Chelsea thrash Leicester - player ratings, reaction and analysis

by 24britishtvNov. 20, 2021, 5 p.m. 19
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Chelsea temporarily extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to six points as they beat Leicester 3-0 at the King Power Stadium.

Thomas Tuchel’s side arrived having conceded just four goals all season and never looked like having a fifth put past them with only Daniel Amartey’s long-range second-half effort producing any sort of save from Edouard Mendy.

In the end, Antonio Rudiger’s near-post header and N’Golo Kante’s left-footed strike from outside the box were more than enough to see off the Foxes who managed just 35 per cent possession.

Christian Pulisic added a third after connecting with fellow substitute Hakim Ziyech to suck out what little life remained in their opponents, and it could have been even worse as three more Chelsea goals were ruled out for offside in the closing minutes.

Given the mess at Manchester United, there’s something wonderfully fitting about Brendan Rodgers being linked to their manager’s job at precisely the time his blip at Leicester City is slipping into a slump. Against Arsenal three weeks ago, Leicester conceded early from a set piece, conceded again shortly after and were then left to forlornly chase the game to no little effect. The only noticeable difference against Chelsea was the volume of the boos at half-time. This first half was as abject as it gets. Leicester made mistakes in possession and the fans groan. They take too long to play out from the back and the fans groan. So they look forward quickly and act surprised that Jamie Vardy is isolated; again the fans groan. By that point they’re already two goals down and another home game is lost. The only question is whether it gets any worse. The usual diagnosis here is to blame poor confidence, football’s magic elixir. Win a couple of league games, even through grubby means, and the same mistakes disappear. Confidence both relies upon and breeds better communication, better technique and better poise. We should not discount that happening here. But there is another theory: that Rodgers is an architect of the troubles as well as the solutions. His team have played four formations in 11 league games. They have played with two strikers and with one. James Maddison and Harvey Barnes have been in and out of the team. They play with wing-backs who don’t really get forward and with a central midfield that is suddenly too easy to play through. What any team hit by absentees craves is stability; there is little here.

Former England centre-back Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to another central defender in the wake of Chelsea’s emphatic victory over Leicester.

The Blues have conceded just four goals in their 12 league games so far this season, and only one of those has come in their six away games.

Silva himself now has five clean sheets in seven Premier League starts, and Ferdinand reckons Chelsea’s defensive form is as much to do with the Brazilian as it is the man with the gloves on behind him.

“There’s no airs and graces about this team, it’s about getting the job done. Thiago Silva was the conductor from the back, completely composed authoritative performance, and it spread through the team like wildfire,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.

“You can go through this team, every single player is playing at least a seven and above. And they’re playing with authority.”

“Great goalkeepers and top goalkeepers: they [only] get called upon every so often. Their goals aren’t peppered like the teams at the bottom of the table where they’re in the game all the time.

“It’s about concentration and being able to come up with the right moments and he has been magnificent. The clean sheets are massive at the moment, it’s phenomenal, but every single player, even the ones that are coming on all, impacting the game completely.”

‘We need to defend better and attack better’

Brendan Rodgers took personal responsibility for trying to restore Leicester to the heights of last season when they finished the season within one point of Champions League qualification.

“[The problem] is not attitude. The players have got an amazing attitude,” Rodgers insisted.

“It’s probably confidence [that’s] not quite where it’s been over the last couple of years. So it’s my job to bring the players back to that level.

“This season, obviously lots of games, playing in Europe, players out, so it has been difficult for us but there’s no doubt we need to defend better and attack better, and it’s as a team and that responsibility starts with me so I need to find the solution to it.”

He added: “We lacked that little belief at the beginning of the game and of course, then you go 2-0 down so we had to resurrect that at halftime.

“And in fairness to the players, their attitude, the spirit, everything was much better in the second half, forced a couple of real good saves from Mendy and I was much happier with it.”

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