Azpilicueta beaten to equaliser in 5/10 showing as Chelsea drop points vs. Leicester
Chelsea threw away the chance to get their first win of the season with a 1-1 draw against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. An early first-half strike from Mason Mount gave the Blues a slim lead for 60 minutes, before Wilfred Ndidi beat Cesar Azpilicueta in the air to equalise from a corner.
Chelsea started like a house on fire, pressing the Foxes' backline relentlessly and winning the ball back tirelessly. It paid off, with Mount opening the scoring inside just seven minutes. Defensively, the Blues did well to keep Jamie Vardy at bay, restricting the forward to minimal sight at goal.
After their lively start, the home side failed to capitalise on their rattled opponents. As the first half wore on, Chelsea allowed Leicester to grow into the game, and were guilty of giving the ball away too often when trying to play out from the back. Failing to increase their lead proved detrimental, with Brendan Rodgers' side getting back into the game and showing signs of taking home all three points.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Having learned from the lessons of last week's 4-0 humiliation against Manchester United and midweek defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup, Frank Lampard got his starting XI spot on against Leicester. Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic made way for Christian Pulisic and N'Golo Kante respectively, and the injection of pace into the attack was instantly clear to see. Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud showed Tammy Abraham how to be the centre-forward in Lampard's Chelsea setup. The decision to substitute the former for the latter seemed odd, and proved to be unsuccessful.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Kepa Arrizabalaga, 6 -- Got caught dwelling on the ball under the press of Vardy, and was fortunate not to get punished for it. Kept Chelsea level with a string of saves in the second half.
DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 5 -- Consistently delivered the ball into the 18-yard box with the type of accuracy Chelsea fans have come to expect from the Spaniard, but lost the battle with Ndidi that led to Leicester's equaliser.
DF Andreas Christensen, 7 -- Kept Vardy quiet with one or two important challenges when Leicester were on the break.
DF Emerson Palmieri, 7 -- Cool and composed at left-back, barely but a foot wrong and delivered crosses with the same accuracy as Azpilicueta.
MF N'Golo Kante, 7 -- Did well in an attacking midfield position, spreading the play to Pedro and Mount on the wings.
MF Jorginho, 7 -- Showed great vision with his long aerial passes, and kept play ticking over from back to front.
MF Christian Pulisic, 6 -- Saw a lot of the ball and linked up play well, but struggled to contribute to chance creation.
FW Mason Mount, 7 -- Didn't hesitate to carry out the high press and got his just rewards, finding the net for Chelsea's opening goal. Smashed a free kick over the bar in the second half.
FW Olivier Giroud, 7 -- Made things happen in the attack, showing Abraham how to hold up play and bring the wingers into the final third. Also impressed with his defensive commitments.
FW Tammy Abraham, 6 -- Came on for Giroud in the 61st minute.
MF Mateo Kovacic, N/R -- Came on for Jorginho in the 71st minute.
FW Willian, N/R -- Back from injury, came on for Pulisic in the 71st minute.