The Premier League returned to action and it kicked off with Leicester City hosting Chelsea at the King Power Stadium. The fixture looked to be a promising affair on paper and it didn’t let us down.
Frank Lampard clearly wasn’t happy with the club’s business in the transfer market and he was vocal about it in his press conference. The club did the same mistakes with the past two managers Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri. Managers need to be supported with the players they want and assurances as well. It didn’t happen then and it isn’t happening now. The Chelsea board have been very efficient in the past but it does not seem to be the case anymore.
But Lampard wasn’t having any of that as he went on to make a statement to his squad by dropping the world’s most expensive keeper, Kepa to the bench and starting veteran Willy Caballero instead. The Spaniard has had a poor form and the decision was absolutely right. Pedro returned to make only his 4th league start of the season. Reece James and Tammy Abraham returned from injuries as well.
It was a very open game right from the start with both teams attacking in full flow but their defences did an equally good job to keep it all out. However, Chelsea could have been two up if their finishing had been more clinical in front of goal, which hasn’t been all season. Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount did well to create a bunch of chances but it all went in vain. What was surprising was that the Foxes couldn’t do it either. Jamie Vardy, James Maddison and Hamza Choudhury all had chances which could have been a goal.
There was no change to the scoreline at the end of the first half but it all changed within a minute of the restart. Antonio Rudiger headed in his 5th Chelsea goal in his 100th game for the club from a teasing Mason Mount corner to give the Blues the lead. However, not long after, the Foxes equalised when Harvey Barnes shot was deflected off Andreas Christensen into the Chelsea goal following good build-up play on the left.
This game was sure to produce more goals but it was the hosts who took the lead when Ben Chilwell slotted in the ball against an out of position Caballero following some calamitous defending. Just as Lampard was trying to tweak his team, Chelsea equalised when Rudiger once again rose above the rest to convert Mount’s free-kick with a towering header. No keeper could have stopped it and the German bagged his brace on a momentous occasion. Chelsea could have fallen behind once again but Harvey Barnes missed the far end of the post by inches when he was one on one with the keeper.
The scoreline finished at 2-2 but it could have been a whole lot more from both sides. The game also proved how the two sides are equally good. If it weren’t for Chelsea’s inconsistency, they could have been close to the Foxes in third. The result puts them 8 points behind Leicester and 5 points ahead of Sheffield United in fifth.
The Blues go on a two-week winter break for the first time in the Premier League and return to action against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 17.