Sly Foxes sneak past Chelsea
Written By: Robert Halter
Leicester City made their fiftieth visit to Stamford Bridge, but had just achieved one Premier League victory away at Chelsea back in September 2000. In the first minute, a long ball forward by David Luiz, deceived both the on rushing Willian and Foxes shot stopper, Kasper Schmeichel, as the ball went past them before missing the left post. In the fourth minute, Jorginho was pushed in the back by James Maddison, and a free kick from Willian was punched clear by Schmeichel. In the thirteenth minute, a corner by Willian, nestled in the side netting of the left post. On the quarter of the hour mark, from a pull back by Pedro, the ball was struck high over the top from Mateo Kovacic. In the seventeenth minute from a Willian corner, and a header on by Pedro, the ball narrowly went past Luiz, who was lurking at the far post. In the twenty seventh minute, a low cross by Pedro on the right was poorly cleared with a tame touch by Wilfred Ndidi, and a snap shot by Cesar Azpilicueta, flew over. On the half hour mark, a clumsy challenge by Hazard on Ricardo Pereira, was met with a soft free kick from Maddison, which was caught by Kepa Arrizabalaga. The next opportunity went to the Blues in the thirty third minute, when Marcos Alonso cleared the path for Hazard, and after Harry Maguire failed to intercept, a right footed strike by Hazard, rattled against the top of the crossbar. In the forty first minute, while under threat by Maddison, the ball bobbled back off Luiz, and a fire cracker by Ndidi, was kept out with a strong reaction save by Arrizabalaga. The Blues then broke forward a minute later through N’Golo Kante, before Pedro found Kovacic, whose pass went to Willian on the left, but his shot ran out of steam, as Schmeichel collected the ball. It took another rear guard action save by Schmeichel, to stop a long range blast by Jorginho, after a miss placed header by Wes Morgan while under threat from Hazard, just before half time. In the forty seventh minute, from a Willian corner, a cushioned header by Luiz, sailed over. But against the run of play, the Foxes went ahead in the fifty first minute, when Pereira’s incisive pass was rapidly sent through by Maddison, and the Fox in the box was Jamie Vardy, who rammed the ball into the right hand corner of the goal. After Kante appended Chilwell, a free kick by Maddison was punched clear from Arrizabalaga. In the fifty fourth minute, after collecting the ball by Alonso, cutting in from the left, a powder puff shot by Willian at long range was snuffed out from Schmeichel. Three minutes later, Alonso was again the supplier, as Hazard then swivelled and turned but failed to trouble Schmeichel with a low soft shot. In the fifty ninth minute, from Kovacic’s through ball, a first time strike by Hazard, was unconventionally turned over by the reflexes of Schmeichel. The Blues then took off Kovacic for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and replaced Willian with Olivier Giroud. A hand in the face of Chilwell by Antonio Rudiger gained the Foxes a free kick, which Maddison sliced past the top right corner, in the sixty third minute. Two minutes later, from Marc Albrighton’s low cross, which was spilled by Arrizabalaga, a back heel by Maddison, produced a frantic block from Azpilicueta, to deny the Foxes. On sixty seven minutes from a ball over the top by Vardy, an on rushing Arrizabalaga, fended away Ndidi. The Blues last change was Cesc Fabregas for Jorginho. In the eighty first minute, Fabrgegas bundled over Maddison, whose free kick was headed out by Luiz, and then struck with a low drive by Albrighton, whose effort was parried away by a full length save from Arrizabalaga. Further Foxes changes saw Maddison replaced with Demarai Gray and then Vardy taken off for Kelechi Ihenacho. Agonisingly for the Blues from a Pedro corner, a glancing header by Rudiger, went fractions past the right post, in the eighty ninth minute. In stoppage time, the Blues luck ran out as Kante cleared the way for Alonso, whose strike beat Schmeichel, but spun off the left post, before rolling past the goal.