Another embarassing defeat for Chelsea, who despite knowing Leicester City's gameplan still let them play to their strengths and came out with a 2-1 defeat. Chelsea manager José Mourinho was understandably frustrated with the level of play shown by his players for the most part of the game, admitting that the Foxes deserved to win the match.
"I think they deserved to win because they were better than us during a longer period of time. I think we were the best team for 20, 25 minutes, maximum of half an hour; they were the best team for about an hour. [They were] very consistent, very focused, didn't make mistakes. Aggresive with everybody, playing high intensity, high tempo, great mentality."
"And [it was] difficult for us. Then we concede two goals that are unacceptable for me because I know, one of my best qualities is to read the game for my players, is to read the opponents, is to identify every detail about your opponents."
"And these two goals, [Jamie] Vardy moving between the two central defenders, the cross with the left foot, then Mahrez in the box one v one - and I wanted one v two because I want them to close him on his best foot -, they are two goals very difficult to accept because I feel that my work was betrayed, if these are the right words."
In addition to playing well on the pitch, Leicester also played the game well off the pitch with time-wasting tactics, ball boy antics, and the like. As frustrating as all that may have been, Mourinho couldn't help but feel even more distraught by our players once again playing down to the level of this season, rather than the last.
"When we scored the goal, it was like 15 minutes [until the end of the match] that they transformed in 5 because the match almost finished there with the ball boys and the injuries, and the ball disappearing; all this stuff that it's not nice but they did very well.
"And it's difficult for us to score goals when you have players who are not in their best level; it's obvious and everybody knows that. When you have some players specially in crucial positions that aren't at their normal level, it's difficult."
"It's hard. All last season I did a phenomenal work and I brought them to a level that is not theirs. Is more than they really are. Or this season we are doing so bad that the players for some reason - not all of them - aren't [at that level]."
In the second half, José Mourinho switched to three at the back (standard panic formation) and brought on Cesc Fàbregas and Loïc Rémy in his efforts to turn the game around. The former brought much of the creativity we lacked throughout the first half while the latter scored our only goal in the game. Still, it wasn't enough, with Costa's performance tonight once again raising some questions about the Spanish striker's qualities.
"I always try to help. I think today [Fàbregas' introduction] helped but it was not enough. But we took John [Terry], we kept [Kurt] Zouma and [Cesar] Azpilicueta behind because they are fast, to cope with [Leicester's] counterattacks. And then an extra striker to have a better occupation of the box because clearly Diego [Costa] is in trouble there.
"And because he's in trouble in the box, normally his movements are outside the box; he's moving to the sides and he doesn't occupy finishing areas. So I brought [Loïc] Rémy to have another body there."
Another source of discouragement for Mourinho is how the players' hard work in training isn't translating into good performances when it matters for the team, with the manager openly and very clearly frustrated between the differences he sees in the two situations.
"Well, I don't know another way that isn't to work at the top level which is what I do every day. And again, I have to be honest and say that day by day in training I have no complains with the players. But I look to some matches and I feel frustrated with the difference between what they do in training and what they do in matches."
And for those of us who were still hopeful of doing an impact in the Premier League, Mourinho didn't mince words in telling our chances of reaching it.
"[Top four is] clearly gone."
Leicester City move back to the top of the Premier League with 35 points, while the defending champions Chelsea remain 16th, with 15 points from 16 matches and only a single point ahead of 18th-place Norwich City. These are the days your mother warned you about.