FULL TIME: Chelsea lose.
90+2min: Ziyech in the area, in sapce, but his shot is partially blocked and Schmeichel smothers it.
90min: 3 more minutes of this pain.
89min: Ziyech into the book for tripping Justin, who had turned the corner around him. The free kick, which is practically a short corner is played in, but Silva heads clear.
88min: Vardy’s day is done. Iheanacho on.
86min: Ziyech puts in the free kick, Werner gets a toe to it ... and it’s in! But the assistant’s flagging, and VAR agrees. Off by a shoulder.
85min: Fofana into the book for stopping Pulisic from bursting into the box. Decent shooting position, wide, five yards from the corner of the area.
84min: Leicester free kick, wide right. Tielemans puts it in, over the head of everyone. Chelsea eventually able to play out.
82min: Tielemans takes a Leicester corner. Chelsea head clear.
81min: Castagne with a simple ball finds Vardy. He sits Silva down, but Mendy’s out to smother the ball. At the other end, James goes for a jaunt, but his pass infield towards Werner is cut out by the ever excellent Fofana.
80min: ...and nothing’s happening.
76min: Maddison, Albrighton off, Ricardo, Perez on for Leicester.
73min: The subs have not made much of an impact yet, as the game continues to play out just as it has for the past 30 minutes.
69min: And the heavens open, and the rain teems down. Leicester counter, Kovacic makes a good tackle, Mendy collects.
67min: Bit of Chelsea possession leads to a Hudson-Odoi cross from the right, after beating Justin, but it’s too close to the goalkeeper who catches easily above Havertz. CHO’s replaced by Ziyech, and Havertz’s replaced by Werner in the wake of that.
65min: Signs of frustration now among some of the Chelsea players. Not much is changing or happening otherwise.
62min: No change to the state of the game. Chelsea trying valiantly, aimlessly. Leicester easily repelling everything and looking to counter.
57min: Pulisic tries to wriggle through several, and does so, but has no options for a final pass. Leicester counter, Maddison to Vardy to Tielemans. Mendy makes a big save to keep it just 2-0.
55min: Leicester score as they play around Chelsea in the box with ease, but Albrighton is well offside.
54min: James crosses. Headed out for a corner. Mount takes, inswinging, into a seas of bodies in the six-yard box. James can’t quite direct the ball into the back of the net, with Schmeichel picking up the loose ball.
51min: Mount wins the ball high up, but can’t find space to shoot. Abraham picks up the loose ball but is then crowded out. Leicester try to counter; Kovacic puts a stop to that by wiping out Maddison and earning a yellow .
50min: James finds Abraham with a fantastic through ball, but Fofana’s sliding tackle is just as spectacular to block the shot. Mount’s corner finds Abraham, but Schmeichel’s positioning is again good and he catches the saveable effort.
49min: Justin misses an open header on the far post. It looked easier to score. Chelsea defense nowhere.
48min: Pulisic tries a 1-2 with Kovacic, but the return ball is too strong.
47min: Chelsea with the early possession and Leicester look content to sit deep and counter.
SECOND HALF: No changes for either side.
45+2min: Half time. Chelsea in trouble.
45min: Chilwell crosses. Leicester clear. Chelsea trying to mount a response, but not much is happening.
41min: Goal. Leicester. And immediately up at the other end, a simple move from Leicester sees Chelsea all at sea, and Maddison’s all by himself to finish with aplomb. 2-0, Leicester.
40min: Mount drills it over the wall, and over the bar. Not close.
38min: Chelsea pass it around at the halfway line for a couple minutes, but eventually turn upfield with Mount combining in the center and playing through to Pulisic. He takes a touch beyond Evans, who wipes him out. Penalty! VAR review however puts the contact just outside the box. Free kick.
35min: Havertz in the area again, but his cross is cut out. Chelsea finally creating some danger the last five minutes.
34min: Mount combines with Havertz, but he has no options and Leicester can counter. James and Kovacic combine to stop Barnes, but Leicester come again on the other flank, with a chip over the top for Vardy. He’s in 1-v-1, but Mendy stays tall and makes the save!
32min: Pulisic combines well with Havertz and drives at the defense, before playing wide to Hudson-Odoi. He takes a touch and goes for goal, but can only find the side-netting. Chance, that.
31min: Another Leicester corner as James blocks another cross. Maddison takes short, Justin slings it in from deep and Mendy catches. He looks immediately for Pulisic with Schmeichel well out of his goal, but the Leicester keeper makes the acrobatic diving headed interception at nearly halfway to clear the danger!
29min: Havertz into the book for pulling back the speedy Barnes in midfield, after he had cut infield and away from James. Maddison puts in the deep free kick, Rudiger heads clear.
26min: Albrighton hits one from 30 yards. Mendy palms it over for a corner. Maddison swings it in. Abraham heads half-clear, but Leicester come again. Silva heads half-clear next. Chilwell loses it there, but makes up for it with a sliding tackle to concede another corner. That’s overhit from Maddison.
24min: Mount bursts through midfield, playing wide to Pulisic, but his touch is not great and has to check back. Chelsea switch to Hudson-Odoi on the right, but he can’t beat his man. Leicester counter into the space, and look early for Vardy. Silva in the right place to head clear.
22min: Chilwell finds Havertz with a nice through ball, but he can’t quite find his shot with a defender in close attention and Schmeichel smothers the loose ball.
20min: Hudson-Odoi and James combine and finally ask some questions of the defense. James hammers one at goal from a tight angle, winning a corner as Schmeichel makes the save. Mount takes the inswinger, finding Silva on the near post. His flick looks good, but Schmeichel’s position is even better, and he can punch it out safely. Chance!
19min: Chelsea able to pass it around a bit in the typical u-shape, but are not making much progress of posing much danger.
17min: Chelsea bend but do not break as Leicester try to create a shot at the top of the box. We eventually clear, but cannot hold the ball for long.
16min: Maddison hammers one at goal from 20 yards, and rattles the crossbar. Chelsea distinctly second best so far.
15min: Abraham and Chilwell not on the same page, and the move breaks down.
12min: A bit of miscommunication at the back almost gifts Leicester a chance, but the ball rolls out for a goal kick.
11min: James and Hudson-Odoi combine on the right, with the latter crossing in towards Abraham. He tries to chest it down, but it’s not close enough and Leicester can hack clear.
10min: No response yet from Chelsea as Barnes wins a corner off James. Inswinger from this time, but no one can make good enough contact and Chelsea can play out.
6min: Goal. Leicester. Maddison wins a foul off Mount in midfield, Leicester play quickly and cross in from the left. Abraham concedes a corner at the far post. Albrighton takes short, then gets it back from Maddison. He gets into the area and cuts it back. Barnes whiffs on his effort, but Ndidi arrives at the top of the box and slices his effort in off the inside of the post. 1-0, Leicester.
4min: Barnes tries to beat James for pace; Chelsea right back does just enough to nick the ball away and Rudiger completes the clearance.
2min: Another long ball towards Pulisic, he doesn’t win it but Abraham gets on the second ball. Chelsea try to pass it around, but misjudge a switch towards Hudson-Odoi on the right.
1min: Early ball over the top towards Pulisic is cleared for a throw. But Chelsea then lose the ball.
KICK-OFF: Chelsea, in all light blue, Leicester in all dark blue. Who’s going to sign the blues at the end? The players take a knee, and Chelsea get us underway.
It’s the 19th game of a 38-game season. Halfway. But there cannot be half-anything about Chelsea’s performance today. Failure to win might have strong repercussions, if some of the rumor-mongering and social media chatter’s to be believed.
This could get emotional.
Lampard has gone with lineup choices that should please. It might be more of a 4-2-3-1 look, too, with Kovacic and Mount in a double-pivot and Havertz playing further up. Giroud’s absence meanwhile is due to injury.
Regarding Olivier Giroud’s absence for #CFC tonight, been told he picked up an ankle injury against Fulham. It’s not too serious but was too painful to be in squad to face Leicester. #LEICHE— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) January 19, 2021
Here we go.
Leicester City starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
Schmeichel (c) | Justin, Evans, Fofana, Castagne | Tielemans, Ndidi | Barnes, Maddison, Albrighton | Vardy
Substitutes from: Ward, Soyuncu, Amartey, Ricardo, Thomas, Choudhury, Perez, Under, Iheanacho
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Mendy | Chilwell, Thiago Silva (c), Rudiger, James | Havertz, Kovacic, Mount | Pulisic, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson, Jorginho, Gilmour, Ziyech, Werner
Date / Time: Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 20.15 GMT; 3:15pm EST; 1:45am IST (next day)
Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester, England
Referee: Craig Pawson (on pitch); Andre Marriner (VAR)
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!