Chelsea 1-1 Leicester


Chelsea effectively secured a third place despite failing to capitalize on a dominant performance when they drew 1-1 with Leicester.

The Blues, beaten by Liverpool on penalties in Saturday’s FA Cup final, were left behind when James Maddison scored a stunning goal in the early stages, but it turned out to be one of only two Leicester shots in a one-man match. side.

Chelsea leveled when Marcos Alonso, who was guilty of limp defense in the build-up to Leicester’s opener, finished off a high cross from team-mate Reece James in the first half.

But they couldn’t find a way to get past Kasper Schmeichel after that as they endured another frustrating night at Stamford Bridge, where they’ve only won eight Premier League games out of 18 this season.

Christian Pulisic squandered his best chance, missing an open goal from Romelu Lukaku’s cross in the second half, and although the equalizer puts them three points clear of Tottenham, almost claiming third thanks to their vastly superior goal difference, it was a disappointing result. for Thomas Tuchel and his players.

player ratings

Chelsea: Mendy (6), Chalobah (6), Silva (7), Rudiger (6), Alonso (7), Kante (5), Jorginho (6), James (8), Pulisic (5), Ziyech (6), Lukaku (6).

Substitutes: Azpilicueta (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Havertz (6).

Leicester: Schmeichel (8), Amartey (7), Evans (8), Fofana (8), Thomas (7), Dewsbury-Hall (7), Mendy (7), Castagne (7), Maddison (8), Iheanacho (6 ), Vardi (6).

Substitutes: Barnes (6), Perez (6).

The man of the match: reece james

How Leicester frustrated Chelsea

Chelsea started brilliantly and came close to opening the scoring after four minutes when Hakim Ziyech moved away from Daniel Amartey and fired a long-range shot just over the post.

Leicester were struggling to get out of their own half but were soon ahead, Alonso faltering allowing Timothy Castagne to latch onto a long pass from Schmeichel and lob a cut-in that deflected into Maddison’s path.

Maddison sprinted for the loose ball unopposed, then scrambled away from Thiago Silva before firing a delightful shot inside the left post of Edouard Mendy from just outside the Chelsea box.

James Maddison gave Leicester the early lead at Chelsea
James Maddison gave Leicester the early lead at Chelsea

The goal silenced the home crowd, but Chelsea continued to dominate possession and territory and came close to equalizing a few minutes later when Schmeichel acrobatically saved Trevoh Chalobah’s powerful long-range shot.

There was an opening for Romelu Lukaku, starting a fourth straight game for the first time since February, but he took too long to shoot after N’Golo Kante’s interception and pass, allowing Amartey to come back and make the block.

Instead, Alonso was allowed to equalize Chelsea, and the Spaniard redeemed his earlier mistake when he finished off an angled cross from James on the volley for his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

team news

  • Romelu Lukaku led the line for Chelsea while N’Golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech came on for Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount.
  • Leicester switched to a back three, with Kasper Schmeichel returning in goal, Daniel Amartey and Luke Thomas coming into defense and Kelechi Iheanacho pairing up with Jamie Vardy.

Chelsea’s dominance continued into the second period, but Leicester defended resolutely and when the hosts created space, they lacked the forward edge to exploit.

Lukaku, enduring another frustrating night following his poor performance in Saturday’s FA Cup final, narrowly headed Ziyech’s cross when it should have hit home.

Pulisic’s miss, his worn shot that went wide with an open goal after Lukaku had played on the right side of the Leicester box, came moments later and caused disbelief among home fans.

Christian Pulisic
Christian Pulisic missed a great opportunity for Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger was next to close in when he fired a low shot too close to Schmeichel, and the centre-back was perhaps lucky to stay on the field when he was only booked for ramming Wesley Fofana a few minutes later.

Chelsea continued to push for a winner in the closing stages, but Leicester, led by the excellent Jonny Evans at the heart of their three defenders, held their ground and the hosts’ miserable night in front of goal was summed up with an aerial shot from Kai Havertz. in the final stages.

For Leicester, the draw means they could still overtake Wolves in eighth place on the final day of the season on Sunday.

Analysis: James shows potential in midfield

Chelsea’s profligacy made this a frustrating night for home fans, but there was plenty to enjoy from Reece James’ performance, much of which came from midfield.

The 22-year-old ostensibly lined up in his usual right-back role, but was running the game even before he was moved into the middle following Christian Pulisic’s second-half introduction of Cesar Azpilicueta.

He created Marcos Alonso’s equalizing goal from a midfield position, his delightful diagonal cross allowing the Spaniard to shoot on target on the volley, but that was just one of many eye-catching moments.

reece james
Reece James set up Chelsea’s equalizer and produced an impressive display

In the end, only center backs Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah had had more touches than James (124), while no one came close to his total of 38 passes in the final third. He also created three chances and attempted four shots.

The stats underscore his influence in attack, but his importance to the team can also be seen in the way his teammates look for him, and the way he does it makes everything look so easy.

Thomas Tuchel hailed N’Golo Kante as Chelsea’s “key player” in his post-match press conference, but in truth, no one is more crucial than James, a young right-back so good he can even make it into the center of the pitch. countryside.

Tuchel: We didn’t take what we deserved

chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said: “We were the best team and we deserved to win. We needed a point and we got it. We didn’t allow anything. We were penalized with a shot from outside the box.

“We created enough to win and didn’t allow any transitions or chances for Leicester. I’m absolutely fine with the performance. It’s a bit like a broken record. We didn’t take what we deserved.”

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Thomas Tuchel could not hide his disappointment when Chelsea failed to take all three points against a stubborn Leicester at Stamford Bridge.

“It’s the story of the season. We need an assist from a winger and a goal from a winger. You can see the numbers of our attacking players and you can see the numbers of the teams ahead of us.” But still, today is the day we secure the top three.

“We had some obstacles to overcome and some circumstances at the club that weren’t easy, so all credit to the team.

“It was a big step in consistency for us. Maybe it doesn’t feel like that because the difference between the top two teams is so big. Okay, we have things to improve, but we accept it.”

Analysis: Maddison Proves Skeptics Wrong

james madison
Since his Premier League debut in 2018, James Maddison has scored 14 goals from outside the box.

In a season that has largely disappointed, the resurgence of James Maddison will be a point of solace for Brendan Rodgers.

The forward is getting noticed, not for the first time, but he has added consistency to his growing portfolio. So far, Maddison’s progress has been marred by injuries, but also poor form.

The 25-year-old’s irregularities have previously made high praise difficult. Maddison has produced sporadic moments of brilliance for Leicester since he signed in 2018, but he now features weekly.

He may even be playing his way into contention for England, although he faces stiff competition in that area. Regardless, Gareth Southgate might want to take another look before putting together this year’s World Cup squad.

Maddison has scored at Anfield, the Etihad and now Stamford Bridge this term, taking his season tally to 17. He’s not afraid of a big stage.

Since his Premier League debut in 2018, he has scored 14 goals from outside the box; only James Ward-Prowse (15) has scored more. He offers a creativity that most can’t match and seven assists isn’t a bad result either. With injury problems behind him, he almost seems like a different prospect.

Rodgers: We deserved a point

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Brendan Rodgers said he was very proud of his players in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea and praised Leicester’s goalscorer and player of the season, James Maddison.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said: “We got off to a great start. Wonderful goal. Excellent game and James’ finish was excellent. You know when you play Chelsea you will have to defend well and be super focused. The players were that.

“We’re disappointed with the goal, obviously it hit the far post. Other than that, the concentration levels were good. We didn’t have many scares. We defended the corners well. It was the least the players deserved.”

“They’re a top-tier team, they’re last year’s European champions. They have players in tight spaces who are very good. If you give them too much space, they’ll hurt you. We’ve already seen it this season.”

“For this game, it’s a deeper space you have to play in. There weren’t too many chances and if you can do that by coming to Stamford Bridge it shows how good your organization was.”

What’s next for Chelsea and Leicester?

Chelsea complete their Premier League season at home to relegated Watford on Sunday, while Leicester host Southampton, with both games kicking off at 4pm.


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