Neither Manchester United nor Manchester City are at the top of the table of Premier League, but the Leicester City of Brendan Rogers are sitting at the top after the clash against Chelsea. Like the epic test series down under no one was expecting this outcome and on the day when the 32-year old fort of Australia was breached, the Foxes leapfrogged the big guns to take the top spot to the astonishment of the pundits and fans.

Leicester outwitted and outfought the visitors and sealed victory thanks to first-half goals by Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison. They could have scored more against a Chelsea team that was sluggish at the back – it was ramshackle defending and even though at times it seemed that Chelsea would an attractive side, but remained a project not going anywhere despite the amount of cash spent.

Roman Abramovich did not spend over £200m to build a team that would struggle and lack the cutting-edge to outweigh the others. Of course, he is also not well-known for his tolerance level. He kept faith in Frank Lampard because he wanted someone young and energetic with a fresh idea, who would lift the Blues upwards not gradually, but as soon as possible. Lampard got whatever he wished – sadly, the results have been frustrating.

Lampard made four changes to the lineup that started Saturday’s victory at Fulham, which ended a three-match losing streak on their travels. Tammy Abraham started up front, while Kai Havertz was given another opportunity to come to terms with the Premier League. Reece James returned at right-back, with Callum Hudson-Odoi on the wing ahead of him.

Meanwhile, Rodgers kept faith in the same side that proved to be too good for Southampton on Saturday and they picked up the tempo at the King Power Stadium within six minutes.

Marc Albrighton played a short corner to Maddison and then accepted the return pass before pulling the ball back to Harvey Barnes near the penalty spot.

Barnes lifted in the air and his mis-hit turned into the perfect tee-up for Ndidi, who struck a superb left-footed shot in off the post from 20 yards.

Worse almost followed in the 15th minute!

Maddison thrashed a shot past Edouard Mendy from even farther out.

Timothy Castagne created the opportunity after he ran down the right-wing, leaving Ben Chilwell and others in his wake.

One goal down and the Blues were required to exhibit character – but they started to crumble and played as a malfunctioned robot.

Abraham struggled to hold on to the ball up top, while Havertz seemed out of his depth.

In the 32nd minute, Christian Pulisic combined with Havertz before presenting Hudson-Odoi with the chance to score, but he wasted it. Then the Blues had a penalty in their favour overturned when, after reviewing the evidence, the referee Craig Pawson decided that Jonny Evans fouled Pulisic just outside the box. Mason Mount botched the free-kick.

Moments later Albrighton clipped the ball from midfield over Chelsea’s sloppy defence, Antonio Rudiger bumped into Jamie Vardy and Maddison was left free to finish smartly from eight yards.

Lampard needed to change the shape but decided not to use the substitutes available after the break and midway through the second half, he did change – On came Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech for Hudson-Odoi and Havertz – they provided no impact.

The backline of the Blues melted under the counterattack of the Foxes.

Albrighton clipped the ball from midfield over Chelsea’s ramshackle defence, Antonio Rudiger bumped into Jamie Vardy and Maddison was left free to finish smartly from eight yards.

The defeat at the hands of Leicester on Tuesday night was the fifth loss in eight league matches for the Blues. During that time, morale has plummeted and an expensively-assembled squad looks like total strangers.

Pressure grew over Lampard after the loss to Manchester City earlier this month and another lifeless display at the King Power Stadium has disturbed the powerbrokers in west London.

Chelsea haven’t beaten a team in the top six this season. They have drawn 0-0 with Manchester United and Tottenham and lost to Everton, Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City. Worse still, some of these big sides have toyed with Chelsea, with Leicester just the latest team to cruise to victory over Lampard’s troops.

Chelsea have their lowest points total after 19 games since Abramovich took over the club – aside from the season when they finished 10th. Lampard also has the worst away defensive league record of any Chelsea manager since the Premier League began in 1992.

Lampard acknowledged that his charges cannot ignore the reality of the situation.

“We won against Fulham without playing brilliant, from that we come and lose a game so it’s a small step backwards,” the manager explained to Sky Sports after the final whistle.

“I am worried about the slump – from the form we were in to get so quickly into the form we’re now in and we’ve had some wins, but five losses in eight aren’t where we want to be.”

“It takes character to get out of that – I’m not against the lads in the dressing room because they’re disappointed. It’s a young team and it’s a big lesson that if you come off it and think you’re fine then you’ve got to get yourself out of the hole.”

“Beaten by the better team. They were sharper than us, ran more than us and they looked in form – we looked out of form. A disappointing goal from a set-piece and the second goal is just not good enough,” he added.”

“There were quite a lot of moments where our sharpness wasn’t there, those are the moments you have to dig in and the basics are important like running and sprinting and we didn’t do that.”

“The most disappointing thing is to come here and lose the game but the basics off the ball are important.”

“The game on the ball was a bit slow at times but it was okay, we created a few opportunities and I thought it was a penalty (a first-half foul on Christian Pulisic just outside the box) but I’m not going to lean on those things. We weren’t good enough.”

Chelsea are now in serious danger of missing out on Champions League qualification unless Lampard can address a worrying dip in form, with a home fixture against Luton Town up next in the FA Cup on Sunday.


Lampard is in trouble and it would be interesting to see whether the Chelsea hierarchy keeps the faith in him and give him the time to fulfil the project, which is still under construction or the project was never started, rather lacked the plan and direction.

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