Chelsea grind their way past Leicester, edge closer to securing a Champions League place

It may seem unusual to draw when the other game was an FA Cup final, but this is it Premier League Clash was the more important of Chelseatwo consecutive meetings with Leicester City for Thomas Tuchel.

The Blues are programmed to take silver and a trophy at Wembley last weekend would certainly have been a remarkable feat for a manager who didn’t take command until late January. However, this is a club that ultimately defines itself by fighting for the biggest prizes. If Saturday’s defeat was any consolation, it was the team’s answer all in one hard-fought 2-1 win over Leicester in front of 8,000 fans at Stamford Bridge.

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These supporters played their part here. Social media can distort judgments about how fans perceive certain players and all the while Timo Werner was undoubtedly targeted when he collected some pretty staggering calamity damage in front of the gate. Those lucky enough to be at the stadium just gave him passionate support all evening.

During this game he was offside the league for the 41st time. He finished it without a goal – he had one for offside and one for handball – and extended his run from his last 42 games for club and country to just four. In between, he worked tirelessly to squeeze, marry, and conjure up a Leicester team that might still carry the celebrations of their first FA Cup victory from three days ago.

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James Maddison His pre-game interview alluded to the joy of a long evening, and the Foxes took it slow together against a Chelsea team motivated by revenge, the surprising amount of noise this stadium can make when a fifth full, and knowledge victory put them within reach of a top 4 finish.

Beatings Manchester city Porto will be tough enough without the added pressure of knowing it doesn’t mean Europe’s most important competition will be missed next season. The job is not done yet, but this is where Leicester will be looking over their shoulders the most nervously after fighting across the pitch.

Werner was the focus here, although he didn’t score. He had ruled out an offside goal – of course – after he had already been denied a penalty after a kick Youri Tielemans. He had then ruled out a second goal after getting the ball into the net from close range when Chelsea stepped in at break and unable to translate their vast superiority onto the goal line.

The end of Chelsea is being questioned, but the pace and struggle the club showed in front of their returning home fans have not been questioned. Getty

Two minutes after the restart Antonio Rudiger He finally headed the home team at the top, Chelsea’s 10th goal from the corners of the season, the top mark in the Premier League. Only Leeds (11) have conceded more goals than Leicester (nine).

Werner was then involved in his fourth VAR incident of the evening as Wesley Fofanais a foul on the Germany It was found that International was in the box when checked. Jorginho stepped forward and calmly stroked the penalty kick home with his trademark.

That should have been it, but Leicester sparked a nervous ending with the replacement Kelechi Iheanacho He fired home 14 minutes after a Chelsea giveaway on the back. The fans kept Chelsea informed and serenaded Werner throughout. This support could allow him to show the same confidence in the field he is in.

“The first half was a bit like a mirror of the whole season for me,” he told the BBC. “Always close, then not really in the end. When you’re young and in the Champions League final, that’s no problem.”

Chelsea had to take a shocking late miss Ayoze Perezwho overfired unmarked from a distance of 16 meters Ricardo Pereira had made an excellent cut back from the right flank.

A brief examination of most of the players – with Daniel Amartey An unused substitute, but heavily involved after being seen tossing the Chelsea pennant to the ground during Saturday’s celebrations – brought on a literal battle against the physical that they had brought to Leicester all evening.

There are still two games left in Chelsea’s season but they have their fate in their own hands. After successive defeats against arsenal and Leicester last week, Tuchel’s rhetoric suggested he is desperate to get back to its old rhythm.

“This is no time for additional praise,” he said. “Enjoy, shut up, enjoy your day off and get ready for Sunday. I don’t feel good now when I celebrate, I just say what is needed.”

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