LEICESTER, England — Chelsea deepened Leicester City’s relegation fears and elevated the warmth on Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers with a cushty 3-1 win on the King Power Stadium within the Premier League on Saturday.
Goals from Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic — Patson Daka had equalised for Leicester within the first half — sealed Chelsea’s third win in per week to increase their revival. And with Leicester dropping to 2 locations above the relegation zone, their day was made worse by defender Wout Faes being despatched off for 2 yellow playing cards late within the second half.
1. Chelsea emerging from their droop and starting to click on
Graham Potter has been taken to the depths of despair throughout his temporary reign as Chelsea supervisor, however this win at Leicester steered that he and his workforce might lastly be emerging from their monthslong nightmare. The Blues have now gained three video games within the house of per week — and certified for the Champions League quarterfinals — after successful only one of their earlier 11 fixtures.
The dominance of their victory on the King Power was underlined by additionally having two objectives disallowed for offside towards the struggling house facet.
With Potter as soon as once more in a position to deploy his favoured 3-5-2 formation, Chelsea appeared in management from the beginning, and so they went forward within the eleventh minute when Chilwell struck a left-footed volley to attain towards his former membership. Leicester responded effectively and had their probabilities, equalising via Daka’s Thirty ninth-minute strike, however they regained management when Kai Havertz made it 2-1 with a lobbed purpose 4 minutes into first-half stoppage time.
That purpose enabled the guests to dictate the play much more, and their big-money signing started to shine. Loanee Joao Felix was strong within the first half earlier than being taken off on the interval, and Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk each impressed earlier than Kovacic made it 3-1 on 78 minutes.
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Chelsea had been so poor throughout their woeful midwinter run that Potter on borrowed time as supervisor, however possibly the board’s persistence within the former Brighton & Hove Albion boss is now bearing fruit.
There had been clear signs of progress and of a workforce coming collectively on this win. A top-four spot appears to be like past them, but when they’ll construct on their revival, a top-seven end and maybe even a run to the Champions League remaining may but be on the playing cards.
2. Rodgers feeling the warmth as Leicester face relegation combat
Rodgers was subjected to chants of “We want Rodgers out” as Leicester slumped to their sixteenth Premier League defeat this season — a loss that leaves them only one level above the underside three. All managers know that their grip on a job is barely really strengthened or weakened by outcomes, however when supporters start to show, it often accelerates the start of the top.
Rodgers is aware of this higher than most having been a top-level supervisor for greater than a decade, however the former Liverpool and Celtic boss has undoubtedly been pressured to work in robust circumstances on the King Power in current seasons. He has seen star gamers reminiscent of Harry Maguire, Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana all depart with out being correctly changed, and an absence of new signings final summer season has resulted on this season’s struggles.
Despite successful Leicester’s first-ever FA Cup in 2021, Rodgers has seemingly run out of credit score with the membership’s followers, who now concern relegation to the Championship.
Rodgers mentioned earlier than this sport that protecting Leicester up this season could be one of the largest achievements of his profession, so he clearly feels he has been up towards it this season. Having been in cost for 4 years now, although, Rodgers may even know that he’s working out of time to increase that keep for a fifth yr.
3. Maddison essential for Foxes’ survival hopes
The King Power Stadium held its breath when James Maddison fell to the bottom following a late problem by Fernandez on 58 minutes. With the Leicester midfielder clutching his foot in agony, the prospect of a foul harm would have been massively damaging for his membership’s survival prospects.
In the top, the 26-year-old was in a position to return to the motion, regardless of nonetheless clearly being troubled by the harm.
Leicester are actually in such a harmful scenario on the fallacious finish of the desk, although, that they want Maddison on the pitch even when he is not one hundred pc match. He is their finest participant by a long way and the one one succesful of creating the probabilities to attain the objectives Leicester desperately have to convert.
At occasions towards Chelsea, it was like watching a lead violinist attempting to play with native band in a storage, with Maddison too usually on a special wavelength to his teammates. Despite an injury-hit season, he has managed 9 objectives in 19 Premier League video games and registered 5 assists, so his significance to Rodgers’ workforce is clear.
If Maddison might help hold Leicester up, it’s going to in all probability be his remaining contribution for the membership, with a transfer to larger and higher issues seemingly solely a matter of time for the England participant.
Best and worst performers
BEST: Kai Havertz, Chelsea. The Chelsea ahead was at his elegant finest on the King Power. Great passing and motion, but additionally scored with a surprising lob to revive his workforce’s lead.
BEST: James Maddison, Leicester City. Leicester want Maddison to remain match if they’re to keep away from relegation. Stands out a mile as the most effective participant within the workforce.
BEST: Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea. The Premier League’s most costly participant is rising into his function at Chelsea and he dominated the midfield alongside Kovacic. Lucky to keep away from a reserving for dangerous foul on Maddison, although.
WORST: Harry Souttar, Leicester City. The Leicester defender was lucky to flee a yellow card, and even worse, for a crude late problem on Mudryk within the second half. Too cumbersome as a Premier League centre-half.
WORST: Wout Faes, Leicester City. Not solely does he appear like former Chelsea defender David Luiz, he additionally has the identical reckless defensive mindset because the Brazilian. Sent off for 2 yellow playing cards, together with his second foul — on Carney Chukwuemeka — worthy of a crimson card by itself.
WORST: Ricardo Pereira, Leicester City. Booked for a foul problem on Fernandez, however escaped punishment for an excellent worse foul on Felix earlier within the sport.
Highlights and notable moments
It’s saying one thing that it is exhausting to find out which was extra spectacular: Fernandez’s scooped ball excessive or Havertz’s first-time lobbed end. Two lovely shows of method.
Kai Havertz? Cooler than the opposite facet of the pillow.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 11, 2023
After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned
Potter: “It’s been a really positive week for us. Three wins: a determined win against Leeds, an important victory against Dortmund in the Champions League and then to back it up with a victory here away from home in the Premier League says a lot about the developing spirit, developing togetherness we have at the club.”
Rodgers: “I thought it was very harsh on the players at the end. … What I take great encouragement from is the spirit of the team, they kept fighting, they kept working and I think we were unfortunate to lose the way we did.”
Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)
– Chelsea have now scored a number of objectives in consecutive video games for the primary time since a five-game stretch between Oct. 1 and Oct. 16.
– Chelsea snapped a streak of 24 matches with out scoring three or extra objectives in any competitors.
Leicester City: The Foxes will journey to west London in per week once they tackle Brentford for a Saturday afternoon Premier League showdown.
Chelsea: Chelsea will return to the house comforts of Stamford Bridge on Saturday, once they host Everton within the Premier League.