Player Ratings: Chelsea at Leicester City #LEICHE
King Power Stadium | January 14th, 2017
Chelsea travelled to the King Power to face last season’s champions over the weekend in the premier league. They were also up against a narrative of supposed palpable discord in the dressing room stemming from Costa and a mouth-watering deal from China. The individual is said to have had a row with a few coaching staff with Conte shouting at him “Go to China!” Oh how dramatic. Costa was not included in the squad on the day because of a back injury (the official stance of the club) and in his place Chelsea used the previously successful line of attack with Hazard playing through the middle and Willian and Pedro on either side of him, all else remained as usual.
Chelsea bounced back from premier league defeat to Tottenham in indubitable fashion as their closest rivals Liverpool dropped points. Alonso who has had a rough time at it recently stepped up big league and was the unlikely hero on the day scoring 2 goals. Chelsea successfully cleared the air of any creeping complacency with the team looking as sharp and as the last time they played Leicester City, a fixture that saw them ascending to top form and Conte would be hoping that is the case now also.
Only one negative and it was off the pitch with the whole Costa drama. However, Chelsea were not distracted and in togetherness, forged ahead without much fuss.
His tactics worked again, playing Hazard as a false 9 in lieu of a typical centre forward in Michy Batshauyi. He managed to keep his players focused following the speculations surrounding the club at the moment and his team did the job. Perhaps he could have introduced Batshauyi and Loftus-Cheek a bit earlier.
Not too much to do but did enough when called upon. Initially had trouble with the long balls into his box but soon became commanding enough to deal with them. Made a few smart saves and joined in the celebrations enthusiastically.
Started a bit shaky as he was easily beaten by Ahmed Musa to concede an effort on goal, however grew in stature in the game both defensively and offensively as his cross into the box set the stage for Chelsea’s first goal.
David Luiz: 8
Solid through out, Dave seems to finally be on his way back to full fitness. Dealt with the threat of Musa, and Vardy well and later on Shinji Okazaki as well.
Was beaten for pace by Vardy one on occasion but covered very well for Alonso and stood solid in the face of threatening pace in Demari Gray later on.
Yet another who seems to be getting back into the form he displayed in the hay days of that 13 game winning streak. Was sharp and alive all game offensively and defensively, could have gotten an assist had Alonso’s shot hit the target in the second half and was part of the move that led to Chelsea’s third. It was a good game from the Nigerian wingback.
Was immense against his former side following a dismal showing at Tottenham. Won balls all over the park through tackles and interceptions and was a rock in the mid field. Was also influential offensively particularly in the build up to Chelsea’s 3rd goal.
Was just as impressive as his mid field partner, mobile and strong on the ball. Made a glaring error early in the game through a misplaced pass that gave Leicester the opportunity to get the first goal but that was as bad as it got for the Serb. His box-to-box movement made him influential both defensively and offensively as an extra man in those situations.
Alonso: 9 MOTM
Was immense all night from the left wing back position, scored two goals and came close to a hat trick. He was a constant thorn offensively through his sharp combination play with Hazard and his brilliant crosses. Didn’t have too much defending to do but did well enough when called upon.
Add yet another goal for Chelsea’s versatile finisher. Should have hit the target in the first half following *that* free kick routine but made up for it with an improvised header over the towering Wes Morgan for Chelsea’s third of the game. Pedro worked very well offensively, combining with Hazard and Willian and attacking spaces all over the opposition half.
Not subdued at all by Leicester but with the rest of the team stepping up their performances, he was not so spectacular individually either, then again regular Hazard is more than most defences can handle. Combined very well with his attacking unit with short clever passes and movements often opening up spaces for his other team mates.
Was too strong, too fast and too agile for Fuchs. Like his attacking mates, he combined cleverly and moved quickly with and without the ball. His combination play provided the assist for Pedro’s goal and created the chance were Alonso very nearly got his hat trick with a deft flick to Moses. He is in very good form of late and it’s a toss up between him and Pedro now when Costa gets back into the side.
Came in to the game as Conte switched formations to a 3-5-2, from the top of the mid field he immediately began to dictate proceedings for Chelsea going forward. Kept the ball ticking and was never caught out of possession. Could not influence the game much as he came in late when it was all but done, however he made sure it was done in the end, being an effective presence in the mid field and a worry for the Leicester defence.
Resurrected from obscurity of late, Chelsea’s former youth poster boy has taken his opportunities to showcase his talents. Although he arrived late into the game, his strength and intelligence in offensive situations was clear to see. He looks to be making that auxiliary striker role his for a shoo-in, and with Conte deploying the 3-5-2 regularly, he might get even more opportunities.
Came in late in the game when Chelsea were happy to let Leicester search for a consolation and so did not have as much to do as he would have liked. Nonetheless he displayed his physicality and hold up play and showed signs of a blossoming partnership with Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
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