Chelsea Climbs To Third After Victory Against Leicester

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Chelsea avenged its FA Cup final defeat and climbed above Leicester City into third spot in the Premier League after a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

The in-form Super Eagles striker Kelechi Iheanacho started on the bench as Jamie Vardy was played as the lone striker. The Blues were inspired by 8,000 fans that were welcomed back to the stadium, as Chelsea came out firing in the opening minutes of the match.

Timo Werner twice thought he had made the breakthrough, first when his penalty shout was cancelled for an offside decision. Werner’s second goal was then denied when VAR spotted a handball offence before his headed goal.

Chelsea striker Timo Werner gestures at referee after VAR decision during Premier League match against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic had a chance to open the scoring late in the half, but he was denied by Kasper Schmeichel with Chelsea’s eleventh attempt. The score remained 0-0 at halftime.

Early in the second half, Chelsea took the lead through Antonio Rudiger. When Ben Chilwell’s corner was diverted into the danger zone by Vardy at the near post, the ball found Rudiger who forced the ball into the net from close range with his thigh.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger scores against Leicester City during Premier League match at Stamford Bridge

In the 60th minute, Leicester Coach Brendan Rodgers brought on Iheanacho for James Maddison in an attempt to shift the momentum of the match. However, a penalty was awarded to Chelsea moments later.

Leicester defender Wesley Fofana fouled Werner and a free-kick was given outside the area, but replays showed it was inside the box. Jorginho stepped up and fired the ball into the net with his trademark penalty routine.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho celebrates penalty goal against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge

It was Jorginho’s 7th goal of the season, with all seven goals being penalties.

The second goal looked to deflate Leicester, however,  they found a route back into the game when Nigerian international Wilfred Ndidi won possession of the ball high up the pitch before squaring for Iheanacho.

The in-form Iheanacho calmly placed the ball past Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to give Leicester City a glimmer of hope.

Super Eagles and Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho (14) celebrates goal against Chelsea during Premier League match at Stamford Bridge

The goal made for a nervy finale and there was still time for a twist in the match when the ball fell kindly for Ayoze Perez in the 90th minute, only for him to fire his shot well over the bar.

Tempers frayed in stoppage time when Ricardo Pereira fouled Chilwell and just about every player and substitute seemed keen to get involved in a heated encounter.

However, the match finished 2-1 to Chelsea, a result that leaves Leicester not only down in fourth but out of the Champions League places if Liverpool win at Burnley on Wednesday.

For Chelsea, it was a reversal of the 1-0 defeat at Wembley that came at a cost with N’Golo Kante going off injured.

“It was an OK performance in the cup but today was a top performance,” Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said. “The first half was amazing, the quality and energy, and the second half as well. We gave an easy goal away that made us suffer a bit in the end but overall a very deserved win.”

“It was an outstanding performance but the job is not done. We have two more to go. The fans made a huge difference. You see the speed in our game, the hunger, the ambition.”

“It was a very strong performance and I’m absolutely delighted the team can present itself like this in front of our fans. We needed exactly that today, it was a big win but it’s not done yet. It is not time for celebration,” Tuchel added.

Premier League results

Manchester United 1-1 Fulham

Southampton 0-2 Leeds United

Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 Manchester City

Chelsea 2-1 Leicester City

 

Chidi Nwoke.

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