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Chelsea Reverse For City At Stamford Bridge

Despite a rallying late effort, Leicester City fell to a 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge during their final away match of the 2020/21 Premier League season on Tuesday night.
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For a second encounter with Chelsea in just four days, manager Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his starting XI following Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Final triumph over Thomas Tuchel’s Blues at Wembley Stadium, with Jonny Evans - forced off in the win - and Kelechi Iheanacho making way for Marc Albrighton and James Maddison.

The first opportunity of the game arrived on four minutes, when former Fox Ben Chilwell, after good work from Timo Werner, lashed the ball across the face of goal, but Christian Pulisic was unable to connect and out it went for a goal-kick.

Shortly after Luke Thomas did just enough to prevent César Azpilicueta from converting at the far post, and Reece James fired off target from distance as Chelsea looked for an early opener in the capital.

Further pressure continued to come City's way, with N'Golo Kanté - a title winner with the Foxes in 2016 - seeing a strike beaten away by Kasper Schmeichel before Pulisic saw his effort deflect over inside the opening 10 minutes.

A chipped pass from Youri Tielemans - the match-winner on Saturday - then nearly found the head of Jamie Vardy, however James tracked the striker's run and was able to nod away before he could meet the deep delivery with 13 minutes gone.

Werner thought he'd won a penalty - as did the Blues fans in attendance - six minutes later after a coming together with Tielemans in the 18-yard box, but the decision went the other way and there was nothing given. Then, Werner found the net, however his effort was ruled out for offside during a non-stop opening period at Stamford Bridge.

A free-kick, won by Tielemans, then afforded the Foxes some time in Chelsea's territory. The hosts were able to clear Thomas' delivery, and then Vardy flicked Tielemans' corner over on the volley. At the other end, Schmeichel pulled off a brilliant save to tip Mason Mount's drive over the bar, and Thiago Silva nodded over Chilwell's resulting corner.

Just moments after Kanté made way in place of Mateo Kovačić, Timothy Castagne was tasked with driving Werner out wide before getting in the way of the German international's strike towards the near post.

Leicester had sustained much of the Chelsea pressure in the first half, but the hosts looked to have taken the lead through the lively Werner. However, after a VAR review, the frontman had a second goal of the game chalked off for handball.

Mount was next to send an attempt towards goal, lifting a powerful strike over, and then Castagne was positioned perfectly on the line to clear Werner's low shot before it could creep into the far corner.

At the end of a frenetic opening 45 minutes, Pulisic flicked Mount's low delivery off target and Ayoze Pérez saw his pass into the area trickle wide with Vardy and Thomas arriving just too late.

Just two minutes into the second half, Chelsea broke the deadlock. Chilwell's corner was met by the thigh of Antonio Rüdiger, who was in the right place at the right time to convert at the back post.

Ten minutes passed with no real action in front of goal, and that prompted Rodgers to call upon Nigeria striker Iheanacho, who replaced Maddison on the hour mark. 

A comfortable save from Schmeichel to prevent Werner from doubling Chelsea's advantage followed on 63 minutes, however another chance to do so arrived not long after, when Wesley Fofana was adjudged to have fouled the striker in the box. Originally a free-kick, the penalty was confirmed by VAR and it was Jorginho who stepped up and rolled the ball into the corner for 2-0.

Ahead of the restart, Albrighton came off and Ricardo Pereira was introduced as Leicester looked for a way back into the game. On 71 minutes, Pérez had a sight on goal, only for his curling effort to be held by Édouard Mendy.

Iheanacho, moments after dragging just inches wide, then gave City hope when he collected Wilfred Ndidi's pass and stroked the ball into the bottom corner past Mendy, setting up a grandstand final 14 minutes plus stoppage time in London.

Werner hooked wide just moments later, while Iheanacho's curler from 25 yards was gathered by Mendy as both sides traded blows with the match beginning to reach its climax.

A truly golden opportunity for City to level on 90 minutes fell to Pérez, who couldn't direct Ricardo's cut-back on target after fine work from the Portugal star down the right flank.

Five minutes of stoppage time followed - extended by a coming together between both sets of players - however the Foxes were unable to find an all-important equaliser, despite their best efforts. 

Major moment

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Ayoze Pérez

The Spaniard came just inches away from claiming a point for his side.

With the scoreline at 2-1, City were just inches away from claiming a point from the encounter when Ayoze Pérez directed his strike off target with little time remaining. 

Who impressed?

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Wilfred Ndidi

Wilfred Ndidi teed up Kelechi Iheanacho, who pulled a goal back for City with just under 15 minutes to play.

Speaking on LCFC Radio’s Matchday Live, Tony Cottee said: “He had a hand in the Kelechi Iheanacho goal, and he worked really well. His distribution was really good, and not for the first time this season, Wilfred Ndidi was my Man of the Match."

Where do we stand?

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Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho pulled a goal back for the Foxes, who couldn't find a leveller against the Blues.

The Foxes sit fourth in the Premier League standings with just one game to play. They have 66 points from 37 games, and a goal difference of +20.

Coming up…

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Timothy Castagne

Timothy Castagne advances down the right wing at Stamford Bridge.

Leicester City conclude their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with a clash with Tottenham Hotspur at King Power Stadium on Sunday (4pm BST kick-off). They will play on Filbert Way in front of the Blue Army for the first time since March 2020.




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