2017/2018 English Premier League
  • Jamie Vardy (62' PEN)
  • Alvaro Morata (41')
  • N'Golo Kanté (50')

N'Golo Kante returns to haunt old club Leicester as Chelsea win

N'Golo Kante returned to the King Power Stadium to haunt Leicester as Premier League champions Chelsea triumphed 2-1 to notch up a third win in a row.

Kante capped a typically consistent display with a goal from 25 yards to double Chelsea's lead after Alvaro Morata's opener.

Jamie Vardy pulled one back for the hosts from the penalty spot, but Antonio Conte's team held on for the three points.

Kante made the move to Stamford Bridge last summer and Danny Drinkwater followed him on transfer deadline day last month in a £35 million switch.

Drinkwater began on the bench with his prospective £22m replacement, Adrien Silva, sitting in the stands with his future shrouded in uncertainty after FIFA dismissed Leicester's registration of the player because the club missed the transfer-window deadline by 14 seconds.

The Portuguese playmaker's prospective new club were slow to start and Kasper Schmeichel had to deal with an early tester from Morata.

Leicester soon found their feet, though, and midway through the first half Riyad Mahrez played Vardy through with a delicately weighted pass. Vardy shot first time but, with a Chelsea defender close by, dragged his effort wide from the edge of the area.

Wes Morgan frustrated Morata on two occasions just after the half-hour mark with solid blocks, but the Spain international would soon gain the upper hand.

But Leicester spurned a golden chance to take the lead when Islam Slimani won the ball from Kante on the edge of his own area and Mahrez spearheaded a swift counter-attack.

Slimani had done well to keep up with his fellow Algerian and Mahrez slipped him in for a one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois, but the Chelsea goalkeeper was out quickly to make a good save.

It proved a costly miss for the hosts as Chelsea went in front with their next attack. Cesar Azpilicueta crossed from the right and Morata got above Morgan to head home after 41 minutes.

Five minutes into the second half, Kante struck when he was given too much room outside the penalty area and his low shot crept into the bottom corner as Schmeichel appeared to react late.

That was the cue for Drinkwater to warm up on the touchline to a mixture of appreciative applause and some booing.

In the 62nd minute, Vardy beat Courtois to a loose ball and was brought down by the goalkeeper inside the six-yard box. He got back to his feet and tucked away the penalty to put Leicester back in the match.

Chelsea should have had a spot-kick of their own when Harry Maguire clearly handled the ball from a Morata header, but the referee ignored the claims.

Drinkwater did not make it onto the pitch as Conte opted to bring on deadline-day signing Davide Zappacosta, the fit-again Eden Hazard and Willian, who was inches from making it 3-1 with a lovely curling effort late on.

English Premier League Standings

1 Manchester City 27 +54 65
2 Liverpool 26 +44 65
3 Tottenham Hotspur 26 +29 60
4 Manchester United 26 +17 51
5 Arsenal 26 +16 50
6 Chelsea 26 +16 50
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 26 +1 39
8 Watford 26 0 37
9 Everton 27 -3 33
10 West Ham United 26 -7 33
11 AFC Bournemouth 26 -10 33
12 Leicester City 26 -3 32
13 Crystal Palace 26 -7 27
14 Brighton & Hove Albion 26 -11 27
15 Burnley 26 -18 27
16 Newcastle United 26 -12 25
17 Cardiff City 26 -23 25
18 Southampton 26 -16 24
19 Fulham 26 -33 17
20 Huddersfield Town 26 -34 11