High-flying Leicester go top after handing woeful Chelsea painful defeat

Date published: Tuesday 19th January 2021 10:06 - Steve Pearson

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An under-par Chelsea were comfortably dispatched by Leicester at the King Power to heap further pressure on Blues boss Frank Lampard.

Leicester took an early lead in somewhat fortunate circumstances through the unlikely source of Wilfred Ndidi.

A short corner routine was worked to Harvey Barnes whose mistimed shot fell kindly for Ndidi. The midfielder let fly from distance and put his side in front with the aid of the post.

The Foxes’ lead was almost doubled when James Maddison found a pocket of space 20 yards out.

The England midfielder unleashed a powerful drive that rattled the crossbar, much to Chelsea’s relief.

Chelsea gradually began to awaken from their slumber, with Reece James forcing a corner after his near-post effort drew the attentions of Kasper Schmeichel. Thiago Silva met the resulting set-piece, but the Danish stopper was once again equal to the task.

Neat interplay between Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz then set Callum Hudson-Odoi free. The winger strode into the box but fired his strike narrowly wide of the near post when a shot across goal seemed the better option.

Jonny Evans was then handed a reprieve after bringing down Pulisic for what appeared to be a penalty.

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A brief VAR check confirmed the infringement happened just outside the box, with Mason Mount blazing the resulting free-kick high over the bar.

That would prove pivotal moments later when the in-form Maddison made it 2-0 after evading Chelsea’s lacklustre defence.

A simple long ball played over the top drew both Blues centre-halves, but neither dealt with the ball that made its way through to Maddison. The midfielder made no mistake with his finish, slotting past Edouard Mendy to double the hosts’ advantage.

Chelsea’s issues at the back were highlighted once more soon after the break when James Justin ghosted in unmarked before guiding his free header narrowly wide.

Leicester continued to assert their dominance, and but for the outstretched leg of Mendy, Youri Tielemans could’ve put the game beyond all doubt.

With time running out, Lampard shuffled his pack with the introductions of summer recruits Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

The added firepower had little effect, however, as Leicester began to see out the clock with relative ease.

Werner did put the ball in the net after latching onto a set-piece, but his, along with Chelsea’s luck was out as the offside flag duly went up.

Leicester ultimately prevailed via a 2-0 scoreline to take top spot in the Premier League ahead of Man City’s clash with Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

 

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