Lampard’s homecoming ends in draw after electric encounter
Premier League, Stamford Bridge – Chelsea 1 (Mount 7) Leicester City 1 (Ndidi 67)
Frank Lampard’s homecoming as Chelsea manager ended with a 1-1 draw against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.
In a nod to the classic cliché 'game of two halves', Chelsea were dominant in the first period before a complete reversal after the break.
It was a blistering start from the hosts and they led after just seven minutes, with Mason Mount dispossessing Wilfried Ndidi on the edge of his own box and then finishing smartly for his first Premier League goal.
Mount very nearly had another but headed straight at the goalkeeper when presented with a free header, while Christian Fuchs pulled off a sensational block to deny N'Golo Kante from close range. It would prove costly as the midweek shootout defeat to Liverpool in the Super Cup in Istanbul caught up with Lampard's side.
Leicester were greatly improved after the break and started to create chances, with Ndidi making amends for his earlier error by heading home from a corner. James Maddison and Jamie Vardy both then missed the target when presented with golden opportunities as the Foxes finished strongest.
The point at least lifts Chelsea to 15th, while Leicester now have two points and sit 12th.
Wilfred Ndidi celebratesGetty Images
Lampard’s stuttering start continues. It was a breathless, brilliant start from Chelsea. Between their pressing - which directly led to Mount’s goal - and the number of midfield runners, they overwhelmed Leicester early on and could have been out of sight after 25 minutes. But they weren’t, and once the initial energy and emotion wore off, Leicester grew into the game and Chelsea started to run out of ideas, ultimately clinging on for a point at the end. As exciting and promising as the start was, Lampard has yet to show that his Chelsea have a plan B, while plan A still has some flaws.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea). His link-up play was sensational, with the Frenchman sending plenty of flicks and knockdowns into his team-mates’ paths. Having so many midfield runners suited his game perfectly and on another day he could have had a hat-trick of assists.
Mason Mount of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on August 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.Getty Images
2’ - DOUBLE SAVE! Chelsea have a second good chance in quick succession, with Giroud involved again. He lays the ball of to Mount, whose low shot is saved my Schmeichel, and the Dane then does well to rise quickly and deny Pulisic on the rebound.
7’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Leicester (Mount). Ndidi is caught in possession on the edge of his own box by Mount, who is stumbling as he gains possession but stays on his feet just long enough to slot the ball past a wrong-footed Schmeichel. What a start for Chelsea!
26 - WHAT A BLOCK! Emerson gets in down the left and his cross is backheeled by Giroud, right into the path of Kante, but Fuchs comes from nowhere to deflect Kante's shot wide. Brilliant defending.
67’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Leicester (Ndidi). Redemption for Ndidi! From a corner, he gets in the middle of two Chelsea defenders and powers a header past Kepa.
73’ - CHANCE! Fuchs fires in a cross and it pinballs to Maddison, who finds some space but then fires over from less than ten yards out.
77 - CLOSE! Maddison yet again finds space and feeds Vardy, who gets behind the defence and then shoots narrowly wide from a tight angle. Perez wanted a cross.
Chelsea: Kepa 6, Azpilicueta 7, Christensen 5, Zouma 6, Emerson 7, Kante 7, Jorginho 6, Mount 7, Pedro 7, Pulisic 6, Giroud 8. Subs: Abraham 5, Willian 5, Kovacic 5.
- In 13 attempts, Brendan Rodgers has never beaten Chelsea as a manager.
- Chelsea have lost just one of their last 23 home matches in the Premier League.
- It was Ndidi’s fifth Premier League goal and his first away from home.
- Maddison also provided the assist when Leicester won here 1-0 last season.