Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City  (Sky Sports)

Blues Brace Adds To Bassett Burden

Bassett and Ranier
Bassett and Ranieri: poles - and points - apart


Chelsea 2-0  Leicester        
Hasselbaink (pen) 20
Gudjohnsen 45
FA Barclaycard Premiership

Oli Burley reports

The pained look etched on the face of new Foxes boss Dave Bassett during this contest could be around for some time.

A controversially awarded Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink penalty and a fine solo strike from Eidur Gudjohnsen proved more than enough to deny the Foxes manager a dream start.

Leicester have now lost 16 of their last 17 league games away from home and on the evidence of a flat display, any hint of a revival for the league's bottom club seems far away.

Bassett opted to give Dennis Wise a run-out against his former club and selected Ade Akinbiyi up front, but the changes couldn't prevent Chelsea - who remain unbeaten so far this season - dominating.

Boudewijn Zenden spurned a superb chance to put the Blues ahead early on, screwing his shot across goal and just wide of Ian Walker's far post.

The former Spurs keeper then made a fine reaction save from Hasselbaink's instinctive 12-yard shot.

Walker almost kept out the Dutch striker's penalty on 20 minutes, but he could only deflect the ball into the net via the underside of the crossbar.

A spot of Gudjohnsen trickery earned the spot-kick, though the Icelander fell to the turf under Gary Rowett's challenge all too readily.

Walker had little time to rest as Hasselbaink tested him from 20 yards out before Gianfranco Zola whipped in a dipping half-volley that just cleared the crossbar.

A second goal felt inevitable and Gudjohnsen duly provided it, capping a fine first half by wrong-footing two defenders in the box and beating Walker with a low shot.

Leicester looked fragile after their 6-0 Worthington Cup drubbing by Leeds in mid-week, and twice after the break Zola looked like a man intent on bettering that scoreline as he twice more tested Walker.

Hasselbaink joined the attack with a fine curling free-kick from 20 yards that was destined for the top corner but Walker got his finger-tips to the ball.

Leicester showed a little more fight as the game wore on. Substitute Arnar Gunnlaugsson tried to set up a neat one-two with Akinbiyi, but Mario Melchiot was alive to the threat.

The Foxes have failed to find the net five times this campaign, and their lack of potency up front is painful to see.

Robbie Savage did pick out the unmarked Akinbiyi 13 minutes from time, but the striker's head down was too short and the ball simply bounced over the bar.

Bassett must take what solace he can from the few chances created by his new charges, while his opposite number Claudio Ranieri can savor a first home win of the season.

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Eidur Gudjohnsen (Chelsea). The striker's substitution was no reflection on another classy display up front. His close control is admirable, as is his hunger to take on defenders.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Babayaro, Terry, Desailly, Gallas, Petit, Zenden (Melchiot 45), Jokanovic, Zola,
Hasselbaink (Lampard 73), Gudjohnsen (Forssell 69). Subs Not Used: Bosnich, Le Saux. 

Leicester: Walker, Rowett, Elliott, Marshall (Impey 82), Davidson, Wise, Jones (Lewis 60), Izzet, Savage, Sturridge (Gunnlaugsson 64), Akinbiyi. Subs Not Used: Royce, Benjamin.

Att: 40,370
Ref: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)

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