Raheem Sterling has bagged a brace as 10-man Chelsea bounced back in style by deepening the woes of Leicester City with a 2-1 win.
Chelsea Starting Lineup
Mendy; James, Sylva, Chalobah, Mount, Gallagher, Cucurella, Loftus Cheek, Giorginho, Sterling, Kai Havertz.
Leicester City Lineup
Ward; Amartey, Castagne, Justin, Evans, Tierlema, Dewsbury, Praet, Soumare, Barnes Vardy
Chelsea welcomed Leicester City to the brilliant sunny afternoon at Stamford Bridge as they seek to overturn a two-match winless run against a struggling Leicester City. The latter are winless in their three Premier League matches.
The tie was a make-or-break encounter for Thomas Tuchel and Brendan Rodgers. The Chelsea boss had to watch from the stands as FA implemented the one-match ban slammed on him earlier in the season.
Chelsea started the match by dominating proceedings and mounting intense pressure on their visitors. In the first 17 minutes, the Blues were running wild with 79% of the ball possession.
The home team recorded a 12th-minute penalty appeal. Lotus Cheek was brought down in the box by a clumsy Tielemans. The referee blew for a penalty, but VAR ruled it against the Blues due to an offside in the buildup.
The Blues continued to exercise dominance as they exploited the home advantage with deep hunger for all three against Brendan Rodgers.
Gallagher earned the first yellow card of the match. A trip on Dewsbury-Hall was too glaring to be ignored. The Foxes began emerging from the woods into the game after a timid start.
A bizarre moment was recorded in the 29th minute for the hosts. It was Gallagher again. What a disaster for the Blues!
He had slid in on Barnes, and the referee issued a second yellow card. He was sent off devastated. Chelsea were reduced to 10 men with about 60 minutes left in the game.
Leicester City built on the advantage to push for a goal, and they did it in the 35th minute. The ball was in the net, but the referee held on because he thought Barnes had fouled Chelsea’s goalkeeper Mendy.
The goal was disallowed! A bad one there for Brendan Rodgers! It was still Chelsea 0-0 Leicester City; 15 minutes left in the first half.
Another yellow card was recorded in the 41st minute. Praet had snapped Sterling down while Chelsea picked up pace charging forward.
Vardy nearly made it the first half count. Tielemans had set him up with a long ball, but the England star fired wide off the post. The first half ended in a 0-0 draw.
The teams filed out for the second half after the barren first-half draw. It was a lucky start for the Blues.
Cucurella passed the ball to Raheem Sterling, who took a right-footed shot. The ball deflected off Amartey and looped over Ward into the net. It was 10-man Chelsea 1, Leicester 0. Just two minutes into the second half.
Leicester City made a double substitution in the 54th minute, taking off Praet and Soumare for Perez and Iheanacho. Chelsea were dropping back in the box to defend their one goal.
It was Leicester City on the charge, trying to find an equaliser against a 10-man Chelsea team.
The Foxes were highly vulnerable as they charged forward with their wing-backs upfront.
It was Raheem Sterling again in the 62nd minute who made it 2-0 for the host. Sterling tapped in Kai Havertz’s cross to give the visitors more problems.
Leicester responded immediately in the 66th minute. Vardy passed to Barnes, who smashed home at the near post to make it 2-1.
Leicester City continued to mount an attack as they searched for an equaliser.
Chelsea made a double substitution in the 75th minute, taking off Sterling and Jorginho to bring on Pulisic and Kovacic
In the 81st minute of the game, it was still 10-man Chelsea 2, Leicester City 1. A nervous Thomas Tuchel could be spotted on the stands hoping the Foxes don’t get an equaliser.
The Blues hung on as Leicester continued on the attack. The Foxes came close, but Perez’s thunderbolt cannons off the bar and bounced before being cleared.
The match ended with the Blues returning to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over a struggling Leicester City.