Chelsea moved seven points clear at the top of the table with a resounding 3-0 victory over defending champions Leicester city on Saturday.Two goals from Wing back Marcos Alonso on either side of the break and a third from Pedro were enough to seal the points for the Blues. Lets take a look at some of the key talking points from this enthralling fixture.
Much of the pre-match briefing was centered around the absence of Diego Costa. The
Spaniard is reported to have had a serious feud with head coach Antonio Conte over a possible move to China, and was subsequently left out of the squad for the trip to Leicester. Questions were raised over the team’s ability to cope up without their leading talisman, who has been in scintillating form this season. But Chelsea proved their doubters wrong yet again with a hugely impressive performance with the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro tormenting the Leicester city defense . Chelsea showed today that the do have the resources to win the Premier League title even without Diego Costa.
Claudio Ranieri opted to mirror Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation by employing Marc Albrighton and Ben Chilwell as wing backs.However the Tinker man’s(Claudio Ranieri) changes did not have the desired effect as the the two wing backs were left hopelessly exposed by the marauding runs of Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso . Jamie Vardy who was back in the squad after a suspension failed to make an impact on the game. The foxes put up a toothless display in attack, evident by the fact that they managed just two shots on target throughout the game. Leicester now sit just five points above the relegation zone and will be hoping that the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani return soon from the African Cup of Nations.
Plenty of questions were raised over Marco Alonso’s move to Chelsea from Fiorentina last summer. Several pundits and critics were not convinced with the defender’s ability after unsuccessful stints with Bolton and Sunderland. But Antonio Conte had kept faith in the Spaniard deploying him in the Left Wing Back position. The defender has not disappointed, putting up some fine displays and making the wing back position his own. Alonso’s brace against Leicester earned him a Man of the match award, one which was thoroughly deserved after arguably his best performance in a Chelsea shirt. Chelsea will be hoping Alonso can maintain this kind of form until the end of the season as the blues march on to the title.
Chelsea’s thirteen game winning streak came to an end last week after they were comprehensively beaten by Tottenham . The defeat reduced the gap at the top to just five points over second placed Liverpool and served as encouragement to the rest of the chasing pack that the title race was still on. But after yesterday’s performance, Chelsea proved that the are still firm favorites to lift the Premier League trophy come May, even if they are forced to let go of Diego Costa. And with Antonio Conte at the helm, it would take a brave man to bet against the blues being crowned Champions.