Jaded Jose Mourinho still can’t coax the best out of his squad of champions, Eden Hazard’s desire is questionable and other things we learned from Leicester 2 Chelsea 1.
By Editor Wayne Veysey
Abramovich will be getting twitchy
A three-match unbeaten run since the international break and a place in the Champions League knockout stages had temporarily eased the pressure on Mourinho. But the Portugese’s future will be firmly back on the agenda after Leicester became the ninth team to defeat Chelsea in the 16 Premier League matches they have played this season. That is an emphatic and astonishing statistic and one that will make a certain Russian owner somewhat twitchy. Chelsea were not terrible today and carved out some excellent second-half chances but they did not start having a go until they went two behind. Mourinho has tried everything to raise his team out of the doldrums. None of it is working.
Vardy does not need many chances
The more you see of the Leicester sensation, the more there is to like. After a one-match barren spell, Vardy returned to the goal trail with a fabulously taken 15th Premier League goal of the season. It epitomised the striker’s increasingly wide skill-set – movement, pace and clinical finishing. Vardy has become such a huge asset to his team because he does not need lots of chances to score. Against Manchester United a few weeks back, he scored with his first real chance of the match. It was the same story against another of the big boys. Humble origins, yes. Top class, absolutely.
Hazard unwilling to put his body on the line
Questions will be asked about Eden Hazard’s willingness to put his body on the line after he limped out of this clash at the 29-minute mark. True, the Belgian had been clattered to the ground by a rudimentary Vardy challenge and landed on his hip. But it looked rather innocuous and it was a genuine surprise when he started walking gingerly towards the touchline alongside the medical staff. Interesting, it seemed that Hazard had a few words with Mourinho about the possibility of carrying on, before walking down the tunnel. The manager did not look too impressed.
This is the season that keeps on giving
“Sacked In The Morning” chanted the delirious Leicester fans at Mourinho after their team had gone 2-0 ahead against the champions. How did it come to this? Week after week, the champions look flat and jaded. By contrast, Leicester are inspired. This is the season that keeps on giving. One weekend, Stoke, Newcastle and Bournemouth defeat Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea respectively. The next, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea are downed by Newcastle, Bournemouth and Leicester. Matches are almost impossible to predict. It is wonderful to watch.
Mahrez is a magician
What a player Riyad Mahrez is. The Algerian international showed quicker feet than Danny Zuko to double Leicester’s advantage after 48 minute, twisting Cesar Azpilicueta inside out before bending in a delicious curler from the right side of the Chelsea box. It was out of the very top drawer, as was his bending cross that Vardy volleyed in for the opener. Mahrez’s 2015-16 Premier League statistics – he has scored 11 goals and supplied seven assists – are every bit as impressive as those of his record-breaking team-mate.