It was interesting to see Leicester and Chelsea come together at the weekend. Mostly because the teams have been so similar in the Premier League, the teams that could have, but aren’t quite there yet, that was the feeling of a game that felt like 3rd place at the World Cup, but was never going to be played like a friendly.
Both clubs are looking to qualify for the Champions League without challenge- well that is the idea anyway, which is working out much better for Leicester. The Foxes have an 8 point gap to 4th place Chelsea and Leicester will not mind that Manchester City have passed them in the league and could go 5 points clear of them if they beat Tottenham on Sunday, City the current champions are not the threat to Leicester.
This game which finished in an entertaining 2-2 draw pretty much confirmed that Leicester will be playing Champions League football next season and that is quite a magnificent achievement for the team. True they won the league in 2016, but they were supposed to drop off after that and never be heard of again. But under Brendan Rodgers the team have felt alive again and have become a very difficult side to beat, especially at home. A surprise loss to Southampton and a 4-0 defeat against Liverpool are the clubs only blemishes at King Power Stadium.
A superb first half of the season means that Leicester have a 13 point safety net not to finish in a Champions League place. If Tottenham beat Manchester City on Sunday evening that would still be a 12 point safety net. Leicester look good for it and with just 13 games remaining they should be fine.
As for Chelsea they have 41 points and have evidently slowed down, almost to a halt in recent weeks. Just one victory has been achieved by Frank Lampard’s side in the last five games where they have earned 6 points from 15. The only saving grace is that the clubs that were supposed to have caught them up have found plenty of banana skins along the way. Both Manchester United and Tottenham are finding it hard to patch wins together, though as said above if Tottenham beat Manchester City they would go four points behind Chelsea and surely at that point the Blues would start to feel the pressure. As it stands Sheffield United are in 5th and are five points behind, but not many people will believe that the Blades can push on from there.
The game played between Leicester and Chelsea was a good one. Chelsea took the lead, Leicester came back and took the lead before a Chelsea equaliser through Antonio Rudiger who had scored the clubs first goal settled the game. It was an encounter that on reflection of both sides taking a point felt like much ado about nothing. But these two teams are littered with quality and could well make inner and deeper roads next season if they can keep their best assets and add to them. For now they are the sports teams who will have to settle for nothing this season, apart from Champions League qualification, which at this time only looks guaranteed for one of them.
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