A brace from Marcos Alonso and a late Pedro header gave Antonio Conte’s men a 3-0 victory over reigning champions Leicester at the King Power stadium on Saturday. Chelsea were without their top scorer Diego Costa after a training ground dispute over his fitness over a back injury, amid reports that he had been offered a lucrative move to China.
Conte’s side had seen their 13-game winning streak ended by Tottenham HotspurLe in their previous Premier League game, but that remains their only defeat since the end of September. The Blues have already picked up more points this season (52) than they managed in the entirety of the 2015-2016 campaign (50).
And Chelsea were seen celebrating in the opening six minutes of the game after Alonso gave them the lead, when Pedro’s mishit effort fell kindly to Eden Hazard who set up Alonso to curl the ball into the far right hand corner with his weaker right foot.
Leicester, who were deprived of the services of trio Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Daniel Amartey who were on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations. They sorely lacked any drive and in a fixture in which the title holders were supposed to step up and put on a fight against the London club, it was the latter who seemed to be having this season’s title credentials.
Ben Chiswell header wide after Albrighton put in a decent cross in the 17 minute while Jamie Vardy tested Thibaut Courtois with a shot-come-cross that the Belgian was alert to. Pedro scuffed an effort wide after Hazard picked out the former Barcelona man with a well worked set piece.
Any resolve of making a comeback were further dampened six minutes into the second half as well after Alonso’s deflected shot off Wes Morgan beat Kasper Schmeichel when he collected a half clearance from a Willian free-kick. And Alonso almost captured a stunning hat-trick but his sweetly struck volley was just inches away from swerving into the far corner with Schmeichel rooted to his spot.
Conte’s men then finally wrapped up the game with Pedro after the Spaniard headed the ball into an unguarded net after Willian’s pass had reared up off Schmeichel. It rounded off a good day for the two Spanish players, while Diego Costa was away.