Chelsea’s top four hopes appear to be over as they lost 2-1 against Leicester at the King Power Stadium on Monday night. Leicester opened the scoring with another goal from Premier League’s top scorer Jamie Vardy, and Riyad Mahrez added another in the second half. Loic Remy pulled a goal back for the Blues, but he couldn’t save them from suffering yet another defeat.
Jose Mourinho named the same team that saw off Porto at the Bridge last week, hoping to keep up the momentum from that win. That saw John Terry keep his place in the team, alongside the seemingly now first choice defender Kurt Zouma. Cesc Fabregas was once again left out, after the manager named him as one of the squad’s biggest underperformers this season.
That unchanged side only managed to make it 30 minutes into the game, as Eden Hazard was taken off with an injury, with Pedro coming on. Vardy fouled the Belgian, who went tumbling and landed on his hip. While it was a clear free kick, it didn’t look like much of an injury. That will only fuel speculation that the winger is in line for a switch to Real Madrid in the not too distant future.
Just moments later, Vardy hurt the Blues again, as he put the Foxes ahead. Riyad Mahrez put in a fantastic ball for the forward, who hit his 15th goal of the season. He helped fuel Leicester’s fantastic start, and he played a big part as the hosts dominated during the first 45 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea in the second half, as Mahrez went from provider to scorer, doubling the lead. He hit a wonderful curled effort that sailed past Thibaut Courtois, and the King Power Stadium was rocking. Mourinho wasn’t impressed, and straight away he hauled off John Terry, replacing him with Fabregas. Remy also came on for Oscar, with the Blues moving to a 3-4-3 system.
The Blues did start to carve a few openings, as Pedro and Branislav Ivanovic both had opportunities blocked. There was a bit of added urgency, something missing from the early stages. That improvement finally got them onto the scoresheet, as they pulled a goal back. Pedro sent the ball in to the middle, and Remy headed in to cut the deficit.
The Blues pushed for an equaliser late on, but they could barely string a coherent move together. They were unable to make a breakthrough, and they suffered a ninth defeat of the season, leaving languishing in 16th place. As for Leicester, they moved back top of the table, and Chelsea fans will be willing them on to win it ahead of the likes of Man City and Arsenal.
The Blues are back in action on Saturday, as they host a struggling Sunderland side. Can they get the better of the team sitting second from bottom in the table? We probably wouldn’t bet on it at the moment.