Written by Alex Honcoop
Chelsea 3-0 Leicester
Chelsea beat Leicester 3-0 on Saturday. A brilliant performance by the Blues on the back of an improved showing at Hull, was met by a below par performance from the reigning champions as they lost their fourth away game this season. Goals from Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses were enough to seal the three points for Chelsea as they moved within three points of top of the table Manchester City.
My thoughts on the game
Chelsea were absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Even Nemanja Matic who I personally am very critical of at times, was superb. Chelsea’s three best players in my opinion (Costa, Hazard and Kante), were all playing at their very best. Marcos Alonso showed why he is a classy Wing Back while Victor Moses also impressed from a role I personally didn’t think he would suit. Moses, in my opinion is incredibly underrated and deserves far more credit.
Pedro is another player who I am often critical of, but he, as well as the rest of the team, was sublime. Hazard and Costa were at their best, as they have been most of the season, while the three Central Defenders dealt with everything they had to do, and did it well. Towards the end of the match, Nathaniel Chalobah came for his home league debut, which has been far too long in coming. At the start of the season, I was calling for Chalobah to be in the starting lineup, but since the move to the 3-4-2-1, I think Fabregas would suit the role next to Kante better than Chalobah.
Diego Costa also crucially avoided a yellow card which means he will be available for selection next week against Manchester United. If he does pick up a yellow card against United, I’d honestly be happy, as it would keep him out of the EFL Cup match against West Ham, a match he was likely not to start in anyway. The major issue I see with it is the two-man midfield, which could get exposed against teams who play three midfielders. Against the more accomplished teams, I would possibly like to see a 3-5-1-1 set-up with one of the attacking midfielders being dropped for a slightly less attacking player
From Leicester’s perspective, I think Ranieri made it clear that he was prioritising their midweek Champions League game at home to FC Kobenhavn. He rested three key players in Mahrez, Simpson and Slimani. In my opinion, Ranieri believed even with his strongest lineup, Leicester were still going to lose. Leicester completely lost the battle in midfield. Their four midfielders in Albrighton, Amartay, Drinkwater and Schlupp were outplayed by Chelsea’s midfield. For me, if Leicester were to get a point from the Bridge, they should’ve played with 5 in midfield, whether that meant only having one Striker, or three Defenders.
Should Leicester win their match against Kobenhavn, they will have one foot in the Champions League knockout stages. Chelsea play Manchester United on Sunday afternoon in a match that if they win could prove to the Football world that they are genuine title challengers.
Chelsea fans, who stood out for you on Saturday? Do you think you will beat Manchester United next? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Edmund Gall