James Maddison

Ten-Man City Fall To Chelsea Loss

Leicester City were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea at King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.
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Former City full-back Ben Chilwell's opener was equalised by Patson Daka, but goals from Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovačić sealed the points for the visitors. Wout Faes was also shown a red card after a second bookable offence late on. The Foxes deployed a new formation for this clash with Graham Potter’s west London outfit, switching to a 3-5-2 shape. Daniel Amartey and Daka also came into the XI, offering extra bodies at both ends of the pitch. 

Eleven minutes into a chaotic first half, Leicester fell behind. Chilwell was ultimately the man to apply a well-struck finish to his own corner routine. Drifting wide on the left, the ball was recycled by Kalidou Koulibaly. The former Napoli centre-back lashed it back across the Foxes’ penalty area – and Chilwell, now in the area, volleyed it inside Danny Ward’s near post.

There was space in the game, opportunities to take. After a high-boot offence by Fofana on Timothy Castagne, making his 100th outing for the Club, Leicester had a free-kick on the byline. Positioned to the left of the 18-yard box, James Maddison whipped it in towards Amartey. Perhaps the speed of the delivery surprised the Ghanaian. He couldn’t arch his neck to turn it goalwards quickly enough. In any case, his header from two yards out fizzed wide.  

Soon after, Havertz threaded a ball through to João Félix, on loan at Stamford Bridge from Atlético Madrid. The Portugal forward was on his own. He took a touch and lifted it smartly over Ward’s grasp. To the stopper's relief, though, it bounced back off his left post and away from danger. Leicester, clearly frustrated by their visitors’ early dominance, went direct, albeit momentarily, and advanced through the middle. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall tussled for possession and won his duel, firing at will. The ball took a deflection, before cannoning off the crossbar and looping up into the air. Kepa Arrizabalaga collected.

Mykhailo Mudryk, the Ukrainian midfielder, was a pest for City too. Just after the half-hour, he was left open in the middle. The former Shakhtar Donetsk man was able to burst forwards as well, sliding the ball out wide to Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the right channel. Loftus-Cheek’s low piercing ball located Félix in the box and he slotted it under Ward, into the net. Fortunately for the Foxes, after a VAR examination of the footage, it was decided that the goal wouldn't stand. Félix was offside. A bolt from the blue at the other end of the field was about to even the scores out.

Ricardo Pereira hassled Félix on the edge of Chelsea’s area until he couldn’t hold it any longer, relinquishing the ball to Daka. There was no messing from the Zambia striker. Twenty yards out, Leicester’s No.20 lashed his boot through the ball with real venom, hitting it beyond Kepa and into the bottom corner. The celebrations were a little delayed, such was Filbert Way’s surprise. They were bouncing in the stands eventually. Leicester finally had a footing in the game. 

Trying to capitalise, Maddison’s spinning curler was palmed away by Kepa. Iheanacho then planted his left boot and used his right to arrow a drive straight at the Chelsea ‘keeper. Fofana, too, had a nervous wait to discover if VAR would award a penalty after Maddison’s free-kick hit his elbow in the box. The Foxes were now on top, but it wasn’t to last. Havertz hitting the deck, injured by Amartey’s high challenge, seemed to quell Leicester’s momentum before the break. From hoping to complete a quick-fire turnaround in the final moments of the half, City were behind again in added time. 

World Cup winner Enzo Fernández scooped the ball up and into the area, freeing Havertz in behind. There was nobody in a blue shirt to pluck the ball away from him. All he needed to do was stick out a boot and extend its trajectory over Ward and into the net. Everyone expected a flag but it didn't come. VAR wouldn't intervene either. Chelsea led once more. 

Into the second half, Chilwell’s corner was nodded at goal by Fofana and only a strong arm from Ward stopped the two former Foxes from combining for a Chelsea third. Leicester’s pursuit of an equaliser forced Chelsea to sit deeper. Harry Souttar, the Australia centre-back, was unfortunate to be halted at point-blank range by Conor Gallagher, introduced at half-time. Fofana also stopped him from getting to the rebound on the six-yard line. The threat of Chelsea widening the gap was always there. Only a sterling save from Ward, leaping to his left, stopped Havertz’s nod towards goal. 

There were heads in hands in the Foxes’ dugout on 72 minutes. Tetê’s cross from the right was touched on by Kepa into the path of another second-half substitute, Harvey Barnes. The one-time England international cleverly headed it back across goal, to Dewsbury-Hall. The Shepshed native had time and room, but scuffed the ball tamely into Kepa’s gloves. Mudryk was then the only man inside King Power Stadium not to realise he’d strayed offside before finishing well past Ward. He was still celebrating in front of the travelling supporters while both sides reset for the coming Leicester free-kick. 

Boubakary Soumaré and Jamie Vardy were also on for City, now in a 4-4-1-1 system. The hosts were pushing for a leveller, but got handed with another Chelsea goal instead. Havertz’s cross was headed back by Mudryk, into Kovačić, who karate-kicked it into the roof of the net. Cue another lengthy VAR check for offside, but the verdict wasn’t what Leicester wanted to hear. The game was now beyond their reach. Faes' late red card, for two yellows, rubbed salt into the wounds. 

Major moment

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Brendan Rodgers

Manager Brendan Rodgers watches on from the sidelines on Filbert Way.

Leicester did have their moments. Perhaps most notably was Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's chance deep into the second half. The Foxes then conceded a third goal, and that was the moment when the afternoon started to get away from Brendan Rodgers' men.

Where do we stand?

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall tries to drive the Foxes forwards.

City are 16th, one point clear of the relegation zone and three above bottom.

Coming up…

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Patson Daka

Goalscorer Patson Daka was an attacking outlet for City on Saturday.

The Foxes head to the capital next weekend to tackle Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday (3pm GMT kick-off). 

The details

Leicester City Crest





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