By Paul Lagan at The King Power Stadium
Leicester City 0 v Chelsea 3
Chelsea have come a long way since they were last at the King Power Stadium. A 2-0 defeat on January 19 this year was the last league match Frank Lampard had in charge at SW6 as the west Londoners sunk to ninth in the Premier League.
He was sacked days later.
His replacement Thomas Tuchel went on to snatch fourth place in the Premier league but more importantly win the Champions League.
He also oversaw a sensational 3-0 victory over Leicester that has kept them top of the pile.
It must have left Lampard thinking ‘What if?’
Goals from Toni Rudiger, an N’Golo Kante blaster and a tap-in from substitute Christian Pulisic saw off a Foxes side that is looking increasingly in danger of getting mixed up in a relegation battle.
Three more goals were ruled out for offsides as the Blues could have quite justifiably won by six goals
Chelsea should have scored after four minutes. A quick free-kick saw the ball lobbed forward to in-running Ben Chilwell.
The former Fox who was booed by the home fans as soon as he touched the ball, almost silenced them, But his thumper of a left-foot shot rattled Peter Schmeichel’s cross bar and was cleared.
But the breakthrough came on the 14th minute. When after excellent pressing by the Blues, they forced a corner.
A regulation clipped effort by Chilwell was met by the head of Toni Rudiger who directed the ball high and wide past Schmeichel and into the back of he net.
N’Golo Kante could have doubled the lead two minutes later when he ran through the Leicester defence unchallenged. But his attempted lob over Schmeichel did not match the run and the goalkeeper parried the ball away.
A mason Mount free-kick failed to trouble the goalkeeper on 23 minutes, but the 25-yard effort did dip late-on and skimmed the top f the net.
Ademola Lookman thought he had equalised after a superb counter-attack, but the striker had strayed into an offside position.
But it was former Foxes legend N’Golo Kante who picked up the ball in midfield and just kept on running forward.
Just as he reached the edge of the Leicester penalty area, the midfielder let fly with a sensational left-footer that ripped past Schmeichel and smashed the back of the net to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Kante’s and Kai Havertz got in each other’s way and prevented a third goal when Chilwell’s byline cross was attacked by both players. Neither player gave way and the ball bounced off then to safety.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers brought on James Maddison and striker Kelechi Ineanacho.Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel kept his starting 11.
It had little affect as the Blues piled forward fo the third – a Chilwell daisy-cutter on 54 minutes saw an excellent save by Schmeichel, who tipped the goal-bound effort away for a corner.
Tuchel decided on 62 minutes to make his fist changes – on came Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech- off went Havertz and Mount.
A thunderbolt from Daniel Amartey from 25 yards, produced a ‘Hollywood ‘ save from Mendy. It was an extravagant save, but a necessary one.
Jamie Vardy then went close from a glancing header as the home side tried to snatch a goal to get back into the game.
But the Blues showed just why they are top of the league and will remain so this weekend, when both substitutes played their part in the third goal on 72 minutes.
Ziyech latched onto the ball on the right, took one touch before cutting the byline cross into the path of Pulisic. The USA winger also took a touch to control the ball before sliding it home past Schmeichel from close range.
The Blues then had a hat-trick offside goals chalked off as they sought to humiliate the Foxes and perhaps remind Lampard of what could have been.
Teams: Chelsea, Mendy, Rudiger, Jorginho, Silva, Kante, Chalobah, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, James, Havertz
Subs: Kepa, Alonso, Christensen, Pulisic, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Ziyech, Azpilicueta
LeicesterCity, Schmeichel, Soyuncu, Evans, Barnes, Vardy, Albrighton, Amartey, Ndidi, Castagne, Lookman, Soumare
Subs: Bertrand, Maddison, Ward, Iheanacho, Ayoze, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall, Vestergaard, Daka
Referee: Paul Tierney
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