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Thursday 21 September 2017
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Blues keep the winning run on beating Leicester City

Report: Rakesh Sinha
Published : Sunday 10 September, 2017 05:19 PM
Blues keep the winning run on beating Leicester City

Since Leicester's promotion to the Premier League in 2014, they have managed to beat Chelsea just once in five tries — that 2-1 win signaling their intentions to push on for a most unlikely Premier League title while also proving to be José Mourinho’s final game in charge during his second tenure at Chelsea. There were no such grand implications for either side today, but the Blues’ 2-1 win served as further proof that opening day was just a mere blip and the Conte Revolution is progressing along just fine even amid a largely satisfactory, but outside of N’Golo Kanté, hardly amazing performance.

Just as in Chelsea’s previous away game, Conte opted for the 3-5-2 shape instead of the usual 3-4-3. But unlike that match against Tottenham when David Luiz played as a holding midfielder while Tiemoué Bakayoko and Kanté took duties as the box-to-box mids — a 1-2 midfield triangle — Conte employed Cesc Fàbregas as an advanced playmaker in front of the French duo — a 2-1 midfield triangle. Up front, Pedro started in support of Álvaro Morata with Willian, who was the last to return from international break dropping to the bench alongside new signings Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta, and the returning Eden Hazard.

The formation may have been (more) defensive in name than usual, but Chelsea set out to attack and take control from the word go. The high-line pressure took away any sort of build-up from the home side, who were reduced to lobbing long balls forward to their frontline consisting of the annoying Jamie Vardy, the useless Islam Slimani and the well below-par Riyad Mahrez. Meanwhile, Chelsea were winning every challenge, sticking perfectly to marking assignments, and establishing superiority in all phases of the game. The Blues even had better throw-ins, which have been a major weakness of the team for a decade, if not longer.

 

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