Chelsea swept to a 3-0 victory at Leicester as N’Golo Kante’s rocket helped the Premier League leaders move six points ahead on Saturday. Antonio Rudiger opened the scoring and Kante’s long-range blast put Chelsea in charge before Christian Pulisic came off the bench to score in the second half. Thomas Tuchel’s team is unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions after erasing the bitter taste of a frustrating 1-1 draw against humble Burnley before the international break.
Chelsea’s relentless performance provided the perfect answer to Paris Saint Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino’s recent claim that the European champions are a “defensive” team.
It was the ideal preparation for a big week that includes an important Champions League clash against Juventus on Tuesday before Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge on 28 November.
With Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku hoping to return shortly after an ankle injury and Timo Werner back among the substitutes after his hamstring problem, Chelsea are perfectly positioned to secure their place at the top of the table.
The only concern was an injury that forced Italian midfielder Jorginho into the final stages.
Chelsea quickly started work to steer the weak Leicester, who have scored just one clean sheet in their previous 17 league games and none since the opening day of the season.
Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers switched to a three-man central defense in an attempt to bolster his leaky back guard, but Chelsea easily found holes in the formation.
Ben Chilwell has been one of the goals for both Chelsea and England lately and the left-back should have opened the scoring against his former club after just four minutes.
Chilwell, who was selected by Jorginho’s rake pass, got behind the Leicester defense and shot into the penalty area, only to drive his shot against the crossbar with only Kasper Schmeichel to beat.
Every touch of Chilwell was yelled at by Leicester fans, but he helped silence the crowd in the 14th minute.
Chilwell turned a revolving corner towards Rudiger and the German midfielder came between two Leicester defenders to look for a header in the far corner.
It was a well-timed reminder of Rudiger’s quality as Chelsea try to persuade the 28-year-old to sign a contract extension that expires at the end of the season.
After squandering the lead against Burnley after squandering a myriad of chances, Chelsea were not in the mood to repeat that mistake and struck them again in the 28th minute.
Reece James dropped his shoulder to work for a pass to Kante and the France midfielder progressed unnoticed before drilling a fine finish past Schmeichel from the edge of the area.
Like Rudiger, it was Kante’s first goal since scoring in Tottenham’s win in September.
Chelsea refused Leicester a single shot in the first half and they remained firmly in control after the break.
Thiago Silva’s cattle pass sent Callum Hudson-Odoi down the left and his setback reached Chilwell, whose shot was clawed by Schmeichel to safety.
Hudson-Odoi were inches away with a long-range curler before subdued Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy was tested by Daniel Amartey’s fierce attack.
Jamie Vardy kicked head off James Maddison’s crossing when Leicester briefly put Chelsea under pressure.
Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount was anonymous in his first start for almost a month after dental surgery and he was dragged away on the hour.
Pulisic was Mount’s substitute and the United States winger took his chance when he stabbed fellow substitute Hakim Ziyech’s pass in the 71st minute.
It was Pulisic’s first club goal since the opening weekend of another 23-year-old injury-plagued season.
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