Chelsea 3-0 Leicester City: Diego Costa on target again in Blues victory
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 16/10/16 12:05am
Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 win over Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday with Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses on target.
Costa volleyed home his seventh league goal of the season after slack Leicester marking at a corner, and Hazard made Chelsea's first-half dominance count at Stamford Bridge with their second on 33 minutes.
The visitors, who were second best in the first half, improved after the break and nearly got back into the match when David Luiz turned a Marc Albrighton cross onto his own post.
But Moses made the game safe for Chelsea in the 80th minute, latching onto Nathaniel Chalobah's back-heel and tucking past Kasper Schmeichel.
Antonio Conte had rubbished speculation over his future at Stamford Bridge after a three-match winless league run in September, and it was a fine performance from his side that will go some way to quietening those rumours further.
Meanwhile Leicester, who failed to register a shot on target, have become the first reigning champions since Blackburn Rovers to lose all four of their opening away games the following season.
They face Copenhagen next and ahead of Tuesday's Champions League tie, Claudio Ranieri dropped Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani to the bench as part of three changes from the goalless draw against Southampton.
John Terry returned to the Chelsea squad as a substitute after more than a month out with an ankle injury, and the Blues were quickly on the front foot.
Their opponents, who conceded three times from corners against Man Utd, suffered again at a set-piece when Costa fired Chelsea in front after seven minutes.
The striker, who escaped the attention of Wes Morgan, struck first-time past Schmeichel from Nemanja Matic's near-post flick.
Luiz saw a trademark free-kick rattle the woodwork in a one-sided first half and Chelsea added a deserved second through Hazard just after the half-hour mark.
Luis Hernandez and Robert Huth failed to clear a through ball, allowing Pedro to put Hazard on goal, and the Belgian skipped around Schmeichel to double the hosts' lead.
Both teams had penalty appeals waved away early in the second half, and Leicester were nearly rewarded for their bright opening when Luiz struck the post at the wrong end, the ball bouncing fortuitously clear to preserve Thibaut Courtois' clean sheet.
Ranieri attempted to press the issue and introduced Mahrez and Slimani, but any momentum his team had gathered soon ebbed away.
N'Golo Kante almost capped a man-of-the-match performance against his old club with his first Chelsea goal, but former team-mate Morgan blocked his goal-bound effort.
And shortly before Chelsea's third, Costa bizarrely appeared to call for his own substitution, only to be waved away by Conte.
The Spaniard, who would have missed next Sunday's meeting with Man Utd - live on Sky Sports - had he picked up his fifth booking of the season, was extremely animated and Conte confirmed after the match he ignored Costa's request.
The hosts did make it three with 10 minutes to play through Moses, moving them up to fifth in the table ahead of next Sunday's clash with former boss Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea: Courtois (6), Azpilicueta (7), David Luiz (7), Cahill (7), Moses (8), Kante (8), Matic (7), Alonso (7), Pedro (7), Costa (8), Hazard (8)
Subs used: Aina (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Chalobah (7)
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Hernandez (6), Huth (5), Morgan (5), Fuchs (5), Albrighton (6), Drinkwater (5), Amartey (5), Schlupp (5), Musa (5), Vardy (5)
Subs used: Mahrez (6), Slimani, (6) King (6)
Man of the match: N'Golo Kante