cahill.

Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 32,054.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 

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Chelsea see off Leicester resistance with a champion display

Leicester City 1:3 Chelsea

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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.

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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.

Leicester City v Chelsea, Barclays Premier, 29 April 2015

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.

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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.

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