Chelsea secured a 3-0 win at Leicester as N’Golo Kante’s rocket helped the Premier League leaders clear the top six points on Saturday. Antonio Rudiger opened the scoring and Kante’s long-range blast kept Chelsea in control before Christian Pulisic came off the bench to score in the second half. Thomas Tuchel’s side are unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions after wiping away the bitter taste of a disappointing 1-1 draw against lowly Burnley before the international break.
Chelsea’s ruthless performance provided the perfect response to Paris Saint Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino’s recent claim that the European champions are a “defensive” team.
It was ideal preparation for a big week that features a crucial Champions League tie against Juventus on Tuesday ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Stamford Bridge on 28 November.
With Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku expected to return soon after an ankle injury and Timo Werner back among substitutes after his hamstring problem, Chelsea are perfectly positioned to cement their place at the top of the table.
The only concern was an injury that forced Italy midfielder Jorginho into the closing stages.
Chelsea made quick work of sending down the vulnerable Leicester, who had managed only one clean-sheet in their last 17 league games and none since the opening day of the season.
Fox boss Brendan Rodgers switched to a three-man central defense to shore up his leaky rearguard, but Chelsea easily found the hole in the formation.
Ben Chilwell has been one of the goalscorers for both Chelsea and England recently and the left-back should have opened the scoring after just four minutes against his former club.
Selected by Jorginho’s reckoning pass, Chilwell got behind the Leicester defense and advanced into the penalty area, only to drive his shot against the crossbar to beat Kasper Schmeichel.
Chilwell’s every touch was scoffed at by Leicester fans, but he helped calm the crowd in the 14th minute.
Chilwell swung an inswinging corner towards Rudiger and the German centre-back got to see a header between two Leicester defenders into the far corner.
It was a well-deserved reminder of Rudiger’s quality as Chelsea tried to persuade the 28-year-old to sign him a contract extension, which expired at the end of the season.
Having lost the lead against Burnley after missing several chances, Chelsea were in no mood to repeat that mistake and struck again in the 28th minute.
Reece James dropped his shoulder on the work site for a pass to Kante and the France midfielder advanced uncontrollably before giving Schmeichel a fine finish from the edge of the field.
Like Rudiger, it was Kante’s first goal since his victory at Tottenham in September.
Chelsea refused to give Leicester a single shot in the first half and were firmly in control after the interval.
Thiago Silva’s sweeping pass sent Callum Hudson-Odoi down to the left and his cutback reached Chilwell, whose stinging shot was driven to safety by Schmeichel.
Hudson-Odoi was inches away with a long-range curler before under-worked Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy was tested by a fierce strike from Danielle Amarte.
Jamie Vardy moves past James Madison’s cross as Leicester put Chelsea under pressure for a while.
Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount was anonymous on his debut for nearly a month following dental surgery and was removed on the hour.
Pulisic was in place of Mount and the United States winger seized his chance when he stabbed home substitute Hakim Ziyech in the 71st minute.
It was Pulisic’s first club goal since the opening weekend of another injury-ridden season for the 23-year-old.
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