It took Chelsea 20 minutes to start playing, 30 minutes to create a bit of danger, and 40 minutes to almost win a penalty, which may have actually gotten us on the scoreboard. (VAR correctly overruled the referee to change that to just a free kick, which was hit well over the bar.)
Unfortunately, while we were toiling away at those pitiful rewards, Leicester City scored two very simple goals, one from a short corner and a cutback to the top of the area, and the other from a straightforward ball over the top which Chelsea misplayed as if we had never done a defensive drill in our lives.
That’s not to say that Leicester were lucky to lead by two at the half; they had out-played Chelsea in just about every respect in the first 45, befitting their status as the current Premier League-leaders.
The second half was largely an exercise in Leicester comfortably keeping Chelsea at an arm’s length, and wasting several chances on the counter, with Mendy making a couple big saves.
Chelsea never looked like getting back into this, let alone winning. Werner did poke in a Ziyech free kick towards the end, but was (rightly) called offside.
- Tinker-tailor-Lampard back with a midfield three of Mount-Kova-Havertz. Predictably light on the defensive side of things, and not impactful enough at the other end to outweigh that. (Not that anyone else on the team was impactful either, not even Hudson-Odoi who finally got a start in the league, just his third all season.)
- Rudiger keeps his spot from the weekend, with James, Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, and Abraham also getting starts.
- Switch to a 4-4-2 for the last 20+ minutes, with Werner and Abraham up top, Ziyech and Pulisic wide, Kova-Mount double pivot. Only two subs used.
- Halfway through the season (19 of 38 played), Chelsea down to 8th after West Ham’s 2-1 win earlier in the day. The gap to the top six increases. Hello, mid-table. (Leicester meanwhile go top, temporarily at least.)
- Next up:
Lampard’s sackingLuton Town in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday. Wolves and Burnley at home in the league after, before Spurs away at the start of February.