View from in front of my screen
So our fourth game of the season brings Chelsea vs Leicester, Chelsea having a win, a draw and a loss to their record so far. Manager Tommy Tuchel is suspended after his antics against Spurs and is watching from the stands.
Trevor Chalobah replaces the suspended Koulibaly in a back 3, Leicester not playing the possibly Chelsea bound Forfana, the influential Maddison also missing.
One surprising thing for me is that both teams were wearing dark tops and shorts the only difference being Chelsea’s white socks.
The game gets off at a cracking pace and a quick throw by the Foxes, leads to a corner which doesn’t clear the 1st man, then a break by Chelsea sees Sterling play a great ball into the area, and the Leicester goalie Ward makes a great save from Loftus, when it looks like he should score.
Quick breaks from both teams and the game is frantic end to end stuff.
11 minutes in and Tielmanns brings down Loftus in the area, Ref Tierney gives a penalty, but it’s ruled out by VAR for an earlier offside by Havertz, I was a little surprised the linesman hadn’t already flagged for it.
Chelsea’s midfield seems to be more active/effective than they were against Leeds.
On 17 mins Johnny Evans cuts out a good ball from Sterling to Havertz and Evans goes down injured, and it’s a chance for Rogers to get some tactics to his team. The game restarts after 3 mins and Gallagher gets booked for a silly tackle. Chelsea once again dominating but with no end product, will we get hit on the break?
26 minutes and a ball from James hits Evans arm, but no penalty given as it was down by his side.
Another Chelsea corner comes to nothing and Leicester have a quick break, Gallagher then commits a foul to stop a quick break and is sent off. Chelsea have to play for another 62mins with 10 men.
The challenges are coming in thick and fast as Dewsbury-Hall is booked for a challenge on Cucurella in the centre circle. Can Leicester make their extra man count?
They win another corner and the ball is in the net, but its ruled out for a foul by Barnes on Mendy who maybe should have done better anyway.
The game is getting spicy. Chelsea still having more of the ball with 10 men.
Another quick break and Loftus-Cheek uses his strength to ride a few tackles and finds Sterling who is then bought down by Praet who is rightly booked.
The Chelsea set piece comes to nothing, when will they start doing something better with them?
On 42 mins a good move from Chelsea sees James hit the Post/crossbar with a thunderbolt.
43 minutes and a ball over the top to Vardy sees him in on goal but he drags his shot wide (he looked offside, but no flag).
The last bit of action of the 1st half sees Mendy in action with a good save from Castagne. The ref blows for half time and Cucurella is down receiving treatment as the players troop off.
The restart sees Tuchel bring Dave on for Mason Mount, and Chelsea are rewarded immediately as Cucurella finds Sterling who jinks and fires a great looping ball over the goalie into the top corner via a slight deflection 1-0 to the Blues.
On 50 mins Chelsea should be 2 up as Sterling hits the post after a great through ball from Cucurella as Chelsea have a quick break, on 2nd viewing the goalie actually got a toe to it, so it goes down as good save.
On 54 minutes Leicester make a double change. Perez and Iheanacho coming on for Soumare and Praet who was on a yellow card.
Iheanacho looking quite lively, can Chelsea hold on for another 30 mins.
Do they need too, Sterling makes it 2-0 as a great searching cross from James finds him at the back post and he slots it in. Chelsea fans now finding their voice.
65 mins and Leicester wake up as they win the ball in the centre circle from a Mendy goal-kick and break, the ball finds Harvey Barnes on the left who beats Mendy at his near post.
Chelsea now under constant pressure, but still having chances as another good ball from Cucurella finds a blue shirt, but the shot is blocked.
72 minutes and a good ball from Tielemans finds Iheanacho and he pulls his shot just wide as a confident Mendy lets it go off for a goal-kick.
74 mins sees a water break and a double change for Chelsea as Kovacic comes on for Jorginho and two goal man Sterling is replaced by Pulisic.
15 Minutes to go…and the butterflies are starting in my stomach. Watching Chelsea is not good for my health!
Havertz then has a good break after some neat play with Cucurella and Kovacic, but a heavy touch lets him down.
78minutes and Vardy ghosts in behind Chalobah but Mendy narrows the angle and parries the attempted chip for a corner.
Chelsea are holding their line quite well, 10mins to go, and my stream keeps going down…
Vardy gets free as a ball comes over the top he beats Chalobah to it, he’s in on goal but fires wide, although Silva was on the line should Mendy have missed it.
Tielemans now having the run of midfield as Chelsea drop deeper. 5 Mins to go.
86 minutes and heart in mouth time as Leicester hit the crossbar with a great shot from Perez
88 minutes and a poor Corner from Dewsbury-Hall has to be retaken for some argy bargy in the box and Leicester make a change before it can be taken, and again the corner is poor. Both sides need to work on their delivery from set pieces.
4 minutes of added time. “Come on Chelsea” is the chant from the stands.
Leicester win a free-kick on the left and it’s headed away by Cucurella. That is his last action as he’s replaced by Chilwell who comes on against his old club.
Havertz is then booked on 92mins, Whistles around the ground, A ball in from Perez is headed out for a corner by Dave,
Goalie Ward comes up for the corner which again is pretty crap, and the whistle blows.
I can breathe again.
A vital 3 points, but how much will that have taken out of the players with the games now coming in thick and fast.
My MOTM goes to the Chelsea wingbacks James and Cucurella, with Sterling getting an honorable mention for his 2 goals.