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The taming of the Shrews?

Leicester Aug 26, 2014
Read
Aug 23, 2014

Luckless Leicester undone by fine margins

Dave Nugent squandered a glorious chance to give Leicester a shock lead at Chelsea, with Nigel Pearson's men eventually going down 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

It is no surprise Leicester lost at Chelsea but for an hour the Foxes went toe-to-toe with Jose Mourinho's side and the eventual 2-0 result was rather flattering for the hosts. In fact, were it not for the toes of Thibaut Courtois, Nigel Pearson's side just might have caused a major upset. Leicester will leave Stamford Bridge upbeat but a touch frustrated. Their defensive intensity was commendable, with captain Wes Morgan a standout performer.

- Three Points: Chelsea 2-0 Leicester

However, the set-piece delivery must improve and most importantly, chances need to be taken especially from players like Dave Nugent, who managed just six goals during his last Premier League spell with Burnley. He has a point to prove in England's top flight.

By 2-0, Leicester looked fatigued and resigned to defeat but they will wonder what could have been, had Nugent not spurned two golden opportunities with the scores at 0-0 -- the kind of chances you just have to put away at this level.

I am sure Nigel Pearson will be happy with a point from Leicester's opening two games, given it has come from matches against top five sides last season. What he and Foxes fans will be encouraged by is Leicester just didn't look overawed or "park the bus" to use a phrase from the book of Jose Mourinho.

For the first of Nugent's chances, the 29-year-old received the ball a fraction too early, so was immediately under pressure on the edge of the box. He got the shot away left-footed, but Courtois was always favourite to stop it. The second, however, Nugent was clean through. The ex-England striker hit the ball well enough, but Courtois stood tall and got enough on it to deflect it away for a corner.

Eden Hazard killed the game off soon after with a sensational solo move and finish. We all know Pearson can't sign a player of his quality, but I do think Leicester need a wide man with his kind of frightening acceleration. That's why some supporters felt disillusioned to see speedy Lloyd Dyer go to Watford.

During Mourinho's first spell at Stamford Bridge, the Special One argued Petr Cech's saves were worth 20 points per season. With Cech watching from the bench, Courtois not only ensured Chelsea didn't drop points, but proved why he is going to be the No.1 goalkeeper this season.

For Leicester, if they continue to play with no fear away from home, coupled with their strong form at the King Power Stadium, they will surely pick up enough points to survive. All that said, with Arsenal and Manchester United on the horizon, it's hard to see them pulling too far clear of the relegation zone any time soon.

In the search for positives, Leicester were marginally the better side in the first half. They bossed central midfield even without Danny Drinkwater and Matty James and looked particularly dangerous on the counter-attack.

The half-time worry was perhaps they might tire or lose focus first. Plus Chelsea -- who didn't manage a single shot on target in the first half -- were bound to improve.

That was the case but there's enough positives to be taken from a match at a side who many tip as Premier League champions-in-waiting. With such difficult tests to come, there's enough to suggest Leicester can scrap -- and also play -- their way out of trouble.

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