Chelsea capped an excellent week in style with an entertaining 3-1 Premier League win at Leicester City, who ended the game with 10 men.
The Blues’ midweek win over Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League eased the pressure considerably on Graham Potter and he was given another reason to cheer at the King Power Stadium.
Former Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell put Chelsea ahead in the 11th minute and although Patson Dak equalized for the visitors, Kai Havertze’s superb sixth league goal of the season restored the advantage.
Mateo Kovacic secured the points with a stunning third and provided further evidence that a Chelsea side that has added several players in January may finally be clicking.
Chilwell broke the deadlock with his second league goal of the season, beating Danny Ward at his near post with a well-struck half-volley.
Leicester responded almost immediately, with Daniel Amartey somehow deflecting James Maddison’s cross out of reach to put the goal at the mercy of the net.
Joao Felix would have put Chelsea in charge had his effort not deflected off the right-hand post, but the visitors were grateful for the woodwork when Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s deflected long-range effort deflected off the crossbar.
There was further frustration for Joao Felix when he saw the goal disallowed for offside and was then guilty of losing possession just outside his own area as Dak equalized in style, bending a fierce effort just wide of the right-hand post.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had no answer to the strike but was crucially equal to shots from James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanach to prevent Leicester from completing the turnaround.
There was another twist in a thrilling first half as Chelsea took the lead again, Havertz deftly slotting past Ward from Enzo Fernandez’s wonderful ball through the Leicester defence.
Joao Felix was withdrawn by Graham Potter in the second half but Chelsea continued to create chances, Wesley Fofana seeing a header held by Ward, who produced a heroic display to prevent Havertz from doubling his tally shortly after Mykhailo Mudryk had blocked Harry Souttar on goal. effort.
After Mudryk saw a goal disallowed, Kovačić had the final say and put the game to bed after 12 minutes, beating Ward with an acrobatic volley. Wout Faes then received a second yellow card for a bad tackle on Carney Chukwuemeka.
Leicester player ratings (3-4-1-2)
GK: Danny Ward – 5/10 – Poor awareness for Chilwell’s opener but did make a handful of impressive saves after the break.
CB: Daniel Amartey – 4/10 – Nearly kicked through to Havertz’s heart moments before the German scored. Played the Chelsea man onside as well.
CB: Harry Souttar – 5/10 – A solid showing but was undone by three moments of class from Chelsea. Bullied Mudryk.
CB: Wout Faes – 2/10 – His aggressive defending saw him caught out of position a little too often. Given his marching orders with a few minutes to go for a second yellow card.
RM: Ricardo Pereira – 5/10 – Got away with a nasty challenge on Felix inside the opening few minutes and was fortunate to be on the pitch to assist Daka’s equaliser.
CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall – 6/10 – A physical performance in Leicester’s midfield. Caused a handful of problems and nearly saw a deflected effort hit the back of the net.
CM: Nampalys Mendy – 7/10 – Really impressive. Barely gave Chelsea’s creative midfielders a second to try and pick passes.
LM: Timothy Castagne – 6/10 – Got forward a lot and enjoyed his battle with Loftus-Cheek.
AM: James Maddison – 7/10 – Unsurprisingly orchestrated things for Leicester. Another impressive showing that could have easily assisted a goal or two.
ST: Kelechi Iheanacho – 6/10 – Selfless movement to create things for those around him. Some poor touches but nothing to be too critical about.
ST: Patson Daka – 7/10 – Took his goal well in an energetic performance.
Tete (66′ for Amartey) – 5/10 – Didn’t do any defensive work and left his teammates out to dry.
Harvey Barnes (66′ for Daka) – 5/10 – Found space hard to come by.
Boubacary Soumare (66′ for Mendy) – 5/10 – Didn’t offer any control in midfield. A noticeable drop-off from Mendy.
Jamie Vardy (76′ for Iheanacho) – 5/10 – Buzzed around without offering too much.
Jonny Evans (90′ for Maddison) – N/A
Brendan Rodgers – 5/10 – His two-man strike force deserved far better than it managed here, but Rodgers’ substitutes did not help Leicester’s cause at all.
Chelsea player ratings (3-4-3)
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6/10 – Kept busy by Leicester but rose to most of the challenges put to him. Couldn’t get over to Daka’s equaliser, however.
CB: Wesley Fofana – 6/10 – A little panicked by Castagne and Daka but nothing to be too concerned about.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly – 7/10 – Another solid defence performance, topped off with a surprise assist for Chilwell’s opener.
CB: Marc Cucurella – 7/10 – The resurgence continues. Grew in confidence as the game progressed.
RM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7/10 – He might not be as fluid as Reece James in this position but Loftus-Cheek impressed with his physicality.
CM: Enzo Fernandez – 7/10 – A glorious assist for Havertz in what was an impressive showing full of a lot of gritty defensive work.
CM: Mateo Kovacic – 7/10 – Some nice passes and capped off a solid afternoon with a composed finish late on.
LM: Ben Chilwell – 7/10 – Great control for his opening goal. A little quiet afterwards but did pop up with a dangerous ball or two.
RW: Kai Havertz – 8/10 – Seemed to relish playing behind the striker here. Brilliant movement and an excellent goal.
ST: Mykhailo Mudryk – 6/10 – Another awkward showing but he’ll be relieved to avoid the 007 – zero goals, zero assists in seven games.
LW: Joao Felix – 6/10 – A mixed 45 minutes full of good and bad moments. Off at half-time, which may have been related to Ricardo’s naughty challenge in the opening few moments.
Conor Gallagher (46′ for Felix) – 7/10 – Great energy. One of Chelsea’s best performers in the second half.
Christian Pulisic (72′ for Chilwell) – 5/10 – Barely involved in his 20-minute outing.
Trevoh Chalobah (72′ for Loftus-Cheek) – 6/10 – Offered some valuable composure at the back when Leicester were growing into the game.
Carney Chukwuemeka (82′ for Mudryk) – N/A
Benoit Badiashile (86′ for Fofana) – N/A
Graham Potter – 6/10 – It wasn’t Chelsea’s best performance but we’re starting to see what Potter is trying to do here. For the boss, that’s as valuable as the win.