Premier League
Leicester2Chelsea1

Leicester City 2-1 Chelsea

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy scored his 15th goal of the season with his first shot

Leicester City returned to the top of the Premier League and increased the pressure on Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho with victory at King Power Stadium.

Jamie Vardy's 15th goal of the season put Leicester ahead before half-time and Riyad Mahrez's brilliant curling strike just after the break sealed the win for Claudio Ranieri's side.

Chelsea substitute Loic Remy pulled one back but Leicester survived in relative comfort to move back ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table.

The reigning Premier League champions, in contrast, lie just a point off the relegation zone in 16th place with Mourinho fighting for survival.

Follow all the reaction to Leicester's win over Chelsea

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez turned Cesar Azpilicueta inside out before putting the hosts 2-0 up

The 'Tinkerman' torments the 'Special One'

Ranieri has been in Mourinho's shadow from the time he was succeeded at Stamford Bridge by "The Special One" in 2004 and relations between the pair have often been fractious.

They are more cordial now - but how the 64-year-old, hugely popular Italian will have enjoyed the sweet taste of victory against his former club on Monday.

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Fans dream, players calm - Ranieri

Chelsea have looked lethargic on many occasions this season but rarely have they looked as ragged, pedestrian and off the pace as they were against the Foxes.

From the first whistle the pace and movement of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez immediately exposed John Terry, in particular, in the style that has troubled so many teams on Leicester's remarkable rise to the top.

As Leicester pressed and pushed, Chelsea retreated on to the back foot. Ranieri's side looked high on confidence and adrenalin, the reigning champions fearful and tentative.

It was barely believable that only seven months ago Chelsea were crowned champions and Leicester were pulling off a remarkable escape from what looked certain relegation. This night underscored what has been a remarkable role reversal this season, and ensured Leicester's best start to a top-flight season in their 131-year history.

How much longer can Mourinho survive?

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho said afterwards that his team's chances of reaching the top four had gone

The Premier League title and credit in the bank means Mourinho has been afforded far more patience than is customary by owner Roman Abramovich.

Leicester deservedly inflicted a ninth loss in 16 games on Chelsea at a thunderous King Power Stadium and with suggestions Mourinho could ill-afford to lose either here or against Porto in the Champions League, he has surely been pushed closer to the edge.

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Chelsea have 'no chance' of top four

Mourinho has said Abramovich would not "change with the wind" - but it is firmly blowing against the Portuguese now and he will need something out of character with Chelsea's season to survive.

He may be getting a stay of execution because there is no natural heir apparent or guarantee of improvement - the currently unemployed Carlo Ancelotti having already experienced a sacking at Abramovich's hands.

It is highly unlikely, and against all his natural instincts, that Abramovich will let this continue. And with the prospect of any European football of any kind next season receding, the clock must be ticking.

Time up for John Terry?

Chelsea shots
Chelsea had two shots in the first half, but after withdrawing John Terry and going to a 3-4-3 formation they managed nine in the second as they adopted a more attacking approach

John Terry has been the bedrock of all Chelsea's modern-day successes - but the centre-back looked old and fraying at the edges in the face of the pace, verve and movement of Vardy and Mahrez.

He was not alone as they threatened to run Chelsea's defence ragged and Terry being replaced by Cesc Fabregas after only 53 minutes was a sign of the times, not just of this night.

Terry has been a magnificent servant for Chelsea but the captain who turned 35 on 7 December looks like he is feeling Father Time's tap on his shoulder.

Throw in 31-year-old Branislav Ivanovic, a shadow of his former self this season, and you are left with a Chelsea defence in need of serious renewal despite the promise of Kurt Zouma, 21.

Mourinho recognised as much in the summer when Chelsea edged the bidding up towards £40m for Everton's John Stones, only to be met with total resistance at Goodison Park.

They could, of course, return for Stones in January but Everton's mood has not changed. The young defender is now firmly settled and is unlikely to want any potential upheaval anyway with Euro 2016 on the horizon.

The sight of Terry making his way to the bench so early on in the second half only emphasises the urgency of Chelsea's defensive plight.

Man of the match: Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez has been involved in a league-high 18 goals this season (11 goals, seven assists)

Stats you need to know

  • Leicester have scored in every Premier League game this season.
  • Jamie Vardy has now scored or assisted in 14 consecutive Premier League games.
  • Only Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (18) has netted more goals in Europe's top five leagues this season than Jamie Vardy (15).
  • That was Chelsea and Jose Mourinho's ninth defeat in the Premier League this season - the same number as in 2013-14 (6) and 2014-15 (3) combined.
  • The Blues have lost 9+ of their opening 16 top-flight games for the first time since 1978-79, a season in which they were relegated.
  • Ninety-six teams have gained 15 points or fewer from their opening 16 games, 50 were relegated and the average finishing position of those 96 teams was 17th.

What next?

Leicester will have a further test of their title credentials in their next three games, away at Everton on Saturday, then a trip to Liverpool on Boxing Day before hosting Manchester City on 29 December. Chelsea host Sunderland and Watford before travelling to Manchester United on 28 December.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 6HuthBooked at 50mins
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forInlerat 82'minutes
  • 4DrinkwaterSubstituted forKingat 17'minutes
  • 14Kanté
  • 11Albrighton
  • 23Ulloa
  • 9VardyBooked at 46minsSubstituted forOkazakiat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10King
  • 20Okazaki
  • 24Dyer
  • 27Wasilewski
  • 29Benalouane
  • 32Schwarzer
  • 33Inler

Chelsea

  • 13Courtois
  • 2Ivanovic
  • 5Zouma
  • 26TerrySubstituted forFàbregasat 53'minutes
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 7Ramires
  • 21Matic
  • 22Willian
  • 8OscarSubstituted forRemyat 65'minutes
  • 10HazardSubstituted forPedroat 31'minutes
  • 19Diego Costa

Substitutes

  • 1Begovic
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 12Mikel
  • 16Kenedy
  • 17Pedro
  • 18Remy
  • 24Cahill
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg
Attendance:
32,054

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home34%
Away66%
Shots
Home9
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away8
Fouls
Home16
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 2, Chelsea 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, Chelsea 1.

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

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

Foul by Nemanja Matic (Chelsea).

Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Shinji Okazaki.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Jamie Vardy.

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

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

Hand ball by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Loïc Remy (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Willian.

Willian (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Gökhan Inler replaces Riyad Mahrez.

Attempt blocked. Pedro (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Loïc Remy (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

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

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 2, Chelsea 1. Loïc Remy (Chelsea) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pedro with a cross.

Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Hand ball by N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Christian Fuchs.

Attempt blocked. Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Willian.

Attempt blocked. Robert Huth (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Branislav Ivanovic.

Attempt saved. Cesc Fàbregas (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pedro with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Chelsea. Loïc Remy replaces Oscar.

Ramires (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

Attempt blocked. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

Attempt saved. Diego Costa (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a through ball.

Willian (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by N'Golo Kanté (Leicester City).

Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Jamie Vardy.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Leicester1610511235
2Arsenal1610331633
3Man City1610241532
4Man Utd16853929
5Tottenham166821226
6Crystal Palace16826626
7Watford16745225
8West Ham16664424
9Liverpool16664124
10Everton16583823
11Stoke16655-123
12Southampton16565221
13West Brom16556-520
14Bournemouth16448-1116
15Newcastle16448-1316
16Chelsea16439-815
17Swansea16358-914
18Norwich16358-1014
19Sunderland163310-1312
20Aston Villa161312-176
View full Premier League table

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