Leicester City eased past Chelsea to go top of the Premier League (for 24 hours at least), thanks to goals by Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison.
The Foxes now have 38 points from 19 games; Manchester United (37 points) will return to the top with a win over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening.
Chelsea’s fifth defeat in eight matches dropped them to eighth place, and a worrying nine points behind the leaders – you have to question Frank Lampard’s position as head coach. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will surely be doing so – on past form, he wouldn’t think too hard about sacking a club legend if the team is not performing.
Chelsea enjoyed 65% possession but it was Brendan Rodgers’ side who looked far more threatening and incisive.
Leicester opened the scoring in the sixth minute when a short-corner eventually fell to Ndidi on the edge of the box. The Nigerian’s pinpoint shot went in off the inside of Edouard Mendy’s right-hand post.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty in the 38th minute when Jonny Evans brought down Christian Pulisic, but after a VAR review, the challenge was ruled to have been made just outside the penalty area. Mason Mount blasted the ensuing free-kick over the bar.
Just three minutes later, Lampard’s side went 2-0 down. Chelsea’s defence failed to deal with a high ball from Marc Albrighton, which fell to an unmarked Maddison whose stylish finish gave Mendy no chance.
Chelsea substitute Timo Werner had an effort ruled out for a narrow offside in the final stages but the Foxes were good value for their win. It’s the first Rodgers had managed in 16 matches against Chelsea.
Only Newcastle have conceded more Premier League away goals than Chelsea since Frank Lampard was appointed. pic.twitter.com/mbuh182Vvt
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 19, 2021
“Sounds nice to say we’re top of the league – probably for about 24 hours but it’s a good one psychologically because we’ve worked really hard it’s a great achievement for us and I don’t think you’ll see a better team performance from us this season so far,” said Maddison.
“It had a bit of everything, bit of tactical nous, I thought we were brilliant today,” he added.
Lampard said his side had been beaten by the better team on the night.
“They looked like a team in form, we looked like a team out of form,” he said. Yep, that covers it, Frank.
Man of the match: James Maddison (Leicester).