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Chelsea v Leicester City Live Commentary, 13/01/2018

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Stamford Bridge


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As far as goalless draws go, that was highly entertaining, but it won't cut it for Chelsea as the full-time whistle is greeted by a chorus of boos following the third goalless draw in eight days for Antonio Conte's men. Opportunity knocked for the Blues following Ben Chilwell's sending off in the 68th minute, but they created precious little in the end compared to that of Leicester, as they're lucky to walk away with a point.
90' + 3' SMART SAVE! Schmeichel read that the whole way, diving across to his left to parry Alonso's free-kick. It was at a good height for Schmeichel off the bounce, and that might just do it.
90' + 2' Willian gets what he's looking for, winning a free-kick in the centre of the pitch, just under 25 yards from goal, as he lured Iborra into that foul. This is the chance for Chelsea, and this is likely the last obstacle standing in the way of Leicester preserving the draw.
90' There will be four minutes added on at the end of this match.
M. James
Leicester City
90' The final substitution of the afternoon sees Leicester bring on Iborra at the expense of James.
89' Much of the same here. Precious little to talk about as Chelsea continue to enjoy more possession, but have been unable to get into any threatening areas, let alone carve out a chance. This one appears destined to end goalless.
Yellow Card
87' Morata commits a late and cynical foul in an attempt to win the ball back, and that will see him into the book.
86' Leicester are defending admirably, looking more than assured as they try to preserve the clean sheet. These Chelsea supporters are growing restless, and their sentiments are shared by the players as frustration seems to be building.
84' This just isn't cutting it for Chelsea. It's all a bit tame from them in attack, as they're still struggling to break Leicester down. The Blues have played two goalless draws in the past week, and appear on course for a third here.
D. Gray
J. Vardy
Leicester City
82' A second Leicester change sees Demarai Gray replace Vardy.
81' Where's the urgency from Chelsea? They have been second-best all afternoon, but with Leicester down to 10 men the match is certainly there for the taking. That being said, they seem reluctant, or maybe just uninterested, in pushing on and chasing the winner. Why? Who knows.
79' Leicester are getting compact in defence as they try to keep Chelsea out, the Blues trying to combat that by instilling even more width into their approach. They've made strides down the flank, but the final ball has been lacking. They've settled for two long-range Bakayoko efforts in the last couple minutes, neither coming close to hitting the target.
77' Chelsea have done little to capitalise on their numerical advantage. Leicester have looked assured in defence, despite being down to 10 men, and they've managed to spend a bit of time in possession as well.
75' STAT: Since losing to Man City in September, Chelsea have won each of their last seven home Premier League games, shipping just three goals and keeping five clean sheets in that time.
C. Fuchs
S. Okazaki
Leicester City
73' Leicester's first change sees Fuchs replace Okazaki.
72' A change looks to be imminent here for Leicester, as Christian Fuchs is up and ready to enter. The Austrian will slot directly into the left-back spot now vacated following Chilwell's sending off.
70' That decision is a bit harsh on Chilwell, who has been excellent this afternoon, and it's definitely harsh on Leicester. The Foxes have looked sharp all match, and based on what we've seen would figure to be the likelier side to break this deadlock, but they're up against it now!
B. Chilwell
Yellow 2nd/RC
Leicester City
68' LEICESTER DOWN TO 10 MEN! Well how about that! They have been the better side throughout, have nothing to show for it, and now find themselves a man down for the final 20 minutes! Chilwell catches Moses, whom he didn't see coming, and there's no hesitation from Mike Jones who shows the full-back his second yellow!
65' STAT: Leicester City have won just once in their 11 previous Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge (W1 D3 L7) – winning 2-0 in September 2000, with Muzzy Izzet and Stan Collymore getting on the scoresheet.
B. Chilwell
Yellow Card
Leicester City
63' Another yellow card for Leicester, this to Chilwell, and it's Willian who's the victim once again. His direct running is proving a problem for Leicester.
S. Okazaki
Yellow Card
Leicester City
61' Okazaki into the book now as he cynically drags Willian down from behind.
60' It's definitely a 4-3-3 now for Chelsea, with Willian and Pedro flanking Morata. The substitutes will look to inject some much-needed pace and get after this Leicester defence that hasn't had a whole lot to worry about up to this point.
58' Willian is also brought on at the expense of Fabregas.
E. Hazard
58' Double change for Chelsea, which also looks like it will prompt a change in formation. Pedro comes on to replace Hazard with one of the changes.
N. Kanté
Yellow Card
56' Kante tugs Okazaki and drags the forward to ground, which sees him into the book. That one is more for an accumulation of fouls.
55' NO PENALTY GIVEN! Well then, what a big moment! Vardy gives chase and wins the ball in the penalty area, before turning and laying off for Mahrez. The winger skips by Christensen before going to ground, but Mike Jones is in great position and he says play on! That's a big call, and it appears to be the right one - so why no yellow card for Mahrez?
53' Another Leicester free-kick and this one is floated in invitingly. Dragovic disguises his run and is able to get behind Rudiger, but he's unable to get on the end of the delivery, reaching out at full-stretch but coming up just short!
51' It's hard to tell if this crowd has become lifeless because of Chelsea's efforts, or if they started lifeless and just haven't seen enough to bring them to their feet. Either way, this isn't much of a home-field advantage.
49' It is Mahrez who delivers, but Chelsea are first to it. The ball is initially only cleared as far as James, but his off-balance effort is blocked and then knocked away from harm as Chelsea survive again.
48' Leicester make an assured start to this second half, and it results in them winning a free-kick in a threatening position on the right. Mahrez will be licking his chops at the prospect of whipping a cross in here...
46' Back underway at Stamford Bridge!
Somehow it remains goalless at Stamford Bridge, despite a first half filled with attacking quality. Wilfred Ndidi came closest for Leicester, his header miraculously kept out by Thibaut Courtois, while Cesc Fabregas came closest for Chelsea. Everything still to play for in the final 45 minutes.
45' There will be one minute added on at the end of this first half.
43' It took them a while, but Chelsea are finally firmly in the ascendency, but the timing is far from ideal as their momentum will come to a halt at half-time. Nonetheless, they can take solace in the fact that they made it through Leicester's prolonged push unscathed.
41' Chelsea working hard to up the urgency and their sudden spark of energy translates into a decent effort from Fabregas, forcing Schmeichel into a smart save, tipping the ball over the bar. Leicester are able to then deal with the resulting corner.
39' STAT: Riyad Mahrez has been directly involved in 14 goals (7 goals, 7 assists) after 22 Premier League games this season; nine more than he had managed after as many games in 2016-17 (five - three goals, two assists).
37' Great footwork from Mahrez up against Rudiger, carving out a bit of space in the area and driving a delivery across the face of goal, but Vardy can't meet it at the far post!
35' These Chelsea supporters are growing a bit restless. One of the few positives from this first half has been the fact that they haven't conceded amidst waves of Leicester pressure, but they have not looked at all like scoring themselves since Fabregas' effort just shy of 15 minutes.
A. Christensen
G. Cahill
33' Andreas Christensen is brought on here to replace Cahill.
32' A real worry here for Chelsea and Antonio Conte, who has had very few injury woes to worry about of late. Cahill gives chase, trying to keep pace with Vardy, and he pulls up clutching his hamstring. That doesn't look good.
30' STAT: The Foxes are winless in their last 12 away Premier League games against ‘big six’ opposition (W0 D3 L9) – losing each of the last five.
28' Approaching the half-hour mark now and the tempo is slowly starting to fizzle. Chelsea are to blame, doing their part to slow things down, recognising the advantage Leicester hold should this turn into a back and forth affair, because of the pace in their side.
26' Chelsea are struggling to break out of their own half here, and when they do their spells in attack are proving brief as Leicester are winning the ball back with great determination, aided by some sloppy Chelsea passing.
24' Vardy in the way! A delightful run from Mahrez looks poised to send Albrighton clean through on goal, but Vardy doesn't spot the run of his team-mate and tries to claim the pass for himself, turning his back to goal to collect it, which sees the chance fizzle out.
22' It's remained fairly open here at Stamford Bridge, but it's Leicester who are asking more questions. The visitors are managing to threaten with great frequency and consistency, while Chelsea's forays have been sporadic.
20' STAT: Leicester have both scored and conceded in 14 of their 22 league games this season – more than any other Premier League side.
M. James
Yellow Card
Leicester City
18' A cynical tug of the shirt from James to halt a Chelsea break, and that will see him into the book. He has little to complain about there.
17' Morata appeals for a foul on the very edge of the penalty area, and he likely would have got it had Hazard not followed up to collect the loose ball and bend an effort at goal, straight at Schmeichel. It's probably for the best, as that would have been a very harsh decision had the free-kick been given.
15' Quite remarkably, it remains goalless at Stamford Bridge through 15 minutes. It's been an excellent watch thus far, with plenty of chances at both ends, but some excellent goalkeeping, combined with some poor finishing, has denied both sides a breakthrough.
13' WHAT A SAVE! Ndidi is left COMPLETELY unmarked from a Leicester corner and bounces a strong header at goal, but somehow Courtois is able to dive across and get a hand to it! Chelsea come back the other way and Schmeichel responds with an excellent stop to deny Fabregas!
11' CLOSE! Another lovely Leicester attack as James gets on the inside track against Kante and plays Vardy through, but the striker drags his effort wide of the far post! Back the other way come Chelsea, but Schmeichel does well to parry Moses' cross.
9' BIG CHANCE! Chilwell bombs forward to get on the end of a long ball, beats a defender and then serves it on a platter for Okazaki at the near post, but the forward makes horrible contact and slices his first-time effort across goal and well away from harm. Pressure stays on and Vardy is played through, but flicks an effort into the side-netting!
7' STAT: Chelsea have lost just one of their last 11 meetings with Leicester City in the Premier League (W9 D1 L1) – losing 1-2 in December 2015 at the King Power Stadium.
5' Plenty of Chelsea possession in these opening stages, as Leicester are forced to give chase. Oddly though, there's a bit of a subdued atmosphere at Stamford Bridge on this chilly night in London.
3' Sumptuous interplay from Chelsea early on! Alonso makes strides down the left and picks out Morata, who tees up Hazard with a clever back-heel, who lays it off for Kante, but the midfielder sees his first-time shot blocked, before the Blues settle for a corner.
1' AND THEY'RE OFF! Chelsea in their blue home strip as they get the match underway, attacking right to left, with Leicester in black.
A fortnight since their last Premier League match, Claude Puel makes three changes to his side from that New Year's Day victory over Huddersfield Town. Jamie Vardy makes his much-anticipated return from injury, reclaiming his spot atop the lineup, forcing out Islam Slimani. Wes Morgan misses out with a hamstring injury, replaced by Aleksandar Dragovic, while Ben Chilwell also comes into defence, at the expense of Christian Fuchs.
Antonio Conte makes just one change from his side's last Premier League match, that 2-2 draw with Arsenal back on January 3. The change comes at the back, where Antonio Rudiger comes into defence alongside Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill, forcing Andreas Christensen to the bench.
SUBS: Gray, Iheanacho, Hamer, Slimani, Iborra, Fuchs, Benalouane.
LEICESTER (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell; Mahrez, James, Ndidi, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy.
SUBS: Caballero, Pedro, Zappacosta, Batshuayi, Christensen, Luiz, Willian.
CHELSEA (3-5-2): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard, Morata.
They have hit another snag, however, winning just once from their last five in the league (losing three) following their strong start under Puel. They have dropped to eighth in the table and it’s hard to envision them making much of a jump up between now and the end of the season.
Leicester, on the other hand, have played just once since New Year’s Day and Claude Puel rested most of his first-team regulars for that FA Cup trip to Fleetwood Town last weekend. The Foxes should be rested today.
Antonio Conte’s side are in need of a spark amidst this busy period, but fatigue could prove a bit of an issue for them with the quick turnaround from Wednesday’s date with Arsenal, and their FA Cup replay against Norwich looming in midweek.
Chelsea sit third in the Premier League entering the weekend, following an uneventful and uninspiring week that produced a pair of goalless draws against Norwich City and Arsenal in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, respectively.
Hello and welcome to Stamford Bridge for live coverage of this clash between the last two Premier League champions as Chelsea host Leicester City!