Wilfred Ndidi

Victory Over Chelsea Sees Leicester Move Top

Leicester City leapt to the top of the Premier League standings after well-executed first-half goals from Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison saw them beat Chelsea 2-0 at a rain-lashed King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.
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Following Saturday’s 2-0 success over Southampton, the Foxes were unchanged for their clash with Chelsea and knew a win would send them top of English football’s summit exactly halfway through their Premier League campaign.

A swift start from both sides was to be expected, and on seven minutes, following a spell of possession from the visitors, it was the Foxes who went ahead when Ndidi's 25-yard, left-footed half-volley cannoned off the inside of the post and into the back of the net.

That proved to be a catalyst for City, who produced some neat combination play in the minutes that followed, and their advantage was nearly doubled when Maddison's long-range strike clipped the top of Édouard Mendy's crossbar.

Kasper Schmeichel, who ahead of the game was presented with a special award in recognition of his 400th appearance for the Club at the weekend, then had to push Reece James' cross over at the near post before punching Thiago Silva's header to safety from the resulting corner. 

Mendy had to be alert to a Jamie Vardy run that could have easily yielded another goalscoring opportunity for the hosts, before the Senegal international tipped Marc Albrighton's effort from distance over midway through the first period.

On 32 minutes, Callum Hudson-Odoi fired into the side-netting after Chelsea attempted to hit City on the counter-attack, while at the other end, Mendy denied Vardy from a tight angle, getting just enough on the attempt before Antonio Rüdiger was able to tidy up on the goal-line.

Chelsea were awarded a penalty on 38 minutes when Jonny Evans clipped the legs of Mason Mount, but after a VAR review, the decision was switched to a free-kick after replays showed the contact took place outside of the box. Mount took the resulting free-kick, but lifted his effort over.

That was a huge turning point, too, as Leicester doubled their advantage via their next forward foray. Albrighton whipped a cross into the box, and Rüdiger was too occupied with the movement of Vardy to notice Maddison arriving at the back post as the No.10 rifled beyond Mendy with a first-time strike four minutes before the break.

Five minutes into the second half, Albrighton's delivery caused havoc again as James Justin headed the wrong side of the post, before Wesley Fofana blocked a Tammy Abraham strike, and then Schmeichel denied the Blues No.9 with a comfortable save from the resulting corner. 

Schmeichel was there again shortly after to hold onto a ball that bounced off James' thigh, while Albrighton thought he had extended the hosts' advantage after a fine phase of play, but his goal was chalked off for offside. 

A sublime pass from Vardy then found Youri Tielemans, who couldn't beat Mendy from a tight angle on 57 minutes as Brendan Rodgers' side searched for a third goal of the night that would no doubt settle to clash.

Following a consistent downpour throughout the evening, a sudden deluge at King Power Stadium made for particularly tricky conditions with around 20 minutes to play, but City stood strong - their resilience epitomised by Timothy Castagne's perfectly-timed challenge to halt an advancing Christian Pulisic before the American could do any real damage.

A double change followed for Leicester, with Ricardo Pereira making his first appearance on Filbert Way for the Club's first team since March 2020, while Ayoze Pérez bolstered the attack as Maddison and Albrighton made way.

Chelsea thought they'd halved the deficit when substitute Timo Werner converted, but his goal was ruled out for offside - a decision eventually confirmed by VAR.

Vardy then made way with two minutes of normal time remaining, and it was Kelechi Iheanacho who replaced the Club's talismanic frontman late on.

Frank Lampard's outfit maintained their attacking intent in the later stages, with Hakim Ziyech drilling low into the arms of Schmeichel, while a brilliant sliding tackle from Evans in injury time prevented Werner from racing through. 

Major moment

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Wilfred Ndidi

The Nigerian's maiden goal of 2020/21 came in fine fashion against the Blues.

City had not lost a game after taking the lead in a game throughout 2020/21, and therefore knew an early goal could prove decisive in the result.

The Blues saw a lot of the ball in the first few minutes, but when Wilfred Ndidi's ambitious effort found the net, the Foxes had a foundation to build upon.

The Nigeria international's superb strike - his first of 2020/21 - was the early uplift Leicester needed, and a second from James Maddison strengthened their position before the break. 

Who impressed?

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James Justin

The England youth international was excellent in his left-back role against Chelsea.

Speaking to LCFC Radio, Matt Elliott said: “It’s not the easiest decision. Wilfred Ndidi and Wesley Fofana are high up there on the agenda, but the stand-out figure among many fine performances was James Justin for me. I thought he was imperious tonight, and what a performance from the young man."

Where do we stand?

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James Maddison

James Maddison's first-time finish doubled Leicester's lead before the break.

Following the clash with Chelsea, Leicester City sit in first position in the top flight table at the halfway point of their 2020/21 Premier League campaign.

Coming up…

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James Maddison

City have won 38 points from their first 19 matches in the 2020/21 season.

City will next contest an Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round tie with Brentford at the Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday (2:30pm kick-off), before the Foxes head to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday (8:15pm kick-off).

All times GMT.

Leicester City Crest





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