James Maddison

Foxes Claim Point In Stamford Bridge Battle

Leicester City secured a Premier League point against Chelsea in their final away match of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign on Thursday evening.
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For City's penultimate match of the season, manager Brendan Rodgers elected to make four changes to the XI that defeated Watford 5-1 at Vicarage Road at the weekend. In came captain Kasper Schmeichel, Daniel Amartey, Luke Thomas and Kelechi Iheanacho

On a warm spring evening in London, Chelsea were the side to conjure up the first significant chance of the match. Morocco international Hakim Ziyech was able to make space for himself around 25 yards from goal, and shifted the ball onto his left foot before drilling wide. 

Donned in mint, City struck within a matter of minutes. A superb pass from Schmeichel split Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rüdiger to allow Timothy Castagne a run down the right wing. With six minutes on the clock, he took a touch, drove forward and picked out the arriving James Maddison who set himself before curling into the bottom corner past Édouard Mendy for goal no.17 of the season.

A fine piece of defending from Jonny Evans slowed the advances of Christian Pulisic not long after, while a superb tipped save from Schmeichel prevented Trevoh Chalobah from rattling in a long-range drive. Chelsea were growing into the match after conceding early on, with Evans getting another block in, this time to deny Reece James.

Ghana centre-back Amartey, operating on the left, slid in to prevent Romelu Lukaku's effort from troubling Schmeichel before heading away Ziyech's long-ranger. The Foxes, backed by 2,407 members of the Blue Army, were standing firm in their defensive duties, with Evans on hand to nod away a Rüdiger delivery from a central position, and once again, this time denying Ziyech's sliced half-volley.

Chelsea's pressure told with around 10 minutes of the first half to play as James lifted a pass into Alonso, who, at the far post, volleyed home first time to restore parity in the capital. Although both sides ventured forward before the break, the first period finished all square. 

Into the second half, with the Club's travelling fans making their voices heard in the away end, Lukaku flashed a delivery across the face of goal, but his Belgium international team-mate Castagne was able to tidy up for the Foxes. Now 10 minutes in, City were winning their duels and looked sturdy in defence when called upon.

Approaching the hour mark, Schmeichel was able to make a comfortable save by clinging onto Ziyech's 25-yard free-kick, while he held another attempt from the Chelsea winger during the opposition's next attack. Ziyech turned provider not long after, curling in for Lukaku, who glanced his header just wide of the post. 

A flowing team move from Thomas Tuchel's men nearly put them in front for the first time in the match, however Pulisic side-footed wide from Lukaku's pass. Rodgers followed up with a substitution, introducing Academy star Harvey Barnes in Iheanacho's place to freshen up Leicester's attack.

The west London outfit continued to probe, with Schmeichel making another good save to parry away Rüdiger's snap-shot strike on 67 minutes. Chelsea were enjoying plenty of possession, while City were working hard as a unit to try and limit their goalscoring opportunities. 

Entering the final 20 minutes, James drilled into the arms of Schmeichel, who two minutes later plucked Chalobah's header out of the London air. A second change of the night meant Jamie Vardy would make way, replaced by Ayoze Pérez. Moments later, Papy Mendy had to block substitute César Azpilicueta's low cross as Leicester's solid defending continued.

Before the game entered added time, Chelsea stopper Mendy rushed out to smother the advances of Barnes, and then Castagne threw himself in the way of James' 95th-minute strike to bring to an end a tight encounter at Stamford Bridge. 

Major moment

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James Maddison

James Maddison celebrates his 17th goal of the season in all competitions.

A sixth-minute opener from James Maddison ultimately gave City the early advantage, and although Chelsea drew level through Marcos Alonso's well-taken volley, it was well worth a point for Leicester.

Who impressed?

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Wesley Fofana

Wesley Fofana was solid at the back and earned Tony Cottee's Man of the Match.

Speaking from the pressbox at Stamford Bridge, 2000 League Cup winner Tony Cottee said: "It’s a pretty easy one tonight. There have been good performances, Kasper was sound in goal, Maddison at times got on the ball, but I think you’ve got to look at the defenders. It was a defensive performance, no doubt about that. Jonny Evans was fantastic, Daniel Amartey made some fantastic challenges at times, but for me, there was one man that was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch from a Leicester point of view, so my Man of the Match is definitely Wesley Fofana."

Where do we stand?

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Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel, who returned to the starting XI, applauds over 2,400 members of the travelling Blue Army.

After matchday no.37 in the Premier League, Leicester sit ninth in the division. The could finish as high as eighth, should Wolverhampton Wanderers drop points away to Liverpool and City beat Southampton on the final day.

Coming up...

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Brendan Rodgers

The Northern Irishman's side collected their 49th point of the Premier League season on Thursday.

City's 2021/22 campaign reaches its climax on Sunday when they host Southampton in the Premier League for a 4pm kick-off.

The details...

All times BST.

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