Chelsea managed to hold on with ten men to defeat Leicester 2-1. The opening 45 minutes was action packed and dominated by refereeing decisions.
Chelsea had a penalty given after Ruben Loftus-Cheek was fouled in the box only for it to be taken away by VAR after Kai Havertz was judged to be offside in the build-up.
Conor Gallagher was then sent off for two yellow card offences twice chopping Leicester players down as they tried to counter attack.
And controversy didn’t stop there as Harvey Barnes scored from a corner only for it to be disallowed for a foul on goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as both jumped for the ball.
The second half continued at the same intensity and Raheem Sterling scored thanks to a deflected shot that looped over Danny Ward. He then got a brace tapping in a Reece James cross at the back post.
Leicester did manage to pull one back though when Barnes powerfully fired a shot beyond Mendy at the near post. Ayoze Perez hit the crossbar late but Chelsea held out for the victory leaving the Foxes 19th in the league table.
TALKING POINT – STRUGGLING LEICESTER
It’s a really disappointing result for Leicester – again. They struggled to get on the ball early in the game so when Gallagher was sent off there was belief it could be the turning point in the game but it wasn’t. They can call themselves unfortunate that Barnes’ first half goal was ruled out but they must take a long look at how they found themselves two goals down.
They were defensively passive never really pressuring Chelsea players when they were on the ball in the build-up to both goals. The team reacted and started to play better and in the end were unlucky to not get a draw from the game but the issue comes when you go two goals down to a quality side like Chelsea and need to find a way past Thiago Silva, who was a magnet to the ball.
The Foxes had a decent run of fixtures to open the season but have picked up just one point and are 19th in the league. They have little time to spend the Wesley Fofana money with deadline day around the corner and their business so far in the window has been basically non-existent. If things don’t change Leicester certainly will not be competing for European places like they desire.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – RAHEEM STERLING
Raheem is living the dream! He managed to get his first Chelsea goal and another to help secure three points. Leaving Man City must’ve been tough for him after such success there but at the Blues he is now one of the main men and he lived up to expectation today. His quality was the difference, creating half a yard to get his shot off for the first goal then it was typical of him to score a tap in at the back post highlighting that poacher instinct Pep Guardiola installed in him.
Chelsea: Mendy 7, James 7, Chalobah 5, Silva 8, Cucurella 8, Gallagher 3, Jorginho 5, Loftus-Cheek 6, Mount 4, Sterling 9, Havertz, 7
Subs: Azpilicueta 7, Kovacic 6, Pulisic 6, Chilwell 6
Leicester: Ward 7, Castagne 6, Amartey 4, Evans 6, Justin 6, Soumare 5, Tielemans 7, Praet 4, Dewsbury-Hall 6, Barnes 8, Vardy 6
Subs: Iheanacho 7, Perez 6, Ndidi 6
29’ – RED CARD (GALLAGHER) – He looks devastated but he has only got himself to blame. Two silly tackles and he has given the referee no choice but to book him twice.
47’ – GOAL (STERLING) – We have only just about started the second half and the ten men of Chelsea go into the lead. Cucurella drives a ball into the feet of Sterling who shuffles the ball onto his right foot and his shot takes a little deflection of Amartey and loops over Ward. Luck maybe but Chelsea won’t care.
63’ – GOAL (STERLING) – Pure class, Havertz holds it up and waits for James to overlap. He crosses it low across the goal and Sterling is there to tap in from about one yard out. 2-0 up,
66’ – GOAL (BARNES) – So much better from Leicester, Vardy receives one into feet with his back to goal, he passes it first time to Barnes who runs onto it and smashes it into the back of the net. Mendy will be annoyed to be beaten at his near post but it’s a powerful strike from Barnes.