Chelsea 2-1 Leicester City: Sterling bags brace as 10-man Blues fend off Foxes

·3-min read

Raheem Sterling's first two Chelsea goals proved decisive as the 10-man Blues edged out Leicester City 2-1 on Saturday.

The former Manchester City forward opened his account at Stamford Bridge with a second-half brace to get Chelsea back to winning ways in the Premier League.

Thomas Tuchel – who served a touchline ban and watched this game from the stands – had seen his side beaten 3-0 at Leeds United last week, and they looked to be in for another tough day when Conor Gallagher was sent off.

However, Leicester's latest poor display saw them slump to a third defeat in four league games, only replying through Harvey Barnes after Sterling had struck twice.

Chelsea made a promising start but had their penalty award overturned following a VAR review as Kai Havertz had strayed offside before Youri Tielemans bundled over Loftus-Cheek, who was earlier denied by Danny Ward.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men just before the half-hour mark as Gallagher earned two yellow cards in little over six minutes, the second for a foul on Barnes.

Leicester thought they had snatched the lead when Daniel Amartey prodded in, but the goal was disallowed after Barnes fouled Edouard Mendy, while Reece James rattled the post at the other end.

It was Chelsea who were in front within two minutes of the second half as Sterling's 20-yard effort looped over Ward via a deflection off Amartey.

Sterling was denied by the post soon after, but he did double his tally in the 63rd minute, touching in James' low cross from the right.

Leicester responded three minutes later as Barnes fired past Mendy at his near post, yet they then missed a flurry of chances to equalise, with Ayoze Perez going closest as he hit the underside of the crossbar.

What does it mean? Blues bounce back

Chelsea responded to last week's reverse to avoid consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time under Tuchel, even if this was far from a straightforward victory.

Meanwhile, Leicester were relegated the last time they failed to win any of their opening four top-flight games in a season (2003-04), and their early struggles provide cause for concern for Brendan Rodgers.

Sterling off the mark

Sterling proved the difference with his brace securing Chelsea's third win in four Premier League meetings with Leicester. His two goals came from three shots – the most of any Chelsea player – with the other hitting the post.

The forward is the third player to score in the Premier League for each of Liverpool, City and Chelsea, joining Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge.

A day to forget for Gallagher

Gallagher was in from the start at Stamford Bridge for the first time in the Premier League, but this display was little better than his full debut away from home last week at Leeds.

The England midfielder committed three fouls, and there was never any doubt about the second yellow card when he brought down Barnes.

Key Opta Facts

– Chelsea have won eight Premier League home games when receiving a red card, with Leicester City the first side they have managed to defeat twice in such a situation (also in August 2003).
– Chelsea have had a player sent off in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October 2014, under Jose Mourinho.
– Gallagher's red card (28th minute) was the earliest a Chelsea player has been sent off in the Premier League since Gary Cahill (14th minute) against Burnley in August 2017.

What's next?

Both sides return to Premier League action in midweek. Chelsea travel to Southampton on Tuesday, while Leicester welcome a resurgent Manchester United to the King Power Stadium on Thursday.