Soccer

Leicester City-Chelsea score: Lampard on hot seat as Fofana, Ndidi, Maddison go top of Premier League table

Leicester City moved into first place in the Premier League on Tuesday with a convincing 2-0 win over a struggling Chelsea side at King Power Stadium. The Foxes made the Blues pay for their errors and scored both goals in the first half to blow the doors off the match and continue Chelsea’s miserable run of form. Frank Lampard’s side have lost five of their last eight league matches and finished the day in eighth place. 

Chelsea had the majority of possession but could not break down an inspired Leicester defense, led by youngster Wesley Fofana, who gave the visiting attack all they could handle under the wind and rain. The Blues were the most threatening on set pieces, twice getting good looks on corner kicks, while Timo Werner put away a late free kick cross that was ruled offside. 

It was Wilfred Ndidi’s wonderful strike at the top of the box that resulted in the winner just six minutes in, with his rocket shot kissing off the left post and leaving every Chelsea player frozen. James Maddison then took advantage of a sleeping Reece James to make it 2-0 in the 41st minute, securing an insurance goal that they didn’t even need in the end. 

The Foxes are now seven matches unbeaten in all competitions. 

Here are three takeaways from the match:

1. Leicester were exceptional and deserved the result

This match was all Leicester, all game. Brendan Rodgers, for the first time in 16 tries, finally got a win against Chelsea as his side took it to them, exploiting space to get players in deep. Frankly, the Blues were lucky the scoreline wasn’t much worse. With Chelsea’s defense in disarray, the Foxes were able to play balls to the far side and have enough room to make something of it, especially on the second goal. In the end, it was the lack of shape and execution defensively and really not creating enough quality chances in the final third, finishing with an expected goals of 0.74. 

2. Frank Lampard’s days numbered?

Could Frank Lampard be on his way out of Chelsea thanks to this poor run of form? With the Champions League round of 16 right around the corner and the team currently five points behind the top four, it seems a bit early. On paper, this team has arguably as much talent as any other contender in the Premier League, but the chemistry has not been fostered as of yet. There is a lack of cohesion down the left between Christian Pulisic and Ben Chilwell. Some of the ideas in attack were good, but it’s just that the Leicester defense read passes like a book and made it look easy. 

One thing that will have to be improved upon is the play at right back, with Reece James having a nightmare performance. He was at fault for the second goal and nearly gave up another by not marking his main. Just look at his positioning here: 

Lampard, speaking to Sky Sports after the match, said the goals came on “sleeping moments.”

“[Talks of my future] intensified for me a while ago. Expectations at this club are high. Right or wrong. When we perform like that it is normal people will ask questions,” Lampard said. 

When asked if the owner will back him at the helm, Lampard said (via Joe Prince-Wright): “It is not my decision. That is something that will always be there. Some things are always beyond your control. That I can’t answer.”  

3.World-class performance from Fofana

For those who hadn’t seen Wesley Fofana play, they got an up-close look at a player with world-class potential. The 20-year-old French defender was absolutely superb, and he was arguably the best player on the pitch. He had a game-high eight clearances, produced an absolutely sensational block in the second half inside the box and intercepted three passes. While Leicester have dealt with injuries at the back, and last season the story was the emergence of Caglar Soyuncu, the story for 2021 may just be his potential guiding the team in a title run. 



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