The Debrief: Intense Chelsea press and physical dominance sets tone for worthy win

Roared on by a partisan home crowd last night, Chelsea started at a ferocious intensity and barely relented as we never let Leicester settle.

In the opening half-hour we recorded a 67 per cent share of possession and had six attempts on goal, with a further five following before the interval. Leicester registered a solitary attempt in the first half.

It was a similar story in terms of shots when play restarted, with the Blues deservedly scoring with two of our next three attempts. All six of Leicester’s second-half efforts on goal came after we had gone 2-0 up.

Overall, three of their seven attempts were from outside the box, in contrast to two of our 17. We had four from inside the six-yard box.

Set-piece success

Our relentless press disrupted Leicester and forced errors. We recorded five interceptions in the opposition half, compared to their one, and we also preyed on their set-piece weakness, creating six chances from dead ball situations.

In stark contrast to the Cup final, when one of our 10 corners found a Chelsea man, half of our six last night were met by someone in blue, with another flicked on by Jamie Vardy into Toni Rudiger’s path to put us ahead.

At Wembley we comfortably lost the aerial battle but that was not the case at Stamford Bridge last night, where we won 17 of the 32 duels contested. Thiago Silva was particularly dominant in the air for us, coming out on top of six such encounters.

One again deployed on the right side of the back three, Reece James spent the most time in possession, registered the most touches, passes and completed passes, and recorded the highest pass completion rate.

Following his introduction shortly after the half-hour, Mateo Kovacic was quickly in the thick of the action, completing a game-high four successful dribbles (out of four attempted) and winning four tackles. Nobody in blue won more.

Cesar Azpilicueta was busy at right wing-back, also winning four tackles as well as registering two interceptions and making two key passes.

Fox in the Box

Rudiger now has six Premier League goals to his name and the last three have all come against Leicester.

We have now gone a season’s worth of home league games, 19, since we last lost our final home league game of the season (2002).

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