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  • Chelsea 2-0 Leicester, Premier League

Costa and Hazard inspire Chelsea victory

ESPN staff
August 23, 2014
Diego Costa made it two goals in two Premier League games © PA Photos
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Diego Costa scored his second goal in as many games as Chelsea continued their winning start to the new Premier League season with a 2-0 victory against Leicester at Stamford Bridge.

The victory, sealed by Eden Hazard's strike with 13 minutes left, sends Chelsea top of the Premier League, although Leicester proved difficult opposition to break down.

Match Analysis

  • Man of the Match: Difficult one. Both goalkeepers were excellent, Chelsea's midfield rampant at times but the award goes to Diego Costa. He's there to score goals - and that is exactly what the £32-million man did to ease the pressure on Jose Mourinho's side.
  • Villain: Look away David Nugent. One-on-one with Thibaut Courtois and with the score at 0-0, you simply have to score those. Otherwise the Premier League will punish you. No excuses.
  • Key moment: It's a double for David Nugent. If that goes in, it changes the whole feeling around Stamford Bridge. He won't sleep tonight.
  • Rob Bartlett

Both sides were positive during the opening stages and Leicester, playing in red and having made a couple of changes from their opening-day 2-2 draw with Everton, were not looking in awe of a side expected to contest the Premier League title once again.

A deflected shot from Oscar looped up over Kasper Schmeichel and onto the roof of the net before World Cup winner Andre Schurrle drove his 20-yard effort high into the Shed End.

Leicester, last season's Championship winners, offered some threat on the break themselves. On 17 minutes, a dangerous cross from Ritchie De Laet on the overlap down the right had to be headed behind by Branislav Ivanovic.

Algerian Riyad Mahrez forced a decent save from Thibaut Courtois - starting again in place of Petr Cech - with a low strike after weaving into space at the edge of the Chelsea penalty area. Chelsea looked to step up a gear as Costa pulled the trigger from 18 yards, but Foxes captain Wes Morgan flung himself in the way to deflect the ball over.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was out of his technical area claiming a penalty moments later when Costa went down under a strong challenge from the defender, but referee Lee Mason was unmoved, which on replays looked the correct call.

Oscar was unfortunate not to give Chelsea the lead at the start of the second half when his curling 20-yard effort came back off the inside of the far post. Ivanovic's header was palmed away by Schmeichel from the follow-up attack.

Premier League Results & Stats

Carlton Cole rounded off a superb victory for West Ham at Crystal Palace © Getty Images

Schurrle was then flattened by a sliding challenge from Dean Hammond on the far touchline - which had the Chelsea bench remonstrating with the fourth official, but referee Mason produced only a yellow card.

Leicester closed down the free-kick and broke quickly, with the ball eventually worked out to David Nugent on the left side of the Chelsea penalty area. His low shot was deflcted goalwards and kicked away by Courtois.

As the match opened up, Ivanovic was denied by another fine save from the Leicester keeper, this time an angled drive touched over.

The visitors could have taken the lead on 55 minutes when Nugent beat the offside trap to run clear on goal, but Courtois made a smart save to push the ball wide.

Almost straight away and Chelsea were in at the other end, as Cesc Fabregas ghosted into the right side of the Leicester penalty area, where his angled chip was palmed behind by Schmeichel.

The breakthrough finally came on 63 minutes. Oscar played Ivanovic into the right side of the area, and his cutback was chested down by Costa, before the Spain international, signed from Atletico Madrid, drilled it past Schmeichel from six yards.

Chelsea immediately made a change as Schurrle was replaced by Ramires.

On 68 minutes, Leciester sent on Marc Albrighton to make his debut after joining from Aston Villa, with Mahrez coming off. Hammond was then also substituted, hobbling into the away dugout as Gary Taylor-Fletcher came on.

Chelsea looked to have wrapped things up with 13 minutes left when Hazard collected the ball on the left, cut inside before drilling a low shot past Schmeichel into the corner.

Stamford Bridge was soon rocking again when Didier Drogba was sent on for a cameo, the veteran striker having rejoined the club in the summer - with owner Roman Abramovich leading the applause.

With two minutes left, Schmeichel tipped a 25-yard drive from substitute Willian over the crossbar.

David Nugent should have put Leicester ahead but Thibaut Courtois brilliantly denied the striker © Getty Images
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