Leicester City 1-3 Chelsea: Inspired second half overcomes plucky Leicester.
Chelsea took another step closer to the Premier League title last night with a 3-1 win over Lei...
Chelsea took another step closer to the Premier League title last night with a 3-1 win over Leicester City. After finding themselves a goal down and after a dressing down at half time from the manager, they played some fantastic football to take them one game from the title!
You have to hold your hands up and give tremendous credit to Nigel Pearson and his team. To have found themselves in the position they were in a month ago, to then put four wins in a row together to lift themselves out of the bottom three is an excellent record no matter what league you are fighting for.
It didn't stop there either. They came after Chelsea in the first half and dominated us which is what none of us expected. We have read in the last few weeks that Chelsea are boring, they sit deep, play defensive football and look to kill the game. Well, Leicester wouldn't allow that to happen and being honest, Chelsea found themselves with plenty of problems in that first half.
Chelsea went behind after a good move from the home side down Chelsea's right caused panic in our back four. Branislav Ivanovic was caught out of position high up the pitch and Leicester capitalised. As John Terry and Gary Cahill came across to close the space, the ball was crossed into the box and Cesar Azpilicueta lost his footing at exactly the wrong moment. With that, Marc Albrighton had time to control his shot into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
It was just what Leicester deserved and Chelsea needed to wake up. We had not been at our best and were having problems dealing with their pressure. The ball wouldn't stick up front and it was just not clicking for us. Something had to be said at half time and it was!
The second half we were fantastic and showed signs of the entertaining football that had taken us top of the league and stayed there. We moved the ball better, we had a better shape and balance to the side and most importantly of all, we began to cause the home side problems.
What was good to see was that the manager's team talk at half time had the effect it needed as we scored our equaliser early in the second half. Ivanovic down the right hand side picked up the ball in the box and squared the ball to Didier Drogba who, under pressure from the defender, slid the ball home after stealing a yard of space into the bottom corner 1-1.
Chelsea's second goal came from another well worked set piece. Cesc Fabregas swung in a corner from our left hand side and Gary Cahill made one of those runs he makes from behind the keeper and out. Cahill managed to flick the ball goal wards at the near post and John Terry followed up with a late run at the back post to flick the ball home from three yards 2-1.
We wrapped up the three points with a stunning strike from Ramires. Cesc Fabregas was involved once again and he found himself in down the right hand side at the edge of the penalty box with time and space. He looks up, sees a late run from Ramires AND Matic towards the outside edge of the penalty box dead centre and he passes the ball to Ramires who, without hesitation, fires the ball home first time into the top left hand corner making it 3-1.
It was a stunning second half from Chelsea and one that Leicester couldn't live with despite their excellent first half performance. The home side will be safe and will avoid the drop this season if they keep playing as they are.
After the game the manager was asked of his half time team talk which had the desired effect and Jose Mourinho responded by saying:
“If I tell you on television what I said it will be ‘peep, peep, peep’. Too many peeps.
Tonight was not boring for me. To be losing at half-time is not boring – it is pressure. The way we played in the second half, against probably the best team we have played in the last month, was fantastic.
It was a difficult first half, a very good team, very well organised defensively, pressing very well, closing spaces, very aggressive in the way they play with the ball. In the first half they were a team defending well, trying to score a goal on the counterattack, which they did.
In the second half, obviously, the early goal is important but after that we were completely in control. We played so, so well and so fluid, and the goal had to arrive sooner or late. So I think the boys did fantastic.”So, Chelsea are now one game and three points away from the Premier League title. Being honest, at half time, I could have settled for a draw but these players never give up. They have that winning mentality and add to that the best manager in the world and you have trophies which is all that matters.
Although it took 45 minutes and a bollocking from the manager - Chelsea showed some excellent entertaining football. Football of champions!