Chelsea vs. Leicester City: Winners and Losers from Premier League Game
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard scored second-half goals for Chelsea as the Blues saw off a feisty Leicester City side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
A mostly even and uneventful opening period was followed by a furious 45-minute frame, during which both teams traded chances until Branislav Ivanovic set up Diego Costa in the 63rd minute.
With 13 minutes remaining, Hazard sealed the three points with a tremendous solo effort, leaving his marker in his dust and finishing with a perfectly-placed shot to the far corner of the goal.
Following are the winners and losers from Chelsea’s 2-0 win.
Winner: Oscar, Who Worked His Socks off
Oscar was withdrawn after 70 minutes on Saturday—70 minutes in which he did just about everything.
In addition to completing 88 percent of his passes (statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com), the Brazil playmaker took four shots at target, threw himself into five tackles and played a peach of a pass to Branislav Ivanovic in the buildup to the opening goal.
While several of his teammates struggled to get a foothold in the match, Oscar was involved in the proceedings from the outset.
Loser: Marc Albrighton, Who Continues to Disappoint
There was a time when Marc Albrighton was not only one of Aston Villa’s most promising young players but also a highly-touted England Under-21 international.
Those days are past him now, and on Saturday the winger played just 22 minutes for Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.
He managed to do next to nothing, and his forgettable afternoon was underlined by a failed challenge on Eden Hazard that allowed the Belgian attacker to skip into the area and double Chelsea’s lead.
Winner: Eden Hazard, Who Followed a Poor First Half with a Terrific Second
Eden Hazard was little more than a shadow in the first half, and near the end of the opening period he had yet to enjoy 20 touches of the ball.
But he was a completely different player after the restart, when he tortured Leicester City right-back Ritchie De Laet and well near every red shirt that ventured into his path.
In the 77th minute he cut inside the 18-yard box and drilled a right-footed effort inside the far post to make the score 2-0 to the hosts.
Winner: Jeffrey Schlupp, Who Looks a Player
While Eden Hazard struggled to make an impact in the first half, Jeffrey Schlupp shone.
The versatile attacker seemed to have the running of Nemanja Matic at times, and at least twice over the 90 minutes he created meaningful chances for teammate David Nugent.
Crucially, the 21-year-old also tracked back to help Paul Konchesky in defense, although he might have done better to block off Ivanovic ahead of the opening goal.
Loser: David Nugent, Who Should Have Had a Brace
David Nugent might have opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge—twice.
His second chance was his best, although after being sprung for a clean break he was denied by the onrushing Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Nugent has had difficulty transferring his goalscoring form from the Championship to the Premier League before, but it’s vital that he manages it this time as Leicester will likely struggle to put the ball in the back of the net this season.
Winner: The Goalkeepers, Who Were Sensational
Thibaut Courtois earned his first clean sheet for Chelsea on Saturday and made his best save of the afternoon when he raced off his line to deny David Nugent.
Kasper Schmeichel, in the opposite goal, looked as though he, too, might blank his opponents at Stamford Bridge until Diego Costa’s opener.
The 27-year-old made eight saves over the 90 minutes, several of which were of the highlight-reel variety.