N'Golo Kante comes back to haunt Leicester as champions Chelsea take all three points at the King Power

Leicester City 1 Chelsea 2: A second-half Jamie Vardy penalty not enough for Foxes as goals from Kante and Alvaro Morata see Blues home

Tim Evershed
King Power Stadium
Saturday 09 September 2017 17:12
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A rare N’Golo Kante goal on his return to Leicester City gave champions Chelsea victory over their predecessors at the King Power Stadium.

Kante struck five minutes after half-time with a low shot that appeared to take City keeper Kasper Schmeichel by surprise as it came though a crowd of players to find the bottom corner.

It was the French midfielder’s third Premier League goal doubling the visitors’ lead after Alvaro Morata’s first-half header had opened the scoring for Chelsea. Jamie Vardy pulled a goal back for Leicester who fell to their third defeat of the season.

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare responded to a loss at Old Trafford with one change. Islam Slimani coming in for Shinji Okazaki to partner Jamie Vardy up front in a 4-4-2 system.

The champions also made one change with Tiemoue Bakayoko replacing Willian in midfield. More significantly Blues boss Antonio Conte was able to name Eden Hazard amongst his substitutes. The Belgian winger missed the start of Chelsea’s season after breaking his ankle while training with his national team in June.

Recent signing Danny Drinkwater was also on the bench enjoying a mixed reception on his immediate return to the East Midlands.

Alvaro Morata celebrates after opening the scoring at the King Power (Getty Images)

Chelsea started the brighter of the teams with Morata forcing Schmeichel into a save in just the second minute. Behind the Spanish striker Cesc Fabregas was linking well with Bakayoko and Victor Moses while Marcos Alonso was making inroads on the left flank.

The Spanish wing back almost picked out Morata with a cross from a tight angle but Leicester captain Wes Morgan intervened at full stretch to clear the danger.

It was midway through the first half before the home got a clear sight of goal. Jamie Vardy raced onto Riyad Mahrez’s through ball and dragged his shot past the far post.

At the other end Morgan was again called into action as Kante won the ball and his set Morata away. The Leicester captain slid in to send the Spaniard’s shot out for a corner.

An uncharacteristic mistake from Kante, who gave the ball away from a short corner, almost cost his side as Mahrez broke. The Algerian charged towards the Chelsea goal ignoring the run of Vardy to pick out Slimani, his weak shot was swatted away by Courtois.

And a minute later City were made to pay as Cesar Azpilicueta’s looping cross was met by Morata who guided a powerful, downward header past Schmeichel and into the bottom corner of the Leicester goal.

Jamie Vardy's second-half penalty pulled one back for Leicester

Leicester tried to hit straight back with a flurry of half chances from a corner but ran into some committed Chelsea defending. And it was Victor Moses who had the final say of the half as he stung Schmeichel’s hands with a long-range shot.

Shakespeare reacted by bringing on Andy King and Demarai Gray at the break with Marc Albrighton and Slimani making way.

Within five minutes of the restart the home side had fallen further behind. Kante was allowed time and space 25 yards from goal.

The two-goal lead lasted for quarter of an hour when a penalty offered the home side a route back into the match. Vardy seized on Azpilicueta’s weak back pass and was brought down by Courtois, who gave referee Lee Mason no choice but to point to the spot. The England forward converted the chance with a viciously struck penalty straight down the middle of the goal.

Shakespeare brought on £25 million striker Kelechi Iheanacho off the bench as his side searched desperately for an equaliser. But it was Chelsea who went closest to another goal as Hazard picked out Willian whose shot rolled inches wide of the home goal.

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