Taming the Foxes
Inside Blue Fri 12 Jan 2018
Leicester City’s players may have received a guard of honour from the Chelsea players when they arrived at Stamford Bridge as Premier League champions two seasons ago, but our home stadium has not been a welcoming place for the Foxes through the years.
The Bridge has hosted the East Midlands club on 56 occasions since a 3-3 draw in our inaugural season in 1905/06, but the visitors have often left empty-handed, picking up only five wins against the Blues and losing 39 matches. Our dominance of the fixture had become even more pronounced in recent years, with Leicester suffering 10 defeats and managing just a single victory in league and cup games at our ground over the past 24 years.
Chelsea have kept that strong record going with some fabulous goals by our players, which have compounded the woes of the Foxes in West London.
In his first Premier League game for Leicester, goalkeeper Pegguy Arphexad made a string of acrobatic saves to frustrate the dominant Blues until he was finally beaten by a bolt from the blue by Frank Leboeuf two minutes from the end. The French defender had seen an earlier shot from range tipped away by his compatriot but when a corner was played towards him 30 yards out, he had no hesitation in going for goal again, giving the Foxes custodian no chance with a venomous shot which flew into the top corner.
Before he became the President of Liberia recently, George Weah was a very successful footballer who played a big role in Chelsea’s FA Cup triumph in 1999/00. He was especially crucial in our 2-1 triumph against Leicester in the fifth round, setting up the opening goal for Gustavo Poyet before adding a fine effort of his own early in the second half. Having outmuscled Phil Gilchrist in a race for the ball, Chris Sutton squared it for his strike partner, who ghosted between two Leicester defenders before firing a first-time shot past a helpless Arphexad.
As half-time approached in Chelsea’s first home game under new owner Roman Abramovich, things were not going according to plan with newly-promoted Leicester getting back on level terms after falling behind early on. However, debutant Adrian Mutu restored our advantage right before the interval with a fabulous long-range finish. Lining up a 40-yard free-kick, the Romanian’s right-footed attempt came back off the Leicester wall but he readjusted and lashed a left-footed shot through a crowded box and beyond Ian Walker into the bottom corner for what proved to be the winning goal.
Back in the Premier League after nine seasons, Leicester gave a good account of themselves in Chelsea’s home opener in 2014/15 before they were finally broken down by the eventual champions. Diego Costa put us in front just after the hour, before Eden Hazard made the game safe with a fine individual effort in the 77th minute. Receiving the ball from Cesc Fabregas on the left touchline, the Belgian swerved past one challenge to bring the ball into the box before sending a piercing low drive through the narrowest of gaps under the diving Kasper Schmeichel.
After three seasons away on loan, Victor Moses was given a starting role by Antonio Conte in 2016/17 and he justified his selection with an excellent goal to round off a 3-0 win against the defending Premier League champions. Receiving the ball on the right flank, the Nigerian cut infield and laid it off for Nathaniel Chalobah on the edge of the box. He continued his run into the box, regaining the ball after a clever back-heel by Chalobah before tucking it past Schmeichel and celebrating his glorious strike with a well-executed somersault.