Iheanacho scores again as Chelsea 2-1 Leicester

Chelsea avenged their FA Cup final defeat and moved above Leicester City into third spot in the Premier League with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Rudiger’s goal put Thomas Tuchel’s team ahead early in the second half and Jorginho’s 66th-minute penalty doubled the advantage before Kelechi Iheanacho gave Leicester hope.

For Chelsea, it was a reversal of the 1-0 defeat at Wembley that came at a cost with N’Golo Kante going off injured, but Brendan Rodgers could have few complaints given the balance of play.

The penalty shout not only went against him but referee Mike Dean took the view that Werner placing his foot between Tielemans’ kicking foot and the ball was a foul by the German.

Dean was convinced that Werner had scored when bundling the ball in from a corner after 37 minutes but this time it was a handball offence spotted by the VAR that denied him.

Thomas Tuchel made three changes from Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat, with Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell and Christian Pulisic coming into the team in place of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso and Hakim Ziyech. Tammy Abraham returned to the squad having missed out at Wembley, while Mateo Kovacic was only deemed fit enough for the bench.

Brendan Rodgers made two line-up changes from the FA Cup final, with Kelechi Iheanacho dropping to the bench and the injured Jonny Evans missing out altogether. James Maddison came into the midfield, while there was also a place in the team for Marc Albrighton.

Leicester were riding their luck and the Chelsea storm at that stage but Jamie Vardy, back as the lone striker with Iheanacho benched, had offered a reminder of his threat when volleying over.

The sight of N’Golo Kante trudging off before the interval to be replaced by the returning Mateo Kovacic will be a huge concern with the Champions League final looming but Chelsea kept pushing.

Mason Mount’s ingenuity in engineering space on the right flank fashioned an opening for Christian Pulisic late in the half – the American denied by Kasper Schmeichel with Chelsea’s eleventh attempt.

The half-time whistle provided some respite for the visitors but it did not last.

Chilwell’s corner at the start of the second half was only diverted into the danger zone by Vardy at the near post and there was Rudiger to force home from close range with his thigh.

Rodgers brought on Iheanacho for the ineffective James Maddison in an attempt to shift the momentum of the match but the penalty decision appeared to end any hopes of a comeback.

The previously unfortunate Werner was moving away from goal in the left channel when Wesley Fofana clipped his foot. The initial decision was a free-kick but replays showed it was inside the box.

Jorginho did the rest, sitting Schmeichel down with his trademark routine before stroking the ball into the corner of the net for his seventh goal of the Premier League season – all of them penalties.

Leicester looked deflated but they found a route back into it when Wilfred Ndidi won possession of the ball high up the pitch before squaring for Iheanacho to beat Edouard Mendy to his left.

It made for a nervy finale and there was still time for a twist in the tale when the ball fell kindly for Ayoze Perez in the 90th minute only for him to measure his shot well over the bar.

Tempers frayed in stoppage time when Ricardo Pereira fouled Chilwell and just about every player and substitute seemed keen to get involved in the fracas. This was a heated encounter.

But Chelsea held on and it is Leicester who will be anxious now as they face up to the prospect of losing their top-four spot in the final week for a second successive season.

Timo Werner was involved in most of the key moments and Antonio Rudiger delivered an eye-catching display with his forward running as well as the opening goal of the game. But it was Mason Mount’s overall contribution that drew the attention of Sky Sports’ Alan Smith.

“Mason Mount was once again at the heart of everything that was good,” said Smith on co-commentary, when selecting his man of the match. “He is so consistent, the lad, and he is consistent at a high level.”

A hush descended among the crowd when Mount went down with a knee injury in the second half but he recovered to play on. Nobody is in any doubt as to the England international’s importance to this Chelsea team.

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