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Leicester City 0-3 Chelsea: Rudiger, Kante & Pulisic on target for dominant Premier League leaders

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Antonio Rudiger has scored five Premier League goals since the start of the 2019-20 season - and four have come against Leicester.
Antonio Rudiger has scored five Premier League goals since the start of 2019-20 – four have come against Leicester

Premier League leaders Chelsea ruthlessly tightened their grip on top spot by punishing the failings of lacklustre Leicester at King Power Stadium.

Antonio Rudiger continued his habit of scoring against the Foxes with a glancing, looping header from a corner whipped in by ex-Leicester wing-back Ben Chilwell.

Another former Foxes favourite, midfielder N’Golo Kante, doubled the lead by firing home from the edge of the box after being allowed to roam 30 yards virtually unchallenged.

Chelsea could have been out of sight by half-time, Chilwell grazing the bar when he should have scored from an early one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel, who later denied Kante with his legs.

Leicester offered more as an attacking force after the break as Edouard Mendy made a fabulous save to tip away a fierce long-range shot from Daniel Amartey and Jamie Vardy headed over from close range.

But Chelsea, who stretched their lead at the top to six points before Saturday’s later kick-offs, could have had more as Schmeichel saved smartly from Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi curled inches over.

The Blues had also three goals ruled out for offside, the assistant’s flag foiling Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Christian Pulisic, who capped his return from injury by slotting home Chelsea’s third from Hakim Ziyech’s cross.

Leaders on a real Power trip

The Blues’ last trip to King Power Stadium inadvertently led to the beginning of the Thomas Tuchel era, a limp 2-0 defeat in January proving to be predecessor Frank Lampard’s final game, and this display was further evidence, if needed, of how much they have progressed since.

It was Chelsea’s fourth win in five Premier League away games, and they are yet to concede from open play – the only points they have dropped coming in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool when the Blues played the entire second half a man light.

Just as impressive as their dazzling defensive record – just four goals conceded in 12 games – has been their ability to conjure goals despite injuries to Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Pulisic.

Christian Pulisic scores for Chelsea against Leicester.
Christian Pulisic scored his second Premier League goal of the season in just his third game of an injury-hit campaign

No team in the top flight has had more players find the net than Chelsea – 15 – and the fact Rudiger and Kante, hardly prolific scorers, both registered their second goals of the campaign was further proof Tuchel’s side, who barely missed a step on their return from the international break, carry a threat from all over the pitch.

Foxes’ failings laid bare by Blues

It was another chastening afternoon for Leicester, who have become regular contenders for the Champions League places in recent seasons, but look as far away from that top four as at any point of Brendan Rodgers’ reign.

Since the start of last season, no side has conceded more goals from corners than the Foxes with Rudiger’s early effort taking that tally to 15.

However, they were torn apart just as often from open play, as evidenced by defence-splitting through balls from Jorginho that led to big chances for Chilwell and Kante, while the room the latter was allowed to run into for his goal verged on embarrassing.

They were just as poor defensively after the interval, as only some wasteful finishing, a couple of Schmeichel saves and some marginal, albeit correct, offside calls kept the margin of defeat respectable.

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Leicester City

  1. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  2. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  3. Squad number6Player nameEvans

  4. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

  5. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  6. Squad number42Player nameSoumaré

  7. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

  8. Squad number27Player nameCastagne

  9. Squad number37Player nameLookman

  10. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  11. Squad number7Player nameBarnes

  1. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  2. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

  3. Squad number22Player nameDewsbury-Hall

Chelsea

  1. Squad number16Player nameMendy

  2. Squad number14Player nameChalobah

  3. Squad number6Player nameThiago Silva

  4. Squad number2Player nameRüdiger

  5. Squad number24Player nameJames

  6. Squad number7Player nameKanté

  7. Squad number5Player nameJorginho

  8. Squad number21Player nameChilwell

  9. Squad number19Player nameMount

  10. Squad number20Player nameHudson-Odoi

  11. Squad number29Player nameHavertz

  1. Squad number10Player namePulisic

  2. Squad number12Player nameLoftus-Cheek

  3. Squad number22Player nameZiyech

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1SchmeichelBooked at 45mins
  • 18AmarteyBooked at 40mins
  • 6EvansBooked at 45mins
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 11Albrighton
  • 42SoumaréSubstituted forDewsbury-Hallat 75′minutes
  • 25Ndidi
  • 27Castagne
  • 37LookmanSubstituted forIheanachoat 45′minutes
  • 9Vardy
  • 7BarnesSubstituted forMaddisonat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Bertrand
  • 10Maddison
  • 12Ward
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 17Pérez
  • 20Choudhury
  • 22Dewsbury-Hall
  • 23Vestergaard
  • 29Daka

Chelsea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 16MendyBooked at 65mins
  • 14Chalobah
  • 6Thiago Silva
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 24James
  • 7Kanté
  • 5JorginhoSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 77′minutes
  • 21Chilwell
  • 19MountSubstituted forZiyechat 63′minutes
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 29HavertzSubstituted forPulisicat 62′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Arrizabalaga
  • 3Alonso
  • 4Christensen
  • 10Pulisic
  • 11Werner
  • 12Loftus-Cheek
  • 18Barkley
  • 22Ziyech
  • 28Azpilicueta

Referee:
Paul Tierney

Attendance:
35,497

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