Premier League
Leicester1Chelsea2

Leicester City 1-2 Chelsea

N'Golo Kante scores for Chelsea
Kante joined Chelsea from Leicester in the summer of 2016

N'Golo Kante says he did not celebrate after scoring against Leicester out of respect for his former side, as Chelsea beat the Foxes to climb into the top three.

Both sides struggled to find a finishing touch before Alvaro Morata nodded in Cesar Azpilicueta's searching pass to put Chelsea ahead before half-time.

The visitors pressed home their advantage after the break as former Foxes midfielder Kante, gifted time and space, drilled home low from 30 yards.

In contrast to fellow ex-Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater, who received a mixed reception after his deadline-day move to Chelsea, Kante had earlier been warmly received by the Leicester crowd.

"It is always special to play my old team. I had an amazing year here but when I come I try to win," said Kante, who was part of Leicester's title-winning side.

"It is always a pleasure to score but I keep my celebration inside because I want to respect my old team."

Chelsea appeared to be cruising to the points after Kante's strike but a foul by Thibaut Courtois saw Leicester awarded a penalty that Jamie Vardy converted, sparking the hosts into life in a frenetic final half-hour.

But it was Chelsea substitute Willian who came closest to adding to the scoring with a curling strike just wide of the post.

Leicester, who slip to 17th, have now lost six of their last seven home games against Chelsea.

Chelsea end September blues

Prior to this match, Chelsea had not won a Premier League away fixture in September in any of the last four seasons - but Antonio Conte's side have put in strong performances at the King Power in recent times.

They started brightly and dominated possession in the opening stages but the visitors' finishing left something to be desired.

Morata was in the mix throughout the first half but was kept in check by Leicester captain Wes Morgan, who provided two crucial blocks in the box to deny him.

The Spaniard eventually got the best of their personal duel, peeling away from the veteran defender to guide a glancing header beyond Kasper Schmeichel from Azpilicueta's pinpoint pass.

Kante's strike against his former club - which Schmeichel, quite rightly, looked annoyed to have allowed past him - should have been the end of the match as a contest, but the visitors seemed to lose focus.

Courtois' clumsy challenge on Vardy for the penalty handed Craig Shakespeare's men a lifeline, but they could not use the momentum of that goal to claim an equaliser.

Conte's introduction of Eden Hazard - returning after an ankle injury - and new signing Davide Zappacosta appeared to steady the visitors.

Zappacosta almost marked his debut with a goal after connecting with Hazard's cross, but it was fellow substitute Willian who had the best chance late in the game when he fired Hazard's pass low into Schmeichel's gloves.

"It was a tough game. They had a lot of chances but we fight and had some chances but we won and that is the most important thing," Kante added.

Leicester fall short

Thibaut Courtois
Jamie Vardy's penalty was the striker's 11th league goal under Craig Shakespeare

This is the first time the Foxes have lost three of their opening four top-flight fixtures since 1994-95 - a campaign that ended in relegation.

There is still a long way to go this term but Leicester seem to lack cohesiveness in the middle of the park, and Shakespeare was no doubt rueing the absence of Adrien Silva from his plans after the £22m midfielder's transfer from Sporting Lisbon missed the deadline by 14 seconds.

With Japan forward Shinji Okazaki missing with jet lag, Islam Slimani partnered Vardy up front but they were starved of possession in the first half.

Riyad Mahrez's direct running created a good opening for Slimani that Courtois did well to save, but any confidence Leicester gleaned from that moment was swiftly erased by Morata's breakthrough goal shortly after.

Leicester stepped back defensively and, after gifting Cesc Fabregas too much room in the first half, did the same to Kante in the second, and their former star player duly punished them from distance.

Man of the match - N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

N'Golo Kante
Appearing against his former club, Kante was sturdy in defence, winning 100% of his tackles, and also created three chances. His goal was just his third in the Premier League in his career. He also scored against Man Utd in October 2016 and Watford - for Leicester - in November 2015

Morata's head reaps rewards - the stats you need to know

  • Leicester have lost 12 of their last 14 games against Chelsea in all competitions (W1 D1).
  • Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Jamie Vardy has won more penalties in the Premier League than any other player (11).
  • Vardy has netted four goals in his last five Premier League appearances for the Foxes, including three in 2017-18.
  • Only Andrea Belotti (10) has scored more headed league goals in Europe's big five divisions since August 2016 than Alvaro Morata (9).
  • All three of Morata's goals and assists in the Premier League have come from his head (three goals, two assists).
  • Only Diego Costa (7) and Cesc Fabregas (6) had more goal involvements within their first four PL apps for Chelsea than Morata (5 - level with Eden Hazard).

'The big moments are going against us' - what the managers said

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Conte 'delighted' with Chelsea display

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte: "We must be delighted because we had a good performance. We played very well. We were in total control and could have scored more goals.

"The penalty changed the situation. They tried to push but despite this we had chances to improve the score. It is a good result and a good performance. After the international break it is not easy.

"Alvaro is improving a lot. It is important for strikers to score goals but also to be involved. We know very well the importance of Eden. He needs time to find his best. We must be patient and give him the opportunity but I am happy for him."

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Big moments going against Leicester - Craig Shakespeare

Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare: "The big moments are going against us at the moment. We had a chance and a minute later they go down the other end and score.

"We were disappointed and had to change our shape. The players applied themselves magnificently in the second half, on another day it might have gone our way.

"We said the first six games would be a challenge. We go again and have to dust ourselves down."

What's next?

Chelsea host Azerbaijani side FK Qarabag in the group stage of the Champions League group on Tuesday (19:45 BST) before a big Premier League match at home to Arsenal on Sunday (13:30). Leicester's next outing is a league match at newly-promoted Huddersfield on Saturday (15:00).

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 15Maguire
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26Mahrez
  • 25NdidiBooked at 84mins
  • 22JamesSubstituted forIheanachoat 78'minutes
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forKingat 45'minutes
  • 19SlimaniSubstituted forGrayat 45'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 3Chilwell
  • 7Gray
  • 8Iheanacho
  • 10King
  • 12Hamer
  • 18Amartey
  • 23Ulloa

Chelsea

  • 13Courtois
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 30David Luiz
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 15MosesSubstituted forZappacostaat 74'minutes
  • 7Kanté
  • 14Bakayoko
  • 3Alonso
  • 11PedroSubstituted forWillianat 63'minutes
  • 4FàbregasSubstituted forE Hazardat 78'minutes
  • 9Morata

Substitutes

  • 1Caballero
  • 6Drinkwater
  • 10E Hazard
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 22Willian
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 27Christensen
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
31,923

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home8
Away16
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home2
Away9
Fouls
Home11
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 1, Chelsea 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, Chelsea 2.

Offside, Leicester City. Christian Fuchs tries a through ball, but Andy King is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

Offside, Chelsea. Tiemoué Bakayoko tries a through ball, but Marcos Alonso is caught offside.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Andy King (Leicester City).

Hand ball by Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Willian (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Álvaro Morata.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.

Booking

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Willian (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

David Luiz (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City).

.

Attempt blocked. Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marcos Alonso with a cross.

Attempt missed. Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Eden Hazard replaces Cesc Fàbregas.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Matty James.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Davide Zappacosta replaces Victor Moses.

Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Victor Moses (Chelsea) because of an injury.

Delay in match Matty James (Leicester City) because of an injury.

Foul by Victor Moses (Chelsea).

Demarai Gray (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. David Luiz (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas.

Willian (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

Willian (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Willian replaces Pedro.

Attempt missed. Andy King (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Christian Fuchs with a cross.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 1, Chelsea 2. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Penalty conceded by Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Leicester City. Jamie Vardy draws a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt missed. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man Utd43101221010
2Man City4310102810
3Chelsea43018539
4Watford42207348
5Tottenham42117347
6Huddersfield32104047
7Liverpool42118807
8West Brom42114407
9Arsenal420278-16
10Stoke41214405
11Southampton412134-15
12Burnley31114404
13Brighton411235-24
14Swansea311124-24
15Everton411226-44
16Newcastle31023303
17Leicester410368-23
18Crystal Palace300306-60
19Bournemouth400418-70
20West Ham3003210-80
View full Premier League table

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