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“He returned to haunt his former side” – Three things learnt from Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea

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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.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Chelsea

Crystal Palace’s hopes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek return boosted after latest comments

The midfielder is unlikely to get what he’s after at his parent club.

Jamie Watts

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek has boosted Crystal Palace‘s hopes of securing his services for another season, after claiming he will only remain with Chelsea this summer if guaranteed a regular first-team spot at Stamford Bridge next season, in quotes via Sky Sports.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Selhurst Park after making just 31 appearances for Chelsea since his debut in 2014, and his immense talents have earned him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad this World Cup.

Photo: Getty Images

“I want to play as much as I can,” revealed Loftus-Cheek. “Even this past season just gone, I didn’t play as much as I would have liked because of injuries. So I still feel I need a proper season of playing, wherever it is.”

Loftus-Cheek made 25 appearances for Roy Hodgson’s outfit last term, and is still unhappy with the amount of minutes he managed, so it’s pretty safe to assume Chelsea – given the disastrous domestic season they’ve just had – won’t be bettering his previous return, or be prioritising taking chances on academy products next season.

And Palace will be keen to offer the stylish midfielder a deal to extend his stay with the former England manager, where, if available, he will continue to be considered one of the first names on the team-sheet.

Photo: Getty Images

Palace are likely to face competition from rival clubs though, as Loftus-Cheek is emerging as a star on the biggest stage of all in Russia; having flourished in his brief cameo against Tunisia. And he’s now considered likely to start against Panama, with Dele Alli nursing a slight injury.

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Aston Villa

Aston Villa could reportedly owe John Terry £560,000 in wages

The owner may have to sell shares in the club.

Jamie Watts

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Aston Villa’s financial mess looks likely to continue, as the cash-strapped club could now owe captain John Terry a whopping £560,000 in wages, unless he transfers to a different club this summer, according to reports from the Times.

Villa are said to have reached an agreement with HMRC to postpone a payment of £4 million last week, but a further payment is expected this week and the club owner Tony Xia may have to go as far as to sell shares in the club to ensure all debts are paid.

The ex-Chelsea legend announced his impending departure from the midlands club last month, after they failed to secure Premier League promotion in the play-offs and his current contract is due to expire at the end of the month. But he is said to be entitled to a further month’s pay.

Photo: Getty Images

His weekly-wage packet was said to be worth £70,000 at Villa Park, meaning the overdue payments from the last two-months add up to over half-a-million for the 37-year-old defender. However, the outstanding July payment will only stand if Terry retires or remains a free-agent, meaning Villa will be keen to land him a new club.

Villa reportedly need £40 million in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations (Birmingham Mail), after gambling that they would gain promotion to the Premier League this season.

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Chelsea

England must start Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek after Panama reveal tactics

England must opt for creativity after the Panama captain’s comments

Jamie Watts

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Panama have revealed plans stifle England with a physical approach in their upcoming clash on Sunday, in quotes from captain Roman Torres on the Telegraph, and Gareth Southgate should ensure the Three Lions’ approach is suited to the style of opponent.

The Central Americans were beaten 3-0 by a star-studded Belgium outfit on Monday in their World Cup debut, meaning a win against England is pivotal in ensuring they remain in the competition beyond the group stages. And England will have a tough task taking the lion’s share of points on the day.

“England are a bit more direct than Belgium. They try to make use of the pace they have. We’ll need to be compact and limit their space,” revealed Torres told the Telegraph.

Photo: Getty Images

And as a result England must employ the right tactics. Creativity and bravery will be key, as they will undoubtedly have the majority of possession, and Southgate will want to make it count. Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek added instant impetus to a languid outfit, after coming on late against Tunisia.

The team’s performance became full of purpose and directness in the last 20 minutes, with both taking the responsibility of carrying the ball forward and creating, and from that arrived the corner and subsequent winner from Harry Kane.

Photo: Getty Images

The end product from the likes of Rashford was missing in the opening stages of the game also, as team-mate Jesse Lingard squandered a number of key opportunities to put the game to bed early, and Southgate will not want a repeat this time around.

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