Ten-man Leicester hold lacklustre Chelsea

Christophe Dugarry

Will Chelsea finish the season as runners-up to Man City? After 14 matches in 46 days, the Blues are feeling the strain.

Both sides had plenty of chances in the first half and it was thought that the hosts would turn up the pressure at Stamford Bridge after the break but, before the hour mark even arrived, both Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas were hauled off and replaced by Pedro and Willian respectively.

The champions struggled for much of the game against the team that won the title a year before them, with Leicester creating a string of chances in the first half, thanks in large part to winger Riyad Mahrez.

"No, honestly we didn't speak about him, but I repeat we are talking about a really good player", Conte told reporters at Cobham Training Centre.

As for Fabregas, the Spaniard makes Chelsea tick and without him they lacked creativity in midfield.

After the game Chelsea goalie Thibaut Courtois had a bit of pop at Chelsea's fans.

Chelsea's home form is another thing Leicester will have against them come kickoff.

Morata managed just three touches in the opposition box all game - his worst return from a completed Premier League game this season - while only four completed crosses from 19 attempted illustrated the wayward service on offer. The two yellow cards - it is not balanced.

The Blues - who could slip behind Liverpool and into fourth on Monday (NZDT) - will hope to get back on track in their midweek FA Cup third-round replay at home to second-tier Norwich City.

Somehow Conte must find time to rest and reinvigorate his squad - before draws turn to defeats.

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