Chelsea beat Leicester City 3-1 in a Premier League match at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic scored for the Blues, while Patson Daka found the net for Foxes.
Chelsea is now in 10th place in the league table with 37 points from 26 matches. Leicester is 16th with 24 points.
Leicester played quite well, but was left ruing a number of missed chances. A few key moments of individual brilliance sealed the deal for the visitors.
Things have started looking up for Graham Potter’s men, who had to withstand a few difficult months despite spending a lot in the transfer window.
We will now take a look at how the match progressed.
Chelsea took the lead twice in a first half dominated by Leicester City
Both teams started the match with a three-man defense, with Leicester and Chelsea opting for two and three men upfront, respectively. However, Leicester dominated possession and won most of the battles in the midfield. Nampalys Mendy and James Madison were top-notch in the first half, outperforming Enzo Fernandez and Kovacic.
The visitors attacked sporadically through counter-attacks and their front three hardly touched the ball in the initial 20 minutes. Still, that did not stop them from scoring, as Chilwell scored with a volley almost immediately after taking a corner kick, with Kalidou Koulibaly had played the ball to him. It was a freakish goal, but Graham Potter’s men were not complaining.
Leicester increased the intensity of attacks by having more numbers in the opposition half. That saw them hit the woodwork once. Chelsea were also denied as João Félix received a quality long ball from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and chipped it over an onrushing Danny Ward. Unfortunately for the Portuguese loanee, the ball hit the post.
Leicester then started playing one-touch passes in the final third more often, the equalizer came soon thereafter. The home team attacked through the left more often with left wing-back Timothy Castagne being particularly active.
Félix was dispossessed by Ricardo, who then played the ball to Daka, whose powerful left-footer gave Kepa Arrizabalaga no chance. Just as the half veered towards an end, Fernandez showed his class by playing a chipped through ball. That was converted by an even classier touch from Havertz first time. It was the German forward’s sixth goal of the season in the league.
Potter’s tweaks in the second half made a significant impact
Potter replaced Félix with Conor Gallagher to have an extra man in the midfield. That saw Cheslea switch to a 3-5-2 formation. It had a positive impact as Gallagher made his mark with his deft touches and quick running. Mykhailo Mudryk, who played as a false nine in the first half, kept displaying good form with his runs at the Leicester defense. The Ukrainian enjoyed a good battle with Harry Souttar.
Mudryk also succeeded in putting the ball into the net following a probing pass from the Chelsea half. However, he was in a marginally offside position before that. However, the home side only had themselves to blame as they missed at least a couple of great opportunities. First, Souttar’s attempt was cleared by Gallagher off the goal-line. Then, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall could not make proper connection from close range.
Chelsea then switched to a back-four, with Trevor Chalobah replacing Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic coming in for Chilwell. That again had an immediate impact as Fernandez played yet another long ball to Havertz, who played it across. Mudryk, now the left winger, did well to keep the ball in play by heading it towards Kovacic, who volleyed home first time. The visitors thus dealt a hammer blow to Leicester, who never recovered from the two-goal deficit.