- Chelsea vs Leicester

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Saturday 23 August 2014 | Stamford Bridge | Referee: Lee Mason | Attendance 41,604

Chelsea
  • Diego Costa (62)
  • Eden Hazard (77)
Chelsea
2 - 0
Leicester
Leicester

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Match report

Diego Costa continued his seamless introduction to the Barclays Premier League with his second goal in a week as Chelsea beat Leicester City 2-0.

The home side's title hopefuls turned in a dazzling display to beat Burnley 3-1 in their opening fixture, with Costa starring, but they found another newly promoted team a far tougher nut to crack on Saturday.

The Blues’ goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was every bit as busy as his Leicester counterpart Kasper Schmeichel during the opening hour, with David Nugent's failure to capitalise on a 55th-minute opening costly for the visitors.

But, following a low-key first half, Jose Mourinho's decision to push his full-backs forward after the interval paid dividends, with Branislav Ivanovic creating a scruffy 63rd-minute goal for Costa to break the deadlock.

It continued the flying start to his Chelsea career after arriving from Atletico Madrid and provided the London club with a welcome display of cutting edge.

Eden Hazard once again showed his class with a wonderful solo effort to seal the points, netting the second with 13 minutes left.

The hosts pushed forward early on and Cesc Fabregas - who was a star turn on his debut at Burnley - played in Costa to set up Andre Schurrle in the eighth minute, but he shot over.

Gary Cahill then had a shot blocked when Schmeichel flapped at a 20th-minute corner. Nevertheless, Nigel Pearson’s side made a confident start as Nugent, Jeffrey Schlupp and Riyad Mahrez all asked questions of the Chelsea defence.

Schurrle headed over when a previously low-key Hazard shimmied his way to the byline, before Mahrez's own nifty footwork left Cesar Azpilicueta in his wake and created enough room for the winger to fire in a rasping 32nd-minute drive that Courtois had to beat away to safety.

The impressive Mahrez was guilty of overplaying as Azpilicueta snuffed out another promising attack and the Blues responded, with Leicester centre-back Wes Morgan flinging himself forward to divert Costa's 36th-minute strike over the crossbar.

Oscar clipped an 18-yard effort against the the inside of post three minutes after half-time and, as Mourinho’s side kept the ball alive, Ivanovic headed goalwards from Azpilicueta's cross to draw a fine stop from Schmeichel.

Courtois then found himself back in action to keep out Nugent's deflected attempt on the counter-attack, although the sight of Schurrle curling shot over the crossbar underlined Chelsea's continued threat.

Ivanovic then hammered in a shot from distance to extend Schmeichel once more. Again, though, Courtois was forced to outdo his opposite number, saving superbly after Nugent had raced clear one-on-one only to produce a shot that lacked power.

Schmeichel still appeared destined to be the busier of the two, clawing Fabregas' dinked chip behind in the 58th minute before Pearson's side resistance was finally broken five minutes later.

Oscar sent Ivanovic racing into the City box and he found Costa, who scrambled the ball home under pressure.

The Midlands club faded as an attacking force thereafter while Chelsea introduced Didier Drogba late on for his second home Barclays Premier League bow after rejoining the Blues from Galatasaray.

But, despite seeing Hazard jink beyond substitute Marc Albrighton to rifle in a 77th-minute finish, Leicester manager Pearson was given plenty of reason to be optimistic for the challenges ahead.

Chelsea, meanwhile, already look every bit title challengers as they headed to the top of the table after the afternoon kick offs.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: ""We didn't play good in the first half. Leicester came with great defensive intensity, trying to scare us in counter-attack and we were a bit slow - slow in moving the ball and slow thinking and we needed to change and we did that.

"The second half was compete control. I don't forget they had a good chance with the result 0-0 but we had so many chances, so many opportunities to score obviously we deserved the victory."

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson: "We're disappointed. Key moments didn't quite go our way today. I thought we played exceptionally well in the first half but it's about taking your chances when you get them.

"There are more positives today than there are negatives. We're not talking about us coming to places like this and being happy to lose the game, but I think the players showed what they're capable of. What we need to do is sustain it for the entirety of the game."

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Line-up All Fans BFR
13. Thibaut Courtois 7.73 6.6
26. John Terry 6.65 6.15
24. Gary Cahill 6.84 6.52
2. Branislav Ivanovic 8.03 7.19
28. César Azpilicueta 6.69 6.13
8. Oscar 6.54 6.69
21. Nemanja Matic 6.44 6.78
14. André Schürrle 6.51 6.72
4. Cesc Fàbregas 7.66 7.91
10. Eden Hazard 7.97 7.45
19. Diego Costa 8.35 8.26
Substitutes All Fans BFR
5. Kurt Zouma 7.31 4.98
1. Petr Cech 8.4 6.11
11. Didier Drogba 7.09 6.34
3. Filipe Luis 9.08 5.68
12. John Obi Mikel 7.55 6.08
22. Willian 7.12 6.11
7. Ramires 7.03 6.89
Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Kasper Schmeichel 6.93 6.22
2. Ritchie de Laet 4.75 5.55
18. Liam Moore 4.55 5.46
3. Paul Konchesky 4.9 5.38
5. Wes Morgan 5.05 5.82
10. Andy King 5.24 5.58
7. Dean Hammond 4.65 5.65
15. Jeffrey Schlupp 5.05 5.37
26. Riyad Mahrez 5.14 5.48
23. Leonardo Ulloa 5.36 7.29
35. David Nugent 5.0 6.37
Substitutes All Fans BFR
39. Chris Wood 6.0 5.94
24. Anthony Knockaert 10.0 5.2
11. Marc Albrighton 6.33 7.18
22. Gary Taylor-Fletcher 5.11 4.18
20. Tom Hopper 10.0 3.33
12. Ben Hamer 10.0 5.25
27. Marcin Wasilewski 10.0 4.71

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