Chelsea emerging from slump, showing signs of Potter clicking under in trounce Leicester

LEICESTER, England – Chelsea deepened Leicester City’s relegation fears and turned up the heat on Fox boss Brendan Rodgers with a comfortable 3-1 win at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.

Goals from Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic – Patsson Daka had equalized for Leicester in the first half – sealed Chelsea’s third win in a week to boost their revival. And with Leicester dropping two places above the relegation zone, their day was made worse when defender Watt Face was sent off for two yellow cards late in the second half.

Swift response

1. Chelsea are emerging from their slump and starting to click

Graham Potter was driven into the depths of despair during his brief reign as Chelsea manager, but this win at Leicester suggested he and his team are finally emerging from their nightmare of months. The Blues have now won three games inside a week – and qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals – after winning just one of their last 11 fixtures.

The dominance of their victory over the King Power was also underlined by having two goals disallowed for offside against a struggling home side.

With Potter once again able to deploy his preferred 3–5–2 formation, Chelsea looked in control from the outset, and they went ahead in the 11th minute when Chilwell headed in to open the scoring against his former club. Left footed volley. Leicester responded well and had a chance to equalize through Daka’s 39th-minute strike, but they regained control when Kai Havertz scored four minutes into first-half stoppage time to make it 2–1. took.

That goal enabled the visitors to direct the play even more, and their big-money signing began to shine. Loney Joao Felix was solid in the first half before being substituted off at the interval, and Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudrik both impressed before Kovacic made it 3–1 on 78 minutes.

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Chelsea were so poor during their midwinter run that Potter seemed to be on borrowed time as manager, but perhaps the board’s patience is now paying off in the former Brighton & Hove Albion boss.

The win was a clear sign of progress and a team coming together. A top-four finish looks beyond them but if they can build on their revival, a top-seven finish and perhaps a run in the Champions League final could still be on the cards.

2. Rodgers feeling the heat as Leicester face relegation fight

Rodgers was subjected to chants of “we want Rodgers out” as Leicester fell to their 16th Premier League defeat this season – a loss that leaves them just one point above the bottom three. All managers know that their grip on a job is only strengthened or weakened by results, but when the pros start to turn, it usually hastens the beginning of the end.

Rodgers, a top-level manager for more than a decade, knows it better, but the former Liverpool and Celtic boss has undoubtedly been forced to work in tough conditions at the King Power in recent seasons. They have seen star players such as Harry Maguire, Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana all leave without being properly replaced, and this season’s struggles have been compounded by a lack of new signings last summer.

Despite Leicester winning their first FA Cup in 2021, Rodgers has been left out of credit with the club’s fans, who now fear relegation to the Championship.

Rodgers said before this game that keeping Leicester this season would be one of the greatest achievements of his career, so he clearly feels he has been up against it this season. However, after four years in charge, Rodgers would also find that he was running out of time to extend that stay for a fifth year.

3. Madison vital to Fox’s chances of survival

The King Power Stadium held its breath when James Maddison fell to the ground following a late challenge by Fernandez on 58 minutes. With the Leicester midfielder clutching his leg in pain, the prospect of a bad injury would have been extremely damaging to his club’s chances of survival.

Ultimately, the 26-year-old was able to return to action, despite being clearly troubled by the injury.

Leicester are now in such a dangerous position at the wrong end of the table, however, that they need Maddison on the pitch even if he is not 100 per cent fit. He is their best player by some distance and the only one capable of creating goalscoring chances Leicester desperately need to replace.

At times against Chelsea, it was like trying to get a lead violinist to play with a local band in a garage, with Maddison often on a different wavelength to his teammates. Despite an injury-plagued season, he scored nine goals and recorded five assists in 19 Premier League games, so his importance to Rodgers’ team is clear.

If Maddison can help keep Leicester above, it will probably be his last contribution to the club, with it only a matter of time for the England player to move on to bigger and better things.

best and worst performers

Best: Kai Havertz, Chelsea. Chelsea forward King Power was at his classiest. Excellent passing and movement, but also scored with a superb lob to restore his team’s lead.

Best: James Maddison, Leicester City. Leicester need Maddison to be fit to avoid relegation. Stands a mile away as the best player on the team.

Best: Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea. The Premier League’s most expensive player is growing in his role at Chelsea and has dominated midfield alongside Kovacic. Lucky to avoid booking for the bad foul on Madison, though.

Worst: Harry Souther, Leicester City. The Leicester defender was lucky to avoid a yellow card, or worse, in the second half for a crude late challenge on Mudrik. Too cumbersome as a Premier League centre-half.

Worst: What Face, Leicester City. Not only does he look like former Chelsea defender David Luiz, but he also has the same reckless defensive mentality as the Brazilian. Sent off for two yellow cards, with his second foul – on Carney Chukwuemeka – in itself deserving of a red card.

Worst: Ricardo Pereira, Leicester City. Booked for a bad challenge on Fernandez, but escaped punishment for an even worse foul on Felix earlier in the game.

Highlights and Notable Moments

It is saying something that it is hard to determine which was more impressive: Fernandez’s scooped ball over the top or Havertz’s first-time lobbed finish. Two beautiful displays of technique.

After the match: what the players/managers said

Potter: “It’s been a really positive week for us. Three wins: a convincing win against Leeds, an important win against Dortmund in the Champions League and then very excited about backing it up with a win away from home in the Premier League. Says something. The developing spirit, the club we have to develop together.”

Rogers: “I thought it was too harsh on the players at the end. … What I take a lot of encouragement from is the spirit of the team, they kept fighting, they kept working and I think that’s the way we did , we were unfortunate.”

Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Information Research)

Chelsea have scored in consecutive matches for the first time since five matches played between 1 October and 16 October.

– Chelsea broke a run of 24 matches without scoring three or more goals in any competition.


Leicester City: The Foxes travel to west London in week one when they take on Brentford for a Premier League showdown on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea: Chelsea will be back in the home comfort of Stamford Bridge on Saturday when they host Everton in the Premier League.

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