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Victorious Leicester move back on top as Chelsea’s EPL woes continues

Photo Courtesy: Goal.com
Photo Courtesy: Goal.com

Leicester City reclaimed their place at the top of the EPL table, following a hard-fought 2-1 over Chelsea, who now hover perilously close the relegation zone, after succumbing to yet another defeat in the Premier League.

First half strikes from Leicester’s in-form duo Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez proved sufficient as Chelsea were only able to pull a goal back through Loic Remy, despite the Jose Mourinho’s men throwing the kitchen sink at the Foxes in the second half.

The hosts got off to a lively start as Mahrez, after cutting in from the right, forced a good save from Thiabaut Courtois in the second minute of the game.

Six minutes later, Hazard made an excellent run down the left, before whipping a terrific cross into the path of Costa. The Spaniard made a good run into the Leicester box, but his poor touch allowed Simpson to make an easy clearance.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Leicester were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, after Mahrez managed to force a foul from John Terry in the 13th minute. Fuchs’ delivery from the free-kick was fumbled by Courtois, but the Belgian was able to eventually collect the ball.

Moments later, an excellent counter from the Blues resulted in Oscar picking out Hazard with a superb deep cross. The tricky Belgian, after managing to control the ball with his chest, fired an effort, but his shot was blocked by a Leicester defender.

In the 19th minute, a long throw-in from Fuchs resulted in Mahrez collecting the ball in a very dangerous position, just outside the box. The Algerian immediately fired an effort, but his shot was saved well by Courtois.

Hazard’s night came to an early end as he was replaced by Pedro at the half hour mark due to a hip injury, following a challenge from Vardy.

As soon as Hazard left the pitch, Chelsea conceded as Leicester broke the deadlock through Vardy. Ulloa teed up Mahrez with a good pass on the right, and the Algerian sent a wonderful lofted ball into the box towards Vardy, who raced ahead of Terry and Zouma to volley home from close range.

Chelsea nearly gave an immediate response as Nemanja Matic’s effort narrowly missed the target. Willian whipped in a good corner from the right, and the Serbian managed to connect with a looping header, which went over after taking a nick off the crossbar.

With only a minute remaining in the first half, another attacking move from the Foxes saw Kante pull the ball back for Albrighton. The winger curled in an effort from 25 yards out, but Courtois was able to make a relatively comfortable save.

Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea in the second half as the hosts double their lead through Mahrez in the 48th minute. Albrighton picked out Mahrez with a lovely lofted pass, and the Algerian, after twisting and turning in front of Azpilicueta, curled an absolutely brilliant effort into the far corner of the net.

At the hour mark, Fabregas (who replaced Terry in the 54th minute) picked out Costa with a lovely chipped ball, and the former Atletico Madrid striker was clean through on goal. The Brazil-born striker fired a powerful low effort, but Schmeichel produced an excellent save to cling on to his clean sheet. The Blues got another good chance from the resulting corner, but Ivanovic somehow failed to convert from close range.

Eight minutes later, a nervously dealt corner by Chelsea allowed them to break on the counter through Remy. The former QPR striker slipped the ball to Matic, who fired a speculative shot from range. Although the Serbian’s effort was blocked by a Leicester defender, the ball found Pedro in a very dangerous position. The Spaniard immediately fired an effort, but the ball sailed over the crossbar.

Chelsea managed to give the travelling fans something to cheer about as they finally pulled a goal back via Remy in the 77th minute. Pedro, after moving in from the left, sent a brilliant cross, over the head of Huth, towards Remy, who made no mistakes as he powered a header home from point blank range.

Seven minutes later, the hosts nearly restored their two goal cushion, after an excellent counter resulted in Albrighton finding himself in a very good position, just outside the box. The former Aston Villa man tried his luck from 25 yards out, but his shot was wide of the target.

Although the Blues kept on searching for the equaliser, Leicester managed to hold on, and the game finally ended 2-1.

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