Chelsea vs Leicester: No red card blues for 10-man Blues
Conor Gallagher’s first-half red card upped the challenge level for Chelsea, but suspended boss Thomas Tuchel watched from the stands and his 10-man Blues beat struggling Leicester City 2-1 on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
Gallagher was sent off for a foul almost 60 yards from goal in the 28th minute, his second yellow card in six minutes, and Chelsea looked set to strap in for slog against the wounded Foxes.
But Chelsea outscored Leicester despite going down a man as Raheem Sterling scored a pair of second-half goals and Leicester managed only one Harvey Barnes marker.
Chelsea moves onto seven points, the same as Liverpool and Manchester United, while Leicester has just a single point and sits 19th on the Premier League table.
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What we learned from Chelsea vs Leicester
Sterling Sterling special: Yes, his first goal took a deflection to help beat Danny Ward and his second marker was great service from Reece James, but the ex-Liverpool and Man City star is looking very much like the star of the show for a Chelsea team that was missing N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic and would’ve had every excuse to come away with a point or less following Gallagher’s red card.
Gallagher shows lack of composure: If Gallagher was looking to make Thomas Tuchel believe he should be a regular starter over Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, or any other Chelsea player, the manager would’ve had an improved view when Gallagher took his second yellow in the Leicester half. Gallagher could’ve let anyone else foul the ball carrier in Leicester’s counterattack but instead just lost his sense and sent his team down to 10.
Only glimpses for sad Leicester: Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes combined for a pretty goal to get the score to 2-1 and the Foxes will know they were without Wesley Fofana -- who looks set for Chelsea, oddly enough -- and the injured James Maddison, but those excuses feel hollow considering the expectations for this Brendan Rodgers project. Not to put this on the manager, but the fact remains that their chances came against 10 men. Just like scoring twice against Arsenal while conceding four, there’s a huge black cloud around any silver lining this season (so far) for the King Power Stadium set.
This one’s less about tactics as it was the mentality.
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It’s not just that Chelsea overcame the 28th-minute sending-off, it’s that the Blues did not look bothered for an instant once going down a man. Maybe that says something about the perceived Leicester threat, but Chelsea was almost instantly rearranged for a successful 10v11 test.
All that said, it’s a good thing Chelsea’s keeper stood up to be counted on the inevitable chances that arrive when your club has one less player than the other guys!
Stars of the show
Chelsea plays Southampton at St. Mary’s at 2:45pm ET Tuesday, while Leicester is off until a 3pm ET Thursday visit from Manchester United.
How to watch Chelsea vs Leicester live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10 am ET, SaturdayOnline: Stream via Peacock Premium
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Kalidou Koulibaly (suspension), Marcos Alonso (undisclosed)
Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Wesley Fofana (personal leave), Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee)