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Leicester vs Chelsea result: Five talking points as Foxes beat Blues to go top of the league

The home side dominated the encounter and were always in control after a fifth-minute goal

Karl Matchett
Tuesday 19 January 2021 22:31 GMT
Leicester celebrate
Leicester celebrate (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Leicester marked reaching the halfway point of their Premier League season by going top of the table, thanks to a richly deserved 2-0 win over Chelsea on Tuesday night.

Both teams had goals ruled out for offside calls - Marc Albrighton’s rather more obviously offside than Timo Werner’s late would-be consolation - but the clinical edge was very much just in evidence from the home team.

Wilf Ndidi smashed in the opener just a few minutes in, with James Maddison hitting  the bar from distance before side-footing home Leicester’s second soon after.

READ MORE: Premier League fixtures and table - all matches by date and kick-off time

Chelsea had a handful of openings, but it was the Foxes who were the more dangerous team throughout and their 12th victory of the campaign is the most in the top flight - as is their points haul. Here are five things we learned from the game.

Take the lead, hold the lead

A total of 10 times this season, Leicester have scored first in matches - and, on all 10 occasions, they have gone on to win the match.

Given the inconsistencies on show from some at the top of late, and the points dropped from winning positions from the likes of Spurs in recent weeks after sitting off, this record is testament to both the team mentality and Brendan Rodgers’ tactics.

They are latest league leaders in a division which has had a rotating cast at the top, and it may well only be for 24 hours, but a Champions League place for next season is absolutely within the reach of the Foxes this term - and, unlike last year, there’s little reason to think that a mental fragility will impact them in the latter stages of the campaign.

Another full-back makes the case

James Justin was, again, excellent - as he has been most of the season.

If he can maintain his place in the team, now that Ricardo Pereira is back to fitness, and his form, his timing might be impeccable.

Much has been made of the number of right-backs England have, but Justin can play both sides of defence - and the right-sided options have been less-than-stellar of late.

Trent Alexander-Arnold lacks form, Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s performances have been extremely hit-and-miss, Kieran Trippier faces a worldwide suspension and Kyle Walker has been in and out of fashion. Justin might just prove an invaluably versatile, and reliable, pick for the European Championships.

Leicester celebrate scoring (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Maddison shows up big signings

Attacking midfielders are in the team for a variety of reasons, but Leicester’s Maddison can do the whole lot.

Finding spaces, taking the ball on the turn, fashioning chances for his team or taking them himself - he was excellent again here at all those offensive-minded requests from the manager, without lacking any of the defensive work rate required.

He did, in effect, put to shame the job done by the likes of Kai Havertz and Mason Mount, who seem to have no real clue as to their off-the-ball job at times and certainly don’t have the solidity about their team shape that Leicester’s midfield zone does.

Lampard’s switches

Another game, another glut of changes. The switch on the right side of defence across the last two matches has seen Chelsea go from Azpilicueta and Zouma, to James and Rudiger.

Both the latter were slow and reactive against the Foxes, not at all up to speed against their opponents and showing a lack of understanding as to the marking jobs of each, particularly from crosses coming from the opposite side.

Considering Kurt Zouma’s form this term, the central change in particular is a strange one.

In attack, the same could be said at times: are they tactical changes, alterations based on form, or just to offer fresh legs and to see who stars and creates the victory? It feels like the latter at times and certainly hasn’t had the desired impact.

Wilfred Ndidi opens the scoring (Getty Images)

Top…and top four

Who is going for what, here?! Chelsea were seen as certs for at least fourth this season, yet now lie eighth in the table at the halfway point of the season for the Blues.

West Ham and Everton are both above them, while Leicester are top - they won’t speak publicly about title ambitions, but in a campaign of strange results and inconsistency, they might just allow themselves to dream of a repeat of 2016.

Chelsea have a lot of work to do to get anywhere close. It’s five points between themselves and fourth, but that could increase by a significant amount once all teams have reached the 19-game mark too.

The pressure on Frank Lampard continues to grow.

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