Chelsea show signs of form but far from being good yet

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With a convincing 3-1 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday, Chelsea heightened relegation concerns for the Foxes and put more pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers.

Chelsea’s third victory in a week, which extended their comeback, was secured by goals from Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, and Mateo Kovacic. Patson Daka had previously tied the score for Leicester in the first half. Furthermore, Leicester’s day was made worse when defender Wout Faes received two yellow cards late in the second half, reducing them to two positions above the relegation zone.

Are Chelsea coming out of the rut? 

During his brief tenure as Chelsea manager, Graham Potter has been driven to the brink of despair, but this victory at Leicester showed that he and his squad may now be waking up from their protracted nightmare. After winning just one of their previous 11 games, the Blues have suddenly won three in a row and qualified for the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

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The fact that they also had two goals against the struggling home team disallowed for offside added to the domination of their triumph at the King Power.

Chelsea was in control from the outset because of Potter’s ability to use his preferred 3-5-2 shape, and they took the lead in the 11th minute when Chilwell scored a left-footed volley against his previous team. As Kai Havertz scored a lobbed goal in first-half stoppage time to make it 2-1, Leicester seized control. Leicester fought effectively and had their opportunities, drawing even through Daka’s 39th-minute goal.

With their big-money signing starting to shine thanks to that goal, the visitors were able to control the action even more. Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk both excelled before Kovacic made it 3-1 in 78 minutes. Loanee Joao Felix was good in the first half before being brought off at the break.

Potter appeared to be managing Chelsea on borrowed time after their dreadful midwinter run, but perhaps the board’s patience with the former Brighton & Hove Albion manager is now paying off.

This victory showed definite evidence of development and the formation of a cohesive unit. A top-four finish appears out of reach, but if they can maintain their comeback, a top-seven showing and even a trip to the Champions League final could still be in the cards.

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We want Rodger’s out shouts to be directed at Rodgers after Leicester suffered their 16th Premier League loss of the year, dropping them to only one point above the bottom three. All managers are aware that only performance can enhance or decrease their hold on a position; yet, when supporters start to defect, the beginning of the end is typically hastened.

Since he has been a successful manager for more than ten years, Rodgers is in a better position than others to understand this, but in recent years, the King Power has required serious work from the former Liverpool and Celtic manager. He has witnessed the untimely departures of quality players like Harry Maguire, Kasper Schmeichel, and Wesley Fofana, and the troubles this season are a result of the dearth of new arrivals from last summer.

Even though Rodgers brought home Leicester’s first-ever FA Cup in 2021, the club’s supporters now fear relegation to the Championship as a result.

Rodgers made it plain that he feels he has faced challenges this season when he stated before the game that keeping Leicester in the Premier League would be one of his career’s biggest accomplishments. Rodgers, who has been in charge for four years, is aware that he has a limited amount of time to extend his tenure for a fifth year. Casino Banner

When James Maddison collapsed on the ground after a last-second challenge by Fernandez in minute 58, the King Power Stadium held its breath. The possibility of a serious injury would have been extremely detrimental to his club’s chances of surviving, as the Leicester midfielder clutched his foot in pain.

Ultimately, while still plainly being bothered by the injury, the 26-year-old was able to rejoin the action.

But even if Maddison isn’t fully healthy, Leicester need him to play given how dangerous their current position at the bottom of the table is. He is their finest player and the only one capable of providing Leicester the opportunities to score the goals they so urgently need.

When Maddison and his colleagues were playing against Chelsea, it was sometimes like seeing a lead violinist trying to play in a garage band. He has managed nine goals in 19 Premier League games and five assists despite an injury-plagued season, so it is clear how important he is to Rodgers’ squad.

If Maddison can keep Leicester in the Premier League, it will likely be his final contribution to the team; the England player will eventually leave for bigger and better things, it seems.

Author: Bobby Parker