After a careful first few minutes, Chelsea settled first and started playing the better of the two sides, creating several good opportunities but taking none of them.
Leicester eventually found their feet as well and started to pose serious threat, especially on the counter, especially once Chelsea started giving the ball away in midfield or even more dangerous areas. It was from one of those situations that Vardy had the best chance of the first-half. Caballero made the big save, justifying his manager’s decision to drop Kepa.
At the other end, Chelsea continued to waste chances, with Mount, Abraham, and Hudson-Odoi all guilty of poor finishing. Abraham did appear to win a penalty when he tried to cut inside of Söyüncü, but both the referee and the VAR adjudged the knee-to-knee contact to be accidental. It was one of those calls that’s been seen given either way — Leicester getting the home field advantage in this case.
After all the missed chances of the first-half, the second-half turned into a veritable goal-fest.
Rüdiger got the party started with a header from a Mount corner just a minute in. Then Chelsea got unlucky, and a Barnes shot was deflected over Caballero — although the chance itself came from some sloppy defending.
And there was more sloppy defending to be had just a few minutes later, as Chilwell finished off a chance that had Chelsea’s defense and goalkeeping all at sea and scrambling left-to-right.
Chelsea looked down and out, but Rüdiger rose highest on a Mount free kick and got Chelsea back on level terms!
Leicester then proceeded to miss two incredibly easy chances — Evans wide open on a corner, Barnes played in perfectly by Vardy — but that would’ve been way too much drama for anyone to handle.
And so we settled for the 2-2 draw, perhaps not ungratefully. Chelsea’s first-half profligacy hurts in the end.
- Four changes from the last league game, with Lampard making bold calls on Caballero over Kepa and Pedro over Willian.
- Like-for-like substitutions in Willian for Pedro and Kovačić for Jorginho. Then Barkley on for Abraham for the final ten minutes or so, with Willian playing a pseudo center-forward or some such.
- Chelsea stay 8 points behind third-place Leicester, and move 7 points clear of the three teams behind us who were all level on 34 points heading into the weekend. Two of them play against each other later today (United vs. Wolves), while Spurs host Manchester City tomorrow.
- Next up: two-week winter break, then three homes games in the space of eight days: Manchester United, Tottenham, Bayern Munich