Chelsea avenge cup final reversal with crucial Premier League win over Leicester

Chelsea got revenge for their FA Cup final defeat and leapfrogged Leicester, effectively sealing a Champions League place
Chelsea avenge cup final reversal with crucial Premier League win over Leicester

Jorginho is surrounded by his Chelsea team-mates after scoring their second goal against Leicester in the Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge. Picture: Glyn Kirk/Getty Images

CHELSEA 2 (Rudiger 47, Jorginho pen 66) LEICESTER CITY 1 (Iheanacho 76)

Chelsea got revenge for their FA Cup final defeat and leapfrogged Leicester into third place, effectively sealing a Champions League place and ending the already slim hopes of London rivals Tottenham and West Ham. And all in front of 10,000 of their own fans, who created a raucous atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Rudiger and Jorginho scored the crucial goals, and although Kelechi Iheanacho gave Leicester a little hope with a late goal, the Blues held on to send their fans home happy.

Thomas Tuchel had predicted beforehand that this would be a completely different game to the cup final, and the biggest difference was the way in which his side went about their business.

Chelsea were revved up from the start, knowing what was a stake – a top four finish and guaranteed place in the Champions League most likely for the winners.

Roared on by a fervent crowd of around 10,000 home supporters, Chelsea raced out of the traps ferociously and could have scored three times in the opening 10 minutes.

Timo Werner's neat turn and lightning speed set up a chance for Ben Chilwell, but the former Leicester man screwed his low shot across goal and the sliding Christian Pulisic could not make contact. Cesaer Azpilicueta missed a close range header by a whisker, and Ngolo Kante had a shot well saved by Kasper Schemeichel after a driving run.

Leicester might have thought they had seen off Chelsea's initial energetic burst, but the Blues did not let up. Werner had the first of his 'goals' overruled in the 21st minute, when Mount put him in for a neat finish into the back of the net, only to see an offside flag raised belatedly. TV replays showed it to be the correct decision.

Chelsea did not let up. Mason Mount drove at the heart of Leicester's defence and had a fierce shot brilliantly tipped over by Schmeichel, Thiago Silva headed over a corner from close range and Reece James had a shot deflected over the bar. From the resultant corner Werner thought he had scored again, bundling the ball in from close range, but again replays showed he had used his arm and Mike Dean took VAR's advice to overrule the initial award of a goal.

The boisterous crowd made their feelings clear, with derogatory chants about the referee, VAR and the fact that “It's not football any more.” In the meantime, Ngolo Kante had to leave the pitch, which must be a concern for Tuchel with the Champions League final only ten days away.

Back on the pitch, Chelsea continued to go close, with Mount volleying over and then setting up Pulisic, who shot wide.

Dean and Leicester's players got plenty of abuse as they left the pitch at half time, something they had not experienced for some time, but Chelsea fans were cheering within two minutes of the restart when Rudiger scored.

James swung over a corner from the right, Jamie Vardy got an inadvertent assist with a glancing header at the near post and Rudiger was unmarked a yard from goal to guide the ball in off his thigh.

The Shed End erupted, and Chelsea's players celebrated in front of their delirious fans, and 20 minutes later they were at it again, as Jorginho made it 2-0 from the penalty spot. Werner, who'd just had a tame shot saved easily by Schmeichel made another forward run but was going away from goal. Wesley Fofana, so good on Saturday, mistimed his tackle and clipped the German's legs, sending him sprawling. Dean initially awarded a free-kick outside the area, where Werner landed, but VAR intervened to point out the offence was committed inside the penalty box. Not surprisingly there were no complaints about VAR from Chelsea's fans this time.

But there was an eerie silence when Kelechi Iheanacho pulled a goal back for Leicester 16 minutes after replacing James Maddison. Wilfred Ndidi hustled the ball off Mateo Kovacic, and laid it into the path of Iheanacho, who struck it past Edouard Mendy first time. It was Leicester's first shot on target, and they soon had another, as the Nigerian forward tested Mendy from long range.

Ayoze Perez had a superb chance to equalise in the closing stages, but blasted over the bar and Chelsea held on to go third.

CHELSEA (3-4-3): Mendy 7; James 7 , Silva 7 , Rudiger 7 ; Azpilicueta 7 (Zouma 87), Kante 7 (Kovacic 32), Jorginho 7, Chilwell 7; Pulisic 6 Werner 6 Mount 8. 

LEICESTER (3-4-2-1): Schmeichel 6; Albrighton 6 (Perreira 67), Fofana 6 Soyuncu 7: Castagne 6, Tielemans 7, Ndidi 6 , Thomas 6 ; Perez 6, Maddison 6 (Iheanacho 60); Vardy 6.

Referee: Mike Dean 6.

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