thefoxfanzine: City couldn’t punish Chelsea for a woeful first half performance at the KPS on Sunday, and the familiar story of a quarter-final exit against the London side unfolded…
Brendan Rodgers, brought Praet in for the injured Maddison, and restored Barnes, Tielemans and Pérez back into his side. And they went at a Chelsea side leaning towards youth from the kick off. In the first minute a stray ball from Gilmour was pounced on by Barnes, who exchanged passes with Vardy but a heavy touch denied him from a good position.
With Chelsea’s passing out from the back failing to find a white shirt City were presented with several opportunities. Vardy had a low cross blocked and then a Gilmour error saw Tielemans striding through the middle, but his shot was tame and Caballero made an easy save.
Chelsea were hardly crossing the halfway line at this point, but Söyüncü managed to pick up a yellow card for clipping Pulisic, which ruled him out of a potential semi-final appearance.
During the drinks break Frank Lampard had some choice words to say and Chelsea improved at the restart. But City should have gone ahead in the 29th minute. Chilwell delivered a free-kick into the area and although Evans got goalside of Zouma, his header was poor and drifted wide.
A minute later good work from Mount teed up Pulisic, but his fierce strike from 12 yards was brilliantly tipped over by Schmeichel.
Barnes then found himself in a good position but shot wildly over when a pass to Vardy may have been a better option.
Just before Barnes sent Vardy in down the left but he didn’t connect properly and his shout bounced past the right hand post.
City had failed to take advantage of a poor Chelsea performance and Lampard wasn’t giving them a second chance. Three youngsters James, Gilmour and Mount, were replaced for the second half with Barkley, Azpilicueta and Kovacic and the tide swiftly turned.
Although Rudiger made an early mistake allowing Vardy in to shoot straight at Caballero, it was Chelsea who were in control now with City on the back foot.
Rodgers changed things round in the 57th minute with Praet and Perez making way for Choudhury and Albrighton, but Chelsea took a 63rd minute lead. Willian delivered a cross from the right that dipped onto the toe of Barkley who guided it past Schmeichel from close in.
Chances were rare for City as Chelsea pressed forward, and a shot on the turn from Vardy was crowded out.
Barnes and Pérez were replaced by Gray and Albrighton in the 76th minute, and although Gray sprayed some decent passes about City weren’t really troubling the visitors at this stage.
The best chance came in the 85th minute when Albrighton delivered a cross to the far post for Söyüncü, but Azpilicueta did just enough to put him off. For some months now City’s headers from good positions have been failing to find the target.
City attempted to build up some pressure with time running out, but Chelsea broke upfield four against two. Some ponderous passing allowed the defence to regroup but Barkley still managed to connect with a well struck shot that Schmeichel did well to get a hand to and send over the bar.
There was one last chance for City but Ndidi sent a long range shot narrowly wide, and for the third time since 2012 City had been defeated by Chelsea at the quarter-final stage.
City still haven’t really started Project Restart and what promised to be an incredible season is fading away.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Justin, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Ndidi, Pérez (Albrighton 57), Praet (Choudhury 57), Tielemans, Barnes (Gray 76), Vardy.
Substitutes: Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho, Meny, Fuchs, Bennett.
Chelsea: Caballero, James (Azpilicueta 45), Rüdiger, Zouma, Emerson, Mount (Barkley 45), Kanté, Gilmour (Kovacic 45). Willian (Pedro 78), Abraham, Pulisic (Loftus-Cheek 72).
Substitutes: Arrizabalaga, Alonso, Jorginho, Giroud.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Source: Published by thefoxfanzine