Sterling scores priceless brace for ten-man Blues

Raheem Sterling scored a valuable second-half brace in a narrow 2-1 win against Leicester City, handing Chelsea a third win from their last four Premier League (PL) H2Hs.

Chelsea exuded confidence from the outset, knowing well that only a victory could lift them into the top half of the table. Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward was first forced into a superb point-blank save by Ruben Loftus-Cheek, before the versatile midfielder’s penalty appeal was turned down for offside in the build-up play following a VAR review. The game then unexpectedly turned on its head midway through the half. Conor Gallagher was shown two yellow cards in the space of five minutes, with his second arriving on the back of a cynical challenge on Harvey Barnes.

As one of the five PL sides yet to win a match so far this season, the Foxes came close to conceding the opener following Reece James’ thunderous rebound strike that rattled the crossbar. Chances came far and few between for Leicester, who despite being a man up, could rarely carve out a clear-cut opportunity before the break. Brendan Rodgers’ men were made to regret their missed chances immediately after the restart. An edge-of-the-box shot by Sterling saw the ball go in via a wicked deflection, as the former Manchester City man celebrated his first Blues goal.

He almost doubled his tally minutes later, but a fantastic toe-poke save by Ward temporarily denied Sterling another moment of glory. The enigmatic forward didn’t have to wait long for his second though, getting on the end of an exquisite cross to convert just after the hour mark. However, in the blink of an eye, Chelsea’s buffer was halved in the 67th minute, when Barnes picked up a ball on the left wing and displayed brilliant composure to fire a superb finish past Edouard Mendy.

Jamie Vardy tested the Blues backline time and again, but Mendy’s heroics coupled with Leicester’s own shortcomings meant the Foxes couldn’t find the equaliser, adding more frustration as they remain winless this term. Meanwhile, a spirited performance by Chelsea means they are now unbeaten in five successive home games.

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