Leicester frustrate Chelsea
Leicester City earned a point at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to extend Chelsea’s run of competitive fixtures without a win this season to three.
The 1-1 draw was secured by a header from Wilfred Ndidi in the second half, which cancelled out a fine goal by young midfielder Mason Mount in the first half. Mount won the ball from Ndidi outside the Leicester penalty area and fired past the visiting goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel with a low shot.
That goal, in the seventh minute, was greeted with jubilation by Chelsea fans, who had welcomed Frank Lampard to his first competitive home game as manager with a banner that read “Welcome Home Super Frank”. His team, who were favourites to win the game with sports betting companies, started strongly. As well as the early goal, forward Pedro came close with a volley that hit the side netting and N’Golo Kanté also had a good chance but was denied by Christian Fuchs.
However, Chelsea faded in the second half, as they had against Manchester United in their 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the opening weekend of the season. Leicester, who had kicked off their season with a draw against Wolves, came into the game in the second half.
The Foxes are on a four-game run without a win that extends into last season, but they were full value for their equaliser and may feel that they could have gone on to claim a victory. Although they managed just one shot on target in the first 45 minutes, they came up with 11 in the second half, and by the end, Chelsea were hanging on to claim their point.
Brendan Rodgers has had to rebuild the Leicester team, and there are now few players left in the squad who were associated with their 2015-16 title-winning season, but the former Celtic and Liverpool boss has a genuine star in James Maddison. The young midfielder, who earned an England call-up last season, was at the heart of most of Leicester’s play and posed a constant threat to the home team all game with his intelligent passing and vision.
For Lampard, the failure to pick up a home win will be a concern, but his team will have a better opportunity to pick up three points next weekend when they travel to Norwich, while Leicester will head north to another promoted side, Sheffield United, on the same day.
Words: Josh Dixon