AFP / File / Adrian DENNIS
Chelsea remain third – 15 points behind Premier League Manchester City leaders – and have their last four matches drawn
Antonio Conte’s problems mounted as spluttering Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Conte’s side produced a limp display that could not have been missed by a Leicester team who missed a host of first-half chances.
Even when Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell was halfway through the book, the champions were unable to snatch a winner. Chelsea remain third – 15 points behind Manchester City Premier League leaders – and have drawn their last four matches in all competitions. It’s a difficult week for Chelsea boss Conte, who could be in the final months of his turbulent reign despite last season’s title triumph. This is a story about “everything is possible” concerning his future. Conte has been linked to a move to Paris Saint-Germain has the Italian relationship with the Chelsea board, and is now following up with Diego Costa, which is joining the Atletico Madrid striker. Chelsea are reported to be considering Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri and coach Barcelona coach Luis Enrique as potential replacements for the 48-year-old. Given the speculation surrounding their manager, it was intriguing to the response of Chelsea fans. Roman Abramovich, where they seem to heartbroken at the possibility of another change on the bench. When a song of Conte’s name emerges from the booths soon after kick-off, it quickly petered out and the audience responds. Shinji Okazaki had a chance to further the atmosphere in the eighth minute when the Leicester striker slid in to meet Chilwell’s cross, but he could not control that ballooned over the bar. Conte has reportedly been frustrated by some of its insecurities and their inconsistent performance. – Lethargic Chelsea – When Jamie Vardy fired narrowly close to a tight angle moments later, Conte wore a thunderous expression on the touchline as he contemplated Chelsea’s lethargic start. It took a superb save from Thibaut Courtois to prevent Leicester taking the lead in their journey to a Wilfred Ndidi header. Chelsea when Eden Hazard teed up Cesc Fabregas for a powerful drive that Kasper Schmeichel palmed away. Goal misplaced assists and lapses of concentration littered Chelsea’s play. Vardy was a constant threat and Conte’s defence again failed to corral the England international, who found space to shoot just wide. An injury that forced Chelsea captain Gary Cahill off late Conte’s problems. Fabregas nearly put Chelsea ahead against the run of play, but the midfielder was tipped over by Schmeichel. A key cause of Chelsea’s erratic form has been played by Alvaro Morata’s struggles and the lackluster. Chelsea were still in disarray after the interval and Riyadh Mahrez’s deflected effort almost crept in, prompting Conte to send on Willian and Pedro for Hazard and Fabregas. The decision to remove Hazard drew jeers from he frustrated Chelsea faithful. Conte’s men were gifted an unexpected lift when Chilwell, read moments earlier, came up against a studs-up on Victor Moses in the 68th minute, Michael Jones. However, the best Chelsea could have been uncomfortable long-range strikes from N’Golo Kante and Marcos Alonso as Leicester held firm to leave her tale grumbling his way down the tunnel at full-time.
AFP / File / Adrian DENNIS