“He returned to haunt his former side” – Three things learnt from Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea secured their third Premier League win on the bounce on Saturday afternoon as a N’Golo Kante inspired performance proved enough to see off former team Leicester City at the King Power.
Alvaro Morata spurned a glorious chance to put the visitors ahead early on, air-kicking Cesc Fabregas’ excellent through ball, but he made amends not long after with a powerful headed effort.
Antonio Conte’s side then pressed home their advantage early in the second-half when Kante’s placed shot from outside the area found its way past Kasper Schmeichel and into the far corner.
Jamie Vardy’s penalty just after the hour mark gave Leicester hope of a comeback by Chelsea held firm to ensure they moved into the Premier League’s top three, a point behind Manchester United.
See below for three things that The Boot Room took from Chelsea’s victory over Leicester City.
The tale of two returnees
Whilst most of the build-up to Saturday’s clash surrounded whether Danny Drinkwater would feature against his former side, it was another ex-Leicester City player that stole the headlines.
N’Golo Kante was so influential during Leicester’s title-winning campaign, casting himself into folklore at the King Power, and the Foxes were reminded of just what they’re missing on Saturday.
He was as imperious as ever against his former side, winning 100% of his tackles in a customary commanding midfield display and contributing three clearances and three timely interceptions too.
Whilst his efficient and powerful defensive capabilities are in full force again this season he also seems to have added another string to his bow with a new-found desire to create chances further forward.
With new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko as comfortable as Kante at sitting deep, it allows the talented Frenchman a sense of freedom to push forward this season – and he shows he has the end product in his locker, firing a precise effort across the box and into the corner for just his third top-flight goal.
Morata influential once again
After his less than impressive start to Chelsea life in the Community Shield against Arsenal, Alvaro Morata has been quick to silence the doubters with a superb start to the Premier League campaign.
The £60million man has already shown why he has managed to find the net wherever he’s been previously, getting into the right positions and counting on his Chelsea teammates to pick him out.
And his goal to open the scoring at the King Power was nothing short of a centre-forward’s dream, peeling away from Wes Morgan to rise highest and thump a header into the net to give him his third goal in just four Premier League matches this season – and his third headed goal of the season too.
The fact that the Spaniard has now been involved in five goals in his first four top-flight appearances already suggests that he’s settled into life at Stamford Bridge and is in top-form – Diego Costa who?
Leicester show sparks of life despite defeat
On the face of it, three points from their opening four Premier League matches isn’t exactly pretty reading as far as Leicester City fans are concerned, sitting just one place above the relegation spots.
But they were handed an extremely tough start to the season, facing Manchester United and Arsenal away from home before coming up against reigning champions Chelsea, and it’s certainly not all bad news.
Over the course of the last month there have been signs of life amongst Craig Shakespeare’s side that suggest the Foxes could be a strong top-half side again, with Riyadh Mahrez showing glimpses of his peak form from 2015-16 and Jamie Vardy starting the season in excellent goal-scoring form.
The partnership at the back between Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire has shown signs of promise too, whilst Demarai Gray’s performances for England’s Under-21 side suggests he’s ready to impress.
The main on-field issue at the minute is a lack of bite and grit in the midfield, and a lack of disciplined positioning, and Leicester will no doubt want the Adrien Silva’s situated resolved fast.
It’s may have been a tough start to the season in many respects but it’s now time for Leicester to kick on and prove their top-half credentials, starting with a much-needed win over Huddersfield next time out.