Leaders Chelsea cruise to impressive victory at Leicester

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Premier League leaders Chelsea got back to winning ways with a convincing 3-0 demolition of Leicester on Saturday.

First-half goals from Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante put Thomas Tuchel’s men on course at the King Power Stadium before Christian Pulisic added a third after the break.

The European champions could have had more with Ben Chilwell hitting the crossbar and the offside flag ruling out three further strikes in the second half.

Antonio Rudiger heads in the opener
Antonio Rudiger heads in the opener (Mike Egerton/PA)

It was an emphatic response from the London side, who have had two weeks to dwell on their disappointing draw with struggling Burnley last time out.

For Leicester the frustration goes on, with Brendan Rodgers’ side still lacking the sparkle that brought them two fifth-place finishes and an FA Cup triumph in the past two seasons.

Chelsea, with Mason Mount back in the starting line-up for the first time in a month after recovering from dental surgery, simply proved too strong for their hosts.

The visitors were firm at the back and slick and incisive in attack. Leicester showed plenty of attacking intent themselves but lacked a cutting edge and were opened up too easily.

There was an early warning of this as former Leicester man Chilwell almost silenced the home fans booing him when he struck the goal frame in the opening minutes.

The visitors won a free-kick near the centre circle and Jorginho reacted quickly to lob a ball over the top for the England full-back, who raced in on goal but shot against the bar.

Leicester responded with a promising attack of their own as Jamie Vardy broke clear but his ball across the box for Ademola Lookman was scrambled clear by the visitors.

With Reece James then breaking forward and forcing Kasper Schmeichel to punch clear, it was obvious the game would not be goalless for long.

Antonio Rudiger celebrates his opening goal
Antonio Rudiger celebrates his opening goal (Mike Egerton/PA)

Yet the opener, when it came in the 14th minute, did so from a set-piece as Rudiger headed powerfully into the far corner from Chilwell’s cross.

Kante almost added a second moments later as he latched on to another fine Jorginho ball but Schmeichel blocked.

Leicester thought they had hit back when Lookman swept home from a Marc Albrighton cross but he was offside.

Chelsea made the most of that reprieve to double their lead after 28 minutes. Kante was allowed to charge towards the area unchallenged by the home defence and he made them pay as he lashed in from 18 yards.

N'Golo Kante lets fly to score Chelsea's second
N’Golo Kante lets fly to score Chelsea’s second (Mike Egerton/PA)

It could even have been worse for Leicester as they conceded free-kicks on the edge of the area after poor fouls on Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz but neither came to anything.

Rodgers tried to inject some life into his side at the break by introducing James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho.

Yet it was Chelsea who started the second half the stronger and Chilwell forced a good save from Schmeichel with a snap-shot from Hudson-Odoi’s cutback.

The hosts did have a good spell with Daniel Amartey forcing Edouard Mendy to save with a fierce shot from distance and Vardy heading over.

But Chelsea always looked the more dangerous and they put the result beyond doubt after 71 minutes when Hakim Ziyech teed up fellow substitute Pulisic to slide in a finish from close range.

Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic and James all put the ball in the net again but Leicester, struggling with a now relentless Chelsea, were spared by the flag on each occasion.

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