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Dominant Chelsea too strong for Leicester

Chelsea players celebrate

Costa and Hazard were instrumental in securing a third win from Conte’s first four home games

Chelsea condemned defending Premier League champions Leicester to a fourth consecutive away defeat with a dominant display at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were ahead inside seven minutes when Nemanja Matic flicked on Eden Hazard’s corner for Diego Costa to smash home.

A David Luiz free-kick struck the post, before Pedro played in Hazard, who rounded Kasper Schmeichel to slot in.

Luiz hit his own post when clearing a cross, but Victor Moses’ finish after a one-two with substitute Nathaniel Chalobah completed the scoring.

Leicester, who left Riyad Mahrez on the bench for the first time in 36 league games, failed to register a shot on target as they struggled to cope against Chelsea’s aggressive pressing and quick passing.

Defeat leaves Claudio Ranieri’s side with eight points from their first eight games – the joint second lowest haul by a defending Premier League champion, along with Chelsea’s team of last season.

Relive Chelsea v Leicester

The Kante derby

Since joining Chelsea from Leicester this summer, N’Golo Kante has found himself doing slightly less of the defensive work that established him as such a prized midfielder at the King Power Stadium.

But he continues to enjoy the gift of being in the right place at the right time and this was another excellent performance from the France international – who is clearly missed by Claudio Ranieri’s side.

However, much of Chelsea’s success in stifling the visitors came courtesy of their wing-backs. When Marcos Alonso – making his home debut – harried Danny Drinkwater high up the pitch to win the ball back and deliver a dangerous low cross, he was repeating the pattern set by Moses on the opposite right flank.

Instead we saw the other side of Kante’s game. The 25-year-old would have scored Chelsea’s third had it not been for Foxes captain Wes Morgan, who made a brilliant block after a Costa cross spilled off Schmeichel’s legs to leave the goalmouth exposed.

And his perfectly weighted through ball deserved a better finish from Moses, who eventually did settle the points for certain when latching on to a delightful flick by 21-year-old English midfielder Chalobah – making his senior home debut after six loan spells away from the club.

Don’t believe the rumours

On Thursday, several bookmakers suspended betting on Chelsea boss Conte being the next Premier League manager to lose his job.

The Italian laughed off the rumours in his news conference on Friday -“I am trying to find out who put the money on” – but some may have wondered if there would be a sign of weakness in his side’s performance.

There was not. Chelsea began with real swagger and Costa’s early goal was the end product. The Premier League’s top scorer gambled on a late move to the back post and, as Morgan did not stay with him, was left with an easy finish for his seventh of the campaign. It took the 28-year-old Spain striker until January to reach that total last season.

The dipping Luiz free-kick that crashed against the post would have been a fitting second, so when Hazard found himself through on goal after a slightly lucky bounce it was hard to deny a 2-0 lead was deserved. The Belgium winger showed superb composure for his third goal from eight matches this season – compared to four from 31 last term.

And one of the finest flourishes came from Conte himself. There was a huge round of cheers from the home crowd when he brilliantly trapped a misplaced long pass that plummeted down into his technical area.

The fans will have found it hard not to have been incredibly impressed by their team’s performance – especially after what they witnessed over 2015-16.

More to follow.

Live Text

Match ends, Chelsea 3, Leicester City 0.

Second Half ends, Chelsea 3, Leicester City 0.

Foul by Marcos Alonso (Chelsea).

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Diego Costa.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Nathaniel Chalobah.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by César Azpilicueta.

Attempt blocked. Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Marcos Alonso (Chelsea).

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, Chelsea. Ola Aina replaces Victor Moses.

Substitution, Chelsea. Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Eden Hazard.

Goal! Chelsea 3, Leicester City 0. Victor Moses (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nathaniel Chalobah with a through ball.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Daniel Amartey.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

Attempt saved. Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eden Hazard.

Foul by Nemanja Matic (Chelsea).

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Leicester City. Andy King replaces Marc Albrighton.

Attempt missed. Diego Costa (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Nathaniel Chalobah following a corner.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Wes Morgan.

Attempt blocked. N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Hand ball by Islam Slimani (Leicester City).

Substitution, Chelsea. Nathaniel Chalobah replaces Pedro.

Substitution, Leicester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Jeffrey Schlupp.

Substitution, Leicester City. Islam Slimani replaces Ahmed Musa.

Diego Costa (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).

Pedro (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

Attempt saved. Victor Moses (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by N’Golo Kanté.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Marcos Alonso.

Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Drinkwater.

Attempt missed. Ahmed Musa (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.

César Azpilicueta (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Ahmed Musa (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Victor Moses (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37594219