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West Ham United
August 23, 2014
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 41604
Diego Costa 62'
E. Hazard 77'
So that was CHELSEA 2-0 LEICESTER CITY. I've been Alex Stewart (and as far as I know I still am). Thank you for joining me for today's LIVE coverage and I hope to see you again soon.
All in all, while the first half was drab, the second was very lively, and Chelsea were certainly the better side. Are they the best side in the League? It's an absurd question this early, but when Chelsea start to move through the gears, then they look pretty unstoppable.
The two young goalkeepers gave decent accounts of themselves too. Courtois and Schmeichel are both good at claiming crosses and dominating their areas, though the Leicester man might be cross with himself for Chelsea's first.
The biggest single worry for the Foxes must be the ability to convert chances. Nugent fluffed two one-on-ones, and though he forced Courtois into good saves, he should have scored at least one.
Leicester showed the same resilience and occasional enterprise that saw them gain a draw last week, and the performances of Moore, Morgan, Hammond, and Schlupp must give Nigel Pearson significant hope for the season.
A slightly tawdry first half gave way to a vibrant second as Chelsea stepped it up significantly and two good goals, the first after superb skill from Ivanovic teed up Costa, the second all Hazard's own work, gave the Blues a well-deserved victory.
90' + 3'
FIN! And that's the final whistle! Chelsea have run out 2-0 winners over a solid and at times enterprising Leicester team.
90' + 3'
The three added minutes of this game are up but Willian is still receiving some treatment. He has been bright since his introduction.
90' + 2'
Drogba is in the Leicester box making a nuisance of himself after a Matic cross. Hazard has the ball out wide and tries to run down the clock a bit. Willian is on the floor holding his back. This game is defintely coming to its end point.
Chelsea and Leicester have both continued to have a go. The centre-back pairing of Moore and Morgan win the ball from Drogba. They look exhausted.
Cahill heads into Schmeichel's hands and he releases Nugent, who tries to feed Wood. Credit to Leicester: they have continued to have a go. Hazard fouls De Laet but Chelsea win the ball back and Willian comes again.
Leicester try to attack again but Matic, how has been quietly good today, smothers the attack. Willian forces a good stop from Schmeichel as his shot heads high and central after a surging run.
It is! And Leicester win a corner. It's comfortably headed away by Ivanovic though and Drogba frees Ramires. The Chelsea attack stutters though but Leicester's clearance is weak and the Blues come again.
Schlupp is fouled by Ivanovic deep in the Chelsea half wide left. Let's see if the delivery is better from Albrighton than it was from Mahrez.
Leicester are still trying to get forward though. De Laet swings one in from deep towards Wood but Courtois grabs it. He then, as is his wont, hurls it out to start another Chelsea attack. He really is a class act.
Wood is on for Ulloa as Ivanovic heads over. The Serbian has been a real attacking threat from full-back today.
Leicester get their first shot away in a good while. Schlupp squares the ball to Albrighton who hammers on low but Courtois gathers. Nugent's misses are looming large in the mind now, given how Chelsea accelerated away.
Chelsea are still attacking but mostly as a way of keeping the ball from Leicester. The pace has dropped off considerably and Ramires has certainly helped to tighten up the Chelsea system.
Mourinho is still prowling his technical area but he must know this game is in the bag now. Ramires slips a cute ball through to Ivanovic but the Chelsea move fizzles out after a cross is headed away.
Costa is off after a goal-scoring home debut to go with his goal-scoring debut debut. Drogba is on and the Chelsea fans are delighted.
GOAL HAZARD! That was beautiful! He drives in from the left and takes out a few Leicester defenders with a sudden surge of pace, before slamming it low into the far corner. When Hazard is good, he is pretty special.
2-0 now to Chelsea and that really should be it. There was deflection from the unlucky Moore for that Hazard goal. And now Drogba is warming up. Willian, looking lively on the right since his introduction, keeps a Chelsea move going.
Leicester are by no means dead and buried but their efforts lead to a Chelsea counter. Costa runs forward but his effort to find Ivanovic at the back post is pretty bad.
Schlupp bursts forwards after Willian nearly catches out Moore but the big defender manages to put it clear. Leicester take the throw-in but lose it immediately. Chelsea lump it foward but lose it themselves.
This is a more settled, content Chelsea now, keeping possession and playing it around the back. They know they don't need to press the game and leave themselves open to the sort of chances Nugent spurned earlier.
And we're off again. Chelsea stroke it around and Willian pings one out wide towards Hazard. Hammond is off and replaced by Taylor-Fletcher.
A respite from the action as players take on water and Hammond gets his legs seen to.
Willian is straight into the action, neatly playing it around with Ivanovic. Hammond falls over with some cramp.
Hazard makes some space for himself by playing a two-one with Costa and flashes a low shot in but he scuffs it slightly and Schmeichel gathers.Oscar is coming off and Willian is coming on, which is pretty like-for-like, really.
Morgan shoulders Costa off the ball to bring a Chelsea free-kick. Albrighton is going to come on for Mahrez for Leicester. Albrighton is a quick winger who will look to feed the front two, especially Ulloa.
Mahrez's corners have been consistently poor. Oscar bursts forwards at pace and there is some neat interchange in and around the Leicester box, but it comes to naught as Chelsea concede a free-kick as Oscar brings down Hammond.
Chelsea will surely settle into their stride now. They dismantled Burnely in twenty minutes and could well do the same to Leicester here now. But Leicester have a corner and the lumps from the back are up again.
Ramires is on for Schurrle. Classic Jose.
GOAL GOAL GOAL FOR COSTA! A home debut goal for the big Brazilian! A glorious step-over from Ivanovic and it looked like Costa had miscontrolled the slide pass, but he slams it home. Unlucky Leicester, but it had been coming.
Chelsea win the ball back and go long but it goes out for a goal kick. We can all catch our breath for a moment.
The Chelsea front four are now in their rotating, floating swing. Costa is forced off the ball by Moore, who has been the archetypal rock. The ball is pinged long and Nugent is well marked by Cahill.
Schurrle cannons a shot off the resolute Liam Moore but Chelsea come again. This is frantic now and both teams have had superb chances. Chelsea build and Fabregas has a shot comfortably smothered by Schmeichel.
FABREGAS! Oh what a waste. Fabreags tried to clip over over the advancing Schmeichel at his near post after a delicious through-ball. The Dane stood tall though and it was a wasted opportunity.
The first ten minutes of this half have flown past as the game has opened up enormously. Chelsea have clearly had a rollocking from their manager.
OH NUGENT! A second one-on-one is fluffed by the Foxes striker, though Courtois did save it well. That was a second gilt-edged chance for Leicester. They win a corner.
Claims for hand-ball there as Oscar's shot is blocked by some part of Morgan. Schmeichel saves brilliantly and from the resulting corner Leicester pour forward.
Courtois gathers superbly under pressure and then releases Oscar, who feeds Schurrle. Schurrle's shot goes over from wide left though and we can catch our breath a bit.
This second half has already kicked on a lot from the first. Leicester have a corner. Both Moore and Morgan are up.
Yellow CardDean Hammond
Hammond is booked and immediately forces a turnover from the free-kick, releasing Nugent, who forces a good block from Courtois with his legs.
Schurrle is fouled by Hammond and there is some writhing. Hammond looks sheepish because that was a bit clunky.
Oscar curled one onto the post there before Azpilicueta stood up a cross for Ivanovic. Chelsea win a corner, which Ulloa forces out but the Blues come again. Hazard concedes a free-kick after nibbling away at Schlupp's heels.
OSCAR HITS THE POST! And then IVANOVIC has a header clawed away by Schmeichel! Chelsea have come out of the blocks here.
Schurrle appears to be pushed more centrally with Oscar wider on the right. It's not a classic 4-4-2 but it might offer more penetration to Chelsea.
The teams are back out and Chelsea kick off.
Stay right here for all the action LIVE from the second half of Chelsea vs Leicester City from Stamford Bridge.
For Leicester, I suspect Nigel Pearson will be demanding more of the same and seeking to instil confidence into his Foxes side that they can grab at least a point from this game.
The question of the second half will be at what point Jose brings on Didier Drogba and whether he moves to a 4-4-2 or uses the Ivorian as a replacement from Costa.
Chelsea will certainly be disappointed to go in without scoring, but they retain the ability to make something from nothing, especially with Cesc Fabregas on the pitch. Leicester will rely on snapping away and countering, but they have played well and it would not be a surprise if they got something from this game.
For Leicester, it is hard to pick out a player from the defence or the midfield who has stood out, as all of them have worked extremely hard and done very well. Schlupp has caught the eye, certainly, but Moore and Morgan have been very solid at the back as well.
Fabregas looks a class above everyone else on the pitch in terms of creativity, though Hazard showed glimpses towards the end of the half.
It's half-time here, as Chelsea and Leicester head into the changing rooms with the scores level at 0-0. Leicester have worked hard, pressed and harried Chelsea, often forcing good turnovers and counter-attacking.
Schmeichel's physical goal-keeping style is so similar to his father's, spreading his arms and legs wide when coming out to make blocks. The Dane has been mostly solid, but it is his opposite number Courtois who has been forced into the only real save of the game.
Schlupp slides in to halt the Chelsea counter and then King crosses but Courtois gathers. Chelsea come again and Fabregas clips a ball through to Schurrle. Schmeichel hurtles out and clips the German, but he was offside anyway. Fabregas is so very good at that sort of thing.
Chelsea are doing their best to force the issue before half-time. A sublime piece of Hazard skill produces a glorious ball, cut-back to the penalty spot, but Chelsea can't capitalise.
Schlupp's cross is poor and Chelsea break with Schurrle. The ball is pinged left before coming back to Fabregas, but Moore and Morgan hassle Costa and win the ball cleanly.
Mahrez, Hammond, and King are all doing well to win the ball from the Chelsea midfield. King just manages to keep the ball with him as he bursts across the Chelsea box. Schurrle fouls Konchesky and the Foxes have a dangerous free-kick.
I suspect that Chelsea will be looking forward to half-time as a chance to regroup and talk about how to wear down this busy, organised Leicester team. On the other hand, Jose will likely not be impressed. Swings and roundabouts...
Costa goes down in the box but doesn't appeal after a twitchy run from Hazard. Leicester clear and Mahrez runs it out, a disappointing end to a good chance to counter.
A sliced clearance from Schmeichel puts pressure on the Leicester back four as Chelsea start to move through the gears as half-time approaches.
COSTA! A deflection over as Morgan throws himself at the Brazilian's shot after good work from Hazard. The resulting corner sees Oscar flash a shot wide.
Some uninspiring back and forth in the air in the middle of the park. Chelsea are pushing Schurrle up to create more threat, but Leicester break with Mahrez. Azpilicueta blocks him and Chelsea surge forwards.
Schlupp follows up but his shot is deflected wide. Leicester are very good value at the moment.
MAHREZ! He stings the palms of Courtois diving low to his left after slipping away from the Chelsea defence. The first real save of the day is made by Chelsea's keeper and Leicester have another reason to be cheerful.
In truth, Chelsea are a bit flaccid. Only Fabregas seems to be able to find space and time to play at the moment. Oscar and Schurrle have had flashes, but the Foxes are the team who should be more pleased at the moment.
Ulloa gives away a free-kick. This sentence will be typed hundreds of times this season, I suspect. Chelsea play it long and Hazard and King tussle, with the decision going the Leicester man's way.
Fabregas' ability to spot a through ball on the floor is sublime. He picks out Oscar, and from the resulting throw in, Hazard pulls back a cross which Schurrle heads over. That was pretty much the first thing Hazard has contributed. De Laet is the most impressive Belgian on show so far.
Mahrez's corner is wasteful and Fabregas breaks. Konchesky matches Costa stride for stride and gets in a good block. Leicester win the goal kick.
The impressive Schlupp wins a throw-in and Leicester play it around before switching it wide looking for De Laet. The Foxes are playing with confidence and win a corner.
Konchesky's deep cross is headed away and Chelsea break, but King steals it away from Hazard. Nugent wins a free-kick.
Oscar dummies De Laet but the big Belgian stands up to him. Leicester win a throw-in deep in the Foxes' half.
Mahrez intercepts and bursts forward but Terry cleverly whips the ball away. Chelsea need to tighten up as Leicester are creating incisive chances with greater regularity than the home team. A hand-ball from Nugent brings another promising attack to a halt.
Mahrez plays in De Laet, who has got forward a few times from right-back for Leicester. Ulloa misses it but Leicester build again. Ivanovic shepherds the ball out though and Chelsea bring it foward.
Oscar forces a corner off Konchesky. Cahill forces it into the danger zone with Schmeichel stranded but it comes to nothing.
Schlupp looks to play in Nugent after a bit of Leicester pressure arising from that corner. Nugent is offside though, as he idles back. Terry plays it long to Hazard.
Ivanovic heads it behind and Leicester have their first corner. Konchesky plays it in and Costa heads clear.
Schmeichel has it for Leicester and pumps it forwards to Nugent. Courtois returns the compliement, looking for Costa. Nugent bursts forward and De Laet swings in a dangerous ball.
Some lovely, quick interplay from Chelsea around the edge of the Leicester box, but Leicester thump it clear. Chelsea have been able to string some intricate passes together, but have so far missed the final, killer ball or finish. Matic brings down Schlupp as Leicester counter.
Dean Hammond is playing well, harrying and hassling the Chelsea players. Schurrle gets free down the left though and floats in a cross which narrowly misses the arriving Oscar.
Courtois gets his hands on the ball after a tame header from Mahrez. This is far from one-sided, though Chelsea do look better. Costa tries to curl one round several Leicester defenders but doesn't manage to Aiden McGeady it.
Leicester are doing well to press Chelsea once the Blues enter their half. They seem content to sit off until then, for the most part, relying on Nugent to squeeze the Chelsea centre-backs and Matic. An aimless ball ends up with Schmeichel, who again looks to find Schlupp.
Fabregas slides a measured pass into the feet of Costa who tees up Schurrle, perhaps unintentionally. Schurrle blasts it over, but Chelsea are looking dangerous when they find some space.
Schmeichel looks long for Schlupp. The big Dane has something of his dad's ability to turn defence into attack and Leicester will look to profit from Chelsea's corners to break.
Oscar is able to find some space and drives towards the centre of the Leicester box before firing away a shot. Schmeichel watches it loop over for a Chelsea corner.
As expected, Ulloa and Nugent are both dropping deep. A neat flick from Ulloa feeds Schlupp, who weaves and shimmies through several Chelsea tackles in the box, before Nugent screws one wide. Leicester do not look over-awed by the Stamford Bridge setting.
A neat through ball from Schlupp is intercepted by Matic. Chelsea build again from the back.
Chelsea look unhurried and slick in possession. The addtional of Fabregas allows them to hold and distribute. Some thrust down the Chelsea left leads to a corner and Schmeichel punches away from the head of Terry. Schurrle's rebound shot is charged down.
Leicester kick off and immediately play it back. Chelsea snap into challenges and concede a free kick. Leicester look for Nugent but the ball goes out for a throw in.
Now sit back and enjoy today's LIVE coverage of Chelsea vs Leicester City
The players are in the tunnel and emerging now. Chelsea are in their traditional blue and Leicester in their change kit of all red.
For Leicester, Leonardo Ulloa is a sneaky goal threat, as is the physically powerful David Nugent. The centre-back pairing of Moore and Morgan will have a massive test today, but they impressed against Everton. Dean Hammond, a long-time Southampton servant, will provide energy in midfield.
Diego Costa plays today in front of Chelsea's fans for the first time. He will provide some of the goal threat, but Chelsea can score from everywhere, with Fabregas pulling the strings and Matic screening and keeping it tight.
Subs: Hamer, Wasilewski, Albrighton, Knockaert, Wood, Taylor-Fletcher, Hopper.
Leicester City (4-4-2): Scheichel; Moore, De Laet, Morgan, Konchesky; King, Hammond, Mahrez, Schlupp; Nugent, Ulloa.
Subs: Cech, Zouma, Filipe Luis, Willian, Obi Mikel, Ramires, Drogba.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Ivanovic; Fabregas, Matic; Hazard, Oscar, Schurrle; Costa.
Here are the teams for today's fixture:
Chelsea are many people's tip for the title, even at this early stage, and if summer signings Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa continue their opening day trajectory for the rest of the season, it could be very tough for anyone to stop Jose Mourinho's men.
Chelsea, meanwhile, will both look and expect to build on last weekend's swashbuckling victory over newly-promoted Burnley. Marquee signing Diego Costa also scored in his first EPL game for the Blues, with Andre Schurrle also building on his goal-scoring exploits at the World Cup and Branislav Ivanovic also netting.
Leicester City surprised a lot of people last weekend with a hard-fought 2-2 draw away to Everton, despite the Toffees scoring two of the goals of the weekend. Ulloa opened his account for the Foxes, an encouraging start for the £8 million man.
Good afternoon one and all! Welcome to this LIVE coverage of Chelsea vs Leicester City. I'm Alex Stewart and I'll be bringing you all the excitement from this Premier League fixture.
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