James Maddison was top class, but Frank Lampard’s men were abysmal as Leicester City handed a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday.
Leicester City made a fantastic start to the game, as Wilfred Ndidi unleashed a brilliant curving shot from the outside of his left foot to catch Edouard Mendy cold. Shortly after, the hosts were nearly two to the good, but James Maddison’s drilled effort could only clip the crossbar.
Chelsea did start to carry some threat going forward as the first half progressed, but Leicester skipper Kasper Schmeichel was hardly troubled. The Blues’ task then became all the more difficult four minutes ahead of the break when James Maddison scored a magnificent goal, latching on to Marc Albrighton’s defence-splitting long pass to make it 2-0.
Leicester could and should have been further clear early in the second period when James Justin inexplicably headed wide from Albrighton’s cross. Both sides then had goals ruled out as offside, as the game ended 2-0 in favour of Leicester, who climbed to the top of the Premier League table, while Chelsea dropped to 8th. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both sets of players.
Kasper Schmeichel: 7/10
Schmeichel hardly had to break a sweat, with each of his five saves being regulation stops, although that could also be put down to superb positioning. One fine sweeper-keeper moment, though, stood out for the Leicester skipper, who was largely precise with the ball at his feet.
Timothy Castagne: 8/10
Timothy Castagne won more duels (7) and made more tackles (4) than any other Leicester player against Chelsea.
Him and Albrighton locked down the right hand side. pic.twitter.com/yfG2IwacIH
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 19, 2021
The Leicester right-back was in his elements against Chelsea. The Belgian international did not provide an assist or score a goal, but carried a significant threat down the right flank while being solid in his defensive duties, winning 7 duels and a couple of interceptions.
Wesley Fofana: 8.5/10
The Leicester central defenders were a major reason why Chelsea never really had a sniff at goal on Tuesday and the highly-rated Fofana was solid as ever, making a couple of crunching tackles while clearing everything in sight. Reliable with the ball at his feet, his quick thinking helped the Foxes stitch together rapid moves.
Jonny Evans: 9/10
Even more crucial than his partner at the heart of the Leicester defence, Evans barely put a foot wrong apart from the moment when it was initially thought he had conceded a penalty before it was ruled as a free-kick. His defensive numbers – 5 interceptions, 4 clearances and 4 duels won – were simply outstanding and a late tackle on Timo Werner was simply delightful.
James Justin: 8/10
The young full-back just continues to rise in stature and on Tuesday, he was a menace for the Chelsea defence with his blazing runs while his link-up with Harvey Barnes was superb. Having said that, he should have done much better to convert Marc Albrighton’s pinpoint cross.
Wilfred Ndidi: 9/10
Wilfred Ndidi’s game by numbers vs. Chelsea:
93% pass accuracy
5 ball recoveries
2 tackles won
A big performance in the middle of the park. 💪 pic.twitter.com/HBEtpQRVOn
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 19, 2021
Sitting at the base of the Leicester midfield, Ndidi was at his very best, hardly giving an inch to the Chelsea midfielders while moving the ball quickly and precisely. The finish for his goal, though, takes the cake for the Nigerian.
Youri Tielemans: 8/10
Pulling the strings from a deeper position in midfield, Tielemans helped assert Leicester’s authority over Chelsea in the middle of the park. Knew when to pick the right pass, opening up play as easily as he stitched together ground passes.
Marc Albrighton: 8/10
A night to remember for Albrighton for all the right reasons. The Leicester veteran delivered the assist for James Maddison’s goal and should have grabbed another one when Justin headed wide. Played 3 key passes in all while putting in the hard yards off the ball.
James Maddison: 9/10
The difference-maker higher up the pitch for Leicester, Maddison produced a sumptuous finish for his goal while constantly posing a great deal of threat in the final third. Linked up well with those around him and even played in a key pass. In the form of his life.
3 – James Maddison has scored in three consecutive league appearances for the first time in his career. Rampant. pic.twitter.com/0jh61jkrGV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 19, 2021
Harvey Barnes: 7/10
Stationed on the left-wing, Barnes was a constant outlet on his flank and created a couple of openings. However, his end product often left a lot to be desired as well and his output in the final third can improve.
Jamie Vardy: 7/10
Leading the line for Leicester against Chelsea despite dealing with a persistent hip issue, Vardy was key in Maddison’s goal as his movement took the Chelsea centre-backs out of the game in one swift motion. Hardly involved otherwise and completed just 1 pass all game.
Ayoze Perez: N/A
On for Maddison late on, Perez helped push Chelsea back in the final stages of the game.
Ricardo Pereira: N/A
On for Albrighton, Pereira got a nice run-out on the right flank, helping Leicester see the game out.
Kelechi Iheanacho: N/A
A late introduction, Iheanacho did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Edouard Mendy: 6/10
A big reason why the scoreline was not embarrassing for Chelsea at full-time, Mendy made some big saves to deny Leicester and keep the gap to just two goals. Could not have done anything to deny either Ndidi or Maddison.
Reece James: 5/10
Back into the starting lineup, James looked a tad bit rusty due to injury issues he has been dealing with lately. The English international saw a lot of the ball and even played in a couple of key passes, but was also under the pump defensively a lot of times.
Antonio Rudiger: 4/10
With Chelsea pinned back for large parts of the game, Rudiger had the opportunity to build play from the back. While his usage of the ball was efficient, the German international did not convince off the ball and got pulled out of position by Vardy for Maddison’s goal. Might just make way for Kurt Zouma soon.
Thiago Silva: 5/10
An underwhelming display by the veteran centre-back, who ought to have done better to organise the Chelsea backline. While Silva misplaced just a couple of passes, he never looked convincing enough off the ball, with Vardy’s pace and movement troubling him a lot.
Ben Chilwell: 5/10
Returning to the King Power Stadium for the first time since joining Chelsea, the former Leicester defender hardly made an impact and was utterly wasteful with the ball at his feet. Pegged back a lot of times, Albrighton and Castagne gave him plenty of grief. Needs to do better.
Mason Mount: 6/10
The clear standout in an average Chelsea side, Mount did all he could to change the course of the game, playing the most key passes in the match (4) while boasting a fine passing rate of 93 percent. That was not enough, though, as the men in front of him were highly ineffective.
93% pass accuracy, 4 key passes, 4 interceptions & EIGHT tackles for Mount tonight. And besides that, it looked like he cared way more than everyone else.
So many people have said he gets in the side because of Lampard but it’s clear he’s getting in the side after Lampard, too. pic.twitter.com/HrZ2lH97ll
— Alex Goldberg (@AlexGoldberg_) January 19, 2021
Mateo Kovacic: 4/10
Installed in the holding midfield role by Frank Lampard in the absence of N’Golo Kante, Kovacic endured a game to forget, as he just could not manage to keep things tight and keep a lid on Maddison’s output. Hardly misplaced a pass but needed to do better off the ball.
Kai Havertz: 4/10
Back into the starting lineup, Havertz’s struggles continued against Leicester, with the German international hardly managing to get into the game. When he did see the action, he was sloppy in possession, completing just 71 percent of his attempted passes.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 5/10
Another player returning to the starting lineup. Hudson-Odoi cannot be faulted for a lack of effort but his end product was just not quite there against Leicester. The young winger failed to test Justin for the most part but did come close with a close range effort. Made way for Timo Werner for the final quarter of the game.
Tammy Abraham: 5/10
Leading the line for Chelsea, Abraham endured a difficult game. Leicester’s resolute defending meant that the English international was isolated for large parts of the game, managing to attempt and complete just 8 passes. Hardly got a sniff at goal as a result.
Christian Pulisic: 5/10
Deployed on the left wing again, Pulisic flitted in and out of the game but carried a great deal of threat when he did get the chance to take on the Leicester defenders. Unfortunately for him, those moments came few and far between.
Hakim Ziyech: 5/10
On for Havertz, Ziyech managed to complete just over half the passes he attempted, which meant that he did not effectively carry the threat in the final third.
Timo Werner: 6/10
Timo Werner now has the most offside goals in the squad (5) as well as the most woodwork hits (5).
He deserves more, and will get more when those small margins go in his favour. Patience. pic.twitter.com/xQvP30UDQ5
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) January 19, 2021
Introduced in place of Hudson-Odoi, Werner nearly ended his search for a Premier League goal with a delicate finish but saw his effort being ruled out after straying marginally offside. His drought continues in the top-flight.