The potent Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were once again in great form on Monday night as they combined to lead high-flying Leicester City back to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory over struggling champions Chelsea.
The defeat was Chelsea’s ninth in the league this season, leaving them just one point off the relegation zone in 16th place.
The first attempt of the game came from Mahrez within two minutes as the hosts started strongly, but the shot failed to trouble Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea had the chance to open the scoring through Eden Hazard shortly before the quarter-hour mark, but his effort was blocked after he had found space to take the ball down at the back post.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri was forced into making a substitution shortly after as Danny Drinkwater was replaced by Andy King due to a hamstring issue, while Chelsea lost a key player of their own to injury when Hazard was forced off following an innocuous clash with Jamie Vardy.
Mahrez had another failed crack at the Chelsea goal from the edge of the box 19 minutes in, but the Algerian turned provider for the opening goal on 34 minutes as league top-scorer Vardy latched on to his cross and volleyed home his 15th of the season.
Vardy was again the centre of attention within two minutes of the restart, this time as he picked up a booking following a collision with Diego Costa.
A further attempt by Mahrez yielded the Foxes’ second goal of the match a couple of minutes later, as he got the better of both Cesar Azpilicueta and the keeper to put the hosts firmly back on the path to the top of the table. Jose Mourinho opted to swap in Loic Remy for Oscar with 25 minutes left on the clock, which proved justified 10 minutes later as Remy reduced the arrears, a period of slight dominance for the visitors culminating in the Frenchman nodding in from a Pedro cross.
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