Leicester City 2-4 Chelsea: Attacking hunger, defensive woes and other talking points

Chelsea fought their way back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Leicester City 4-2 in extra time to secure a place in the next round of the EFL Cup.

The two sides went into the game with something to prove. While Leicester have had a slow start to their season, Chelsea had to show they can bounce back from what was a weak performance against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

Leicester took an early 2-0 lead but Chelsea fought back to level the scores and push the fixture into extra-time. Cesc Fabregas took matters into his own hands, scoring a double and securing a win for the Blues. The Hard Tackle take a look at some of the major take-aways from the Blue battle.

1. Cesc Fab-ulous once again as Spaniard stakes starter claims

Fabregas has been struggling to convince Conte to give him a substantial role in the first-team setup at Stamford Bridge. The Spaniard was provided with an opportunity to do just that as he was handed a start against Leicester City in the EFL Cup tie on Tuesday night. The player seemed to do okay but grew into the game and it was the Spaniard’s contribution that pushed Chelsea over the line.

The game went into extra time and Cesc put on a show for the on-lookers as he scored a double which secured a 4-2 win for the Blues. The performance and impact that Fabregas has had from his substitute appearances is surely to give Conte food-for-thought as he picks his lineup for the weekend.

2. Conte’s Chelsea look hungry going forward

Probably the most visible change in Chelsea and the squad under Conte from their performance last season has been the attacking intent. The players look to go forward with impetus and the attackers look eager to get on the ball, something which one could not see much of last season.

The players seem to have responded brilliantly to Conte’s managerial methods and training tactics, which seemed to reflect perfectly on the pitch and barring the game against Liverpool, Chelsea have been prolific and efficient going forward while there also seems to be new-found chemistry between the squad members.

3. Conte must address defensive woes quickly

While the attack seems to have repaired most of the damage of last season, the defence seems almost indifferent. The team, as a whole, look nervous and anxious when defending a set-piece or an impending attack, the result of which is visible on the scoreboard.

While much could be down to Courtois’ poor form between the posts, Conte must be worried by the amount of chances created and goals scored by the opposition. The Italian manager is known for his defensive solidity and must convert the Blues’ team into a shadow of his former teams, at the very least, if not the same.

4. Like Manager, Like Team

Just like Klopp has managed to imprint his own personality on the Liverpool squad, Chelsea’s team members seem to have adopted the Italian’s steel and never-say-die attitude as the Blues staged a comeback from being 2-0 down to push the fixture into extra-time and ultimately win the match 4-2.

This is not the only time this has happened this season as the Blues have scored 5 goals in the last 10 minutes of the game in the 5 Premier League matches thus far. The stat signifies the steel that the Italian has added to the squad’s mentality as these late goals could turn to be vital and provide some crucial points which could be significant come the end of the season.

5. Ranieri and Leicester must snap out of their honeymoon-period

Last season’s runaway winners have started the season on a slow note and it looks like N’Golo Kante’s sale is showing its effect on Ranieri’s side. The club have lost to Hull on the opening matchday and were also on the receiving end of a 4-1 battering at the hands of Liverpool.

It almost feels as if something is holding Mahrez and Vardy back and it may possibly be due to last season's hangover. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
It almost feels as if something is holding Mahrez and Vardy back and it may possibly be due to last season’s hangover. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

The Foxes seemed to have found form in the 3-0 demolition of Burnley over the weekend but the defeat to Chelsea seems to have forced Ranieri to go back to the drawing board. The major highlight has been the defensive frailties and the failure of the star duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy to run the rule as they did last season.

There is a general consensus that the Foxes have been unable to snap back to reality ever since their odd-crushing Premier League triumph last season and Ranieri must rally his troops if that indeed is the case.

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