Chelsea have been held to a goalless draw for the third time in succession in all competitions as they have been held Zero-Zero by 10-man Leicester Metropolis in a vibrant Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s facet contrived to make the guests look world-class within the first half and issues did not enhance after the break. A refrain of boos echoed across the floor when Conte hooked Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas earlier than the hour mark, and whereas replacements Willian and Pedro definitely livened up Chelsea’s play, even after the guests have been diminished to 10 males when Ben Chilwell was despatched off within the 68th minute, the Blues couldn’t discover a well past Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
With Leicester having fun with manner an excessive amount of possession and pushing Chelsea again for lengthy durations of the sport, it was necessary that the Blues defence was in a position to stand agency. Whereas they rode their luck once in a while, dedicated blocking tackles have been the order of the day and once they did not work, high quality goalkeeping saved the day for Conte.
A goalless draw at dwelling to Leicester is not adequate, and given Chelsea had a person benefit for the ultimate 20+ minutes of the sport, it is even worse. Conte’s present penchant to begin with a five-man midfield is not chopping it, and with Hazard being regularly closed down, the Blues discovered themselves on the again foot for lengthy durations of the match, by which they struggled to comprise effervescent Leicester duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.
Supervisor ranking out of 10
6 — Conte was booed by sections of the group for changing Hazard and Fabregas, but it surely was to the Italian’s credit score that he made the substitutions when he did and switched to Four-Three-Three as neither participant was making an impression on the sport. Criticism for the Chelsea supervisor is due although for initially persisting with a Three-5-2 set-up which has made the Blues look more and more toothless as opposing groups rapidly work out that if Hazard is neutralised there is no such thing as a extra risk from the superior midfield positions.
Participant scores (1-10, 10 = greatest, gamers launched after 70 minutes get no ranking)
GK Thibaut Courtois, eight — Needed to be at his world-class greatest to make sure Leicester did not win the sport. An excellent early save on a shot by Wifred Ndidi, coupled with wonderful positional sense and distribution, made for a man-of-the-match efficiency which nearly sums up the surprising stability of this recreation.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 7 — Arguably with the best process of Chelsea’s backline, Azpi all the time appeared snug up towards Marc Albrighton and Chilwell. Took larger accountability for monitoring Vardy and Shinji Okazaki when Gary Cahill left the pitch injured, and assuming the captain’s function got here simply to the Spain worldwide.
DF Gary Cahill, 5 — Made some respectable blocking tackles, however appeared leggy up towards Vardy and was compelled off within the 33rd minute with a hamstring damage attempting to maintain tempo with the Leicester striker.
DF Antonio Rudiger, 7 –– With Mahrez in glowing type, this was a real check of the Germany worldwide’s defensive credentials and the 24-year previous usually acquitted himself properly, although there have been a few nervy moments when he could not deal with the Leicester man’s trickery on the ball.
MF Victor Moses, 5 — Allowed the sport to go him by for lengthy durations and supplied little in the way in which of creativity when in possession, which included the event he was on the ball and Chilwell got here in to make his red-card deal with.
MF Marcos Alonso, 5 — There was a second in damage time on the finish of the match when the Chelsea crowd held its breath as Alonso sized up a free kick. The Blues wing-back struck the ball sweetly, however Schmeichel made a world-class diving save. Had he scored, Alonso would have been man of the match, but it surely wasn’t to be and there was little else to commend the wing-back on in a usually lacklustre show.
MF N’Golo Kante, 7 — As anticipated, up towards his former membership, Kante put in a tigerish show and it was simply in addition to he did the work of three males in Chelsea’s midfield, pulling up the slack of Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko when Leicester pressed. Constantly having to deal with, an overzealous problem on Okazaki introduced the France worldwide a yellow card.
MF Tiemoue Bakayoko, 5 – Sadly, Bakayoko has develop into a goal for abuse from small sections of the Chelsea crowd. Towards Leicester, the 23-year previous struggled to impose himself in midfield and a few mistimed passes will not assist issues with the boo brigade.
FW Cesc Fabregas, 5 — Introduced an awesome save out of Schmeichel early within the recreation, however solely confirmed glints of talent and his supply from a collection of corners Chelsea received was frustratingly poor. Changed earlier than the hour mark.
FW Eden Hazard, 6 — Confirmed very early flashes of talent that troubled Leicester’s backline, however after the opening 10 minutes, he was closed out of the sport. Would not look to be 100-percent match following a latest calf damage. How Hazard will reply to being hooked earlier than the hour can be fascinating — a cue maybe for tales linking him with a transfer to Actual Madrid as soon as once more.
FW Alvaro Morata, 5 — One other clean for Morata whose trigger wasn’t helped on the outset by Conte’s preliminary ways. Even when flanked by Willian and Pedro after the Italian’s tactical change, the striker lacked the imposing swagger and confidence to actually get engaged with the sport. A late yellow for a cynical foul nearly summed up the Spaniard’s world of ache in the meanwhile.
DF Andreas Christensen, 7 — Thrust unexpectedly into the fray when Cahill was injured, Christensen had no drawback settling instantly into the sport and Chelsea arguably appeared extra stable on the again towards Vardy and Mahrez with the 21-year previous of their ranks.
FW Willian, 6 — Gave Chelsea extra impetus going ahead, which wasn’t troublesome, however did not discover a manner by means of Leicester’s well-organised backline. Maybe if he’d received the argument with Alonso over who ought to take the final ditch free kick, he may have been the Blues’ hero for the day, but it surely wasn’t to be.
MF Pedro, 6 — Like Willian, it was further craft with no finish product from Pedro, who discovered Leicester gamers blocking his path every time he had the ball.
Mark Worrall is one among ESPN FC’s Chelsea bloggers. You’ll be able to comply with him on Twitter: @gate17marco