Mizgan Ahmed on 15th December, 2015
Goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez proved enough for the Foxes as they defeated Champions Chelsea 2-1 to compound the pressure on Jose Mourinho.
Same old story for Mourinho’s men this season, vulnerabilities on both sides of the pitch, making it more difficult for the Portuguese to deal with the problems. Chelsea again struggled to make transition from defense to attack and when asked to defend, they were all over the place almost everytime.
Let’s take a look at how Chelsea lined up for this game and the consequences of it.
It was a standard 4-2-3-1 with Matic and Ramires in that holding role, Oscar at no 10 behind Costa, Hazard and Willian completing the attacking quartet positions. Kurt Zouma was picked ahead of Cahill in that right sided center back position, Ivanovic and Azpilicueta as fullback pair.
By the looks of it, things were pretty much clear that Chelsea came here to dig deep and play on the counter with pace of Willian and Hazard, but Leicester backed off allowing Chelsea the ball. This is where the Blues struggled, sideways passing and lack of creativity was evident, transition from defense to attack is where Chelsea labored whole night, limited running of Azpilicueta and Ivanovic on overlaps was a factor, Willian and Hazard sometimes were all alone in that wide areas, little support from Ramires and Matic was seen as they were more keen to sit back infront of the back-line.
For the first Leicester goal, Azpilicueta, not tight enough to Mahrez who put in an unbelievable cross in the box, but it has to be said that Zouma should be tracking the run of Vardy who just shoved past him without any notice. After that goal Chelsea again struggled when they had the ball, slow passing and no real quickness around the Leicester box.
For the second goal, Ivanovic was not tight enough on Albrighton who spotted Mahrez unmarked by Azpilicueta, once the ball came to the Algerian, the Spaniard again not tight enough allowing Mahrez to turn twice before hitting it far corner. So, for both the goals, defensive liabilities were evident and players not willing to get tight on the offenders.
Now, with half an hour to go and two goals down, Mourinho went with quite an interesting lineup-
It was a 3-3-4 with Azpilicueta and Ivanovic joining Zouma for back three and virtually every other player going for all out attack. It was a gamble by Mourinho putting all his attacking resources on display, they started to create one or two chances but still not enough clear cut openings to threat Kasper Schmeichel. Willian and Pedro were supported by Ramires and Fabregas to allow a 2 v 2 situation around the box but Leicester had enough at back to deny Chelsea. A goal came when Pedro was first time in behind Leicester’s right-back Simpson and puts a good cross towards Remy who finished from point blank range. Pedro did looked threatening from that side but not enough for Chelsea in the end who lost their 9th game this season in the Barclays Premier League.
Many may think this could be the final nail in the coffin for Mourinho, Chelsea have looked tentative and vulnerable on both sides of the pitch and the Portuguese doesn’t look the right man at this stage to turn things around, it should be a matter of time now before its the end of the road for him.