Wilfred Ndidi

Foxes Claim Point From Chelsea Encounter

A fine second-half display from Leicester City saw them register a deserved 1-1 Premier League draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
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With Ben Chilwell missing out due a minor hip problem, Brendan Rodgers made one change to the side that drew with Wolverhampton Wanderers, as Christian Fuchs came in at left-back.

City were under pressure from the off as Chelsea’s players looked to be rising to the occasion of Frank Lampard’s first home game in charge of the Blues, and with just seven minutes on the clock, Mason Mount punished Wilfred Ndidi by winning the ball and firing the hosts in front.

The impressive back line of Kasper Schmeichel, Fuchs, Çağlar Söyüncü, Jonny Evans and Ricardo Pereira absorbed several Chelsea attacks following Mount’s opener, while Jamie Vardy nearly caught out the hesitant Kepa Arrizabalaga at the other end of the pitch.

After the interval, City were much improved, and set about hassling Chelsea’s stars with a fierce spell of pressing in which Lampard’s men failed to replicate their composed first-half display.

A wild strike flew over from Fuchs five minutes into the second half, Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury and No.10 James Maddison both went close shortly after.

Maddison, a livewire in behind Vardy, continued his attacking efforts and on 67 minutes produced a superb delivery to set up City’s equaliser. Ndidi, who is usually known for his tireless defensive efforts in midfield, rose highest to the corner to head home in front of the 3,000 travelling members of the Blue Army.

After Ndidi’s goal, there looked as if there would be only one winner, as City looked to take advantage of their momentum in the capital.

Maddison had perhaps the best opportunity to do so, after he darted into the Chelsea area before firing over from close range, while Vardy flashed an effort across the face of goal following some fine work in midfield from debutant Dennis Praet.

A flurry of opportunities for both teams followed, with Youri Tielemans forcing a good save out of Arrizabalaga, and Tammy Abraham hammering a shot well over from the edge of Schmeichel’s box.

A chance for Vardy to win it came in injury time, but the No.9 couldn’t quite make a clean connection with Ricardo’s cross from the right flank.

Major moment

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Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi

Wilfred Ndidi's header earned the Foxes their second draw of 2019/20.

For 66 minutes of the game, Chelsea had controlled proceedings in the capital, but Wilfred Ndidi levelled matters with 23 minutes plus stoppage time to play and the Nigeria international’s goal provided his side with a huge boost in confidence.

James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Jamie Vardy all went close to snatching a winner in the late stages, but the Foxes had to settle for a point from their thrilling encounter.

Who impressed?

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James Maddison
James Maddison

James Maddison registered his first assist of the Premier League campaign after setting up Wilfred Ndidi.

Matt Elliott told LCFC Radio: “There were some decent performances scattered around. I think the two centre-halves (Jonny Evans and Çağlar Söyüncü) were pretty steady after a shaky early period.

“Generally, Ricardo [Pereira] busted a gut, and in terms of attacking, James Maddison for me was here, there and everywhere. Even in the first half, when Leicester were struggling, he was a mini-bright start – he was trying to make things happen.

“In the second half, he made it happen, and it would have been conclusive if he was able to finish off that golden opportunity in the latter stages. It wasn’t quite to be, but it was an excellent performance from Maddison in particular.”

Where do we stand?

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Hamza Choudhury
Hamza Choudhury

Hamza Choudhury celebrates with goalscorer Wilfred Ndidi after his midfield partner scored the all-important equaliser against Chelsea.

The Foxes sit 12th in the Premier League standings having earned two points from as many games, and are one of 10 sides yet to suffer a defeat in 2019/20.

Coming up…

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Dennis Praet
Dennis Praet

Dennis Praet applauds the Blue Army after making his first appearance for the Football Club.

A second-consecutive away match follows the draw with Chelsea, as the Foxes travel to Bramall Lane to take on newly-promoted Sheffield United, who beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in Sunday’s early kick-off.

The clash with the Blades takes place on Saturday 24 August (3pm BST kick-off), with live coverage of the game available from 12pm BST on LCFC Radio.

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