A huge sum of money spent did not get Chelsea into any positions of winning a major silverware this season, and its 47-year old head coach Graham Potter has also been in the hot seat as one of the managers who are likely to be axed by the end of this season. Nevertheless, after not winning any of their previous six games in all competitions, the Blues bounced back to win three in a row, including a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in the Premier League, followed by a 2-0 turnaround triumph against German Bundesliga 1’s Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League as well as their latest league win versus Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
The Blues Looked Like a Different Team
Graham Potter’s side gained huge momentum in its last game, after the team came back from a 1-0 deficit in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 to beat Dortmund in the second leg at home. The Solihull-born manager made only two changes from that said starting squad against the German outfit in this match, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mykhailo Mudryk coming in for Reece James and Raheem Sterling. Brendan Rodgers made the same number of replacements for his Foxes side that lost to Southampton 1-0 in the last match.
The Blues started the game strongly, and did not have to wait long for the first goal of the afternoon. Ben Chilwell’s corner delivery was unsuccessful, but Senegal national captain Kalidou Koulibaly was there to pick the ball up and fired back into the penalty box. The 26-year-old Chilwell then hit the ball first-time to score against his former club and was not hiding his emotion celebrating the goal. Chelsea nearly doubled its lead through loanee João Félix in the 24th minute, but his dink shot hit the post and came back.
Leicester’s luck came to its rescue again 10 minutes later, as Potter’s two starting line-up replacements Mudryk and Loftus-Cheek linked up a beautiful play, before the out-wide midfielder delivered a cross for Félix to put the ball behind the net. The replay showed that the Portuguese was offside, thus referee Andre Marriner decided to disallow the goal. The Foxes then came up with their own effort six minutes before the first half added time, with Zambian Patson Daka scoring a wonder goal just outside the penalty box with his left foot. Kepa Arrizabalaga stood no chance of saving the powerful strike.
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Chelsea Not to Be Denied
The team from West London was determined throughout the entire match and regained its lead seconds before the half-time whistle was blown. Chelsea’s captain Mateo Kovačić carefully lobbed a pass to the unmarked Kai Havertz, before the young German star put home his eight goal in 35 appearances for the club this season. Kovačić and Havertz then involved again for another Blues’ goal in the second half, with the 23-year-old German forward tearing the Foxes’ defence down, before crossing the ball to Mudryk. Kovačić then received a headed pass by the Ukrainian and slotted home only his sixth goal in 210 appearances for the team in blue.
There was no way back for the home side, especially after it was down to 10 men in the 87th minute, thanks to Wout Faes’s straight red card. The Belgian defender was seen clashing into Carney Chukwuemeka, prompting referee to send him off minutes before the added time. The 3-1 loss meant Brendan Rodgers’ side had lost five consecutives games in all competitions, while Chelsea is on a good run with their third successful victory.
Potter: “We Deserved to Win.”
The Chelsea manager seemed to have found the winning formula for his team, after a dreadful run of form that saw them place around the mid section of the Premier League table. During the post-match conference, the 47-year-old head coach praised about Chelsea’s development in recent times. “It’s been a really positive week for us, three wins against Leeds, Dortmund and today says a lot about the development of the team. It’s a hard fought game, as they always are, but in the end I thought we deserved to win. Three wins in the week at this level is very pleasing. Now we have to follow that up with a win next weekend and then into the international break. We will try to get three points against Everton”, he said.
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