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Leicester return to top after Vardy and Mahrez down Chelsea

| 15.12.2015

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | December 14, 2015

Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea

  • Vardy opens scoring to end his one-game goal drought
  • Brilliant second-half curler form Mahrez doubles Foxes’ lead
  • Sub Remy got one back for Chelsea late on from header
  • Leicester return to top of table by two-points

Foxes hold on to snatch all three points

Before the 2015/16 Premier League season, many would have seen this fixture as a battle between potential title and relegation contenders, however no one would have predicted it would be Leicester City and Chelsea in that order.

This match promised much, with the last three meetings between the two teams on the Foxes’ territory producing four or more goals, and fans were thrilled once more, despite a rather dull opening half-an-hour.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Barclays Premier League - King Power Stadium

But the Foxes held on for a 2-1 victory, after going two up, to help them return to the top of the table and two points ahead of second-placed Arsenal after 16 games. If they can win two of their next three, they’ll match their tally from last season in a half a campaign.

It was the magical Riyad Mahrez, fresh from his hat-trick against Swansea City, who got the first effort in the second minute, but his shot was straight at Thibaut Courtois.

Things were quieter for the next 15 minutes, but the Foxes were then rocked as Danny Drinkwater came off injured for Andy King. However, after another quarter-of-an-hour of dreary football, Chelsea lost Eden Hazard too, making way for Pedro Rodriguez.

The latter injury proved more costly, as only three minutes later key men Mahrez and Jamie Vardy combined once more for the record-breaker to volley home his 15th goal of the season after a wonderful cross from the right.

Visitors Chelsea attempted to fight back immediately, but Nemanja Matic’s header form a corner could only brush the bar.

The second-half started with a Mahrez shot too, and this time the Algeria attacker curled a wonderful left-footed shot round Courtois after brilliantly taking a pass from sub King to double his side’s lead.

His strike now puts him at 11 goals for the league campaign to keep him four behind teammate Vardy.

Chelsea could and should have clawed one back just after the hour mark, but Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic were denied by Kasper Schmeichel and Christian Fuchs to prove that Leicester as just as good at the back as they are going forward.

Keeper Schmeichel somehow managed to save with his feet from Costa’s shot after the Spain international was through on goal, while the Serb defender had two shots blocked by Fuchs.

The Blues got one back with just under 15 minutes to go to set up an exciting finish, as Loic Remy, who came on for the ineffective Oscar, headed in from Pedro’s pint-point cross.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Barclays Premier League - King Power Stadium

Marc Albrighton came close not long after to nearly take the game away from Jose Mourinho’s men, but his long-ranged shot whistled past the post.

It was a tense finally few minutes for the Foxes, but they eventually held onto the win to pile the pressure on Mourinho once more, whose team are just one point above the dropzone.


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Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.