Slow and steady reaches the top four.
Lampard didn’t get the perfect result on his return to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea started off brilliantly but lost gas as the game went on. Brendan Rodgers selected a strong lineup as they came to Stamford Bridge to win. Lampard selected a strong lineup as well with Kepa starting in goal, Emerson, Zouma, Christensen, and Azpilicueta starting in defence. Jorginho and Kante in a pivot, Pulisic, Mount and Pedro behind Giroud. Mount was the only player who did not start the Super Cup that started this game and I felt that was a telling factor in us dropping points.
Chelsea got off to a blitzing start as the stadium was rampant with enthusiasm and noise and it fed into the players. Chelsea had 3 chances to go ahead within the first 5 minutes as Mount, Pedro, and Pulisic all came close. In the 7th minute Ndidi got the ball outside the box and Mount took it off of him and Ndidi tried to get it back but Mount while stumbling got a brilliant finish past Schmeichel to make it 1-0 for Chelsea. The Bridge went ecstatic as Mason Mount scored Chelsea’s first Premier League goal of the campaign and his first as well. Chelsea went on to dominate the first half but as time went on the intensity dropped and Leicester grew back into the game as they ended the half as the better side.
Chelsea started the 2nd half in decent fashion but Istanbul seemed to be playing a part on fitness and Leicester began to dominate the game and create several chances of their own. Giroud was brought off for Tammy in the 61st minute and Tammy received great support after the week he has had. Leicester were piling the pressure though and a Maddison cross found Ndidi in the box who scored the equaliser and redeemed himself. Azpi failed in his timing of the jump and that gave Ndidi space to score. Willian and Kovacic came on for Pulisic and Jorginho but I felt that Pedro should have come off because he looked tired and drained out much like the rest of the team. Chelsea stumbled to a finish as Leicester went close through Maddison and Vardy but we had luck. The final whistle blew and it was a game of two halves as Chelsea dominated the first and Leicester dominated the second and all said and done a draw was probably the fair result.
There were several positives to take from this game though, Zouma seems to be growing in confidence as he continues to start. Christensen looked assured alongside Zouma, and Emerson continues to improve. Azpi was better than before but was still at fault for the goal. Jorginho was good and Kante was his insane self but towards the end you could see even he was drained. Pulisic will have better games, the physicality of the league will take time to get adjusted to but he had glimpses and distributed the ball well. Mount was excellent and again showed why he started ahead of Barkley. The energy in the first half from the 19 year old was excellent and as he continues to improve who knows what heights he could reach. Pedro was good but he looked dead as 90 minutes approached. Giroud had an impact in the first half but vanished in the 2nd as he probably should have got a couple of assists in the opening 20 minutes. Tammy was ok when he came on and Kovacic made no real impact. Willian, first of all it was weird to see him with the 10 shirt, secondly I know he’s not match fit but the Brazilian showed no desire or hunger to win the game and lost the ball more than the rest of the midfielders combined. Willian arguably was the worst player on the pitch.
Leicester are a good opponent and will be challenging the rest for a top 6 finish, hopefully they take points off the other teams as well. Chelsea move out of the relegation zone into 15th as we take a weeks rest before travelling to Norwich and facing a rampant Teemu Pukki. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!