Leicester City 2-3 Chelsea  (Sky Sports)

Pity For City As Hasselbaink Steals Points

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Hasselbaink: late winner


Leicester City  2-3 Chelsea
Scowcroft 24, 68   Hasselbaink 62, 90
Zola 79
FA Barclaycard Premiership


Oli Burley reports

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's 90th minute winner - his 22nd strike of the season - could be the goal that knocks the stuffing out of Dave Bassett's fighting Foxes.

The Dutch striker's brace gave Leicester - twice ahead through Jamie Scowcroft - a lesson in the art of finishing after the home side had dominated the first hour of the game.

With Derby back on the victory trail after John Gregory's first match in charge, defeat leaves Leicester firmly rooted to the bottom of the table while their conquerors move up to fifth.

But the chasm in league places was not reflected on the pitch. But for goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini - and a sublime Gianfranco Zola free-kick on the striker's 250th Chelsea appearance - the Blues could have been buried.

Scowcroft might have had a hat-trick before half-time as Leicester, driven on by the return of Robbie Savage and former Blues defender Frank Sinclair, showed the greater appetite.

The striker hooked the first clear chance of the game over the bar, then glanced a back-post header from a Stefan Oakes free-kick past the far post minutes before half-time.

The precision of his 24th minute finish though was beyond criticism. Oakes drove in an out-swinging corner that the former Ipswich player headed past Cudicini's outstretched right hand. The lead was justly deserved.

Chelsea stirred from their slumber with an Eidur Gudjohnsen volley hit straight at Ian Walker and a second Hasselbaink free-kick that looked at the crossbar as it went over.

Blues boss Claudio Ranieri reverted to a 3-5-2 system but with Leicester streets ahead in terms of possession, not to mention inspiration, it was little surprise to see Gianfranco Zola and Mika Forsell start the second half in place of Gudjohnsen and Mario Stanic.

Any initial threat introduced by the substitutes was at first cosmetic. Forsell's tricky run earned Chelsea a dangerous free-kick outside the area, but Zola elevated his shot so well that it came back off the window of a corporate box.

Not for the first time, Chelsea were indebted to an athletic Cudicini save to keep them in the game as Matt Elliott's close range drive seemed destined for the roof of the net.

Chelsea drew level in their next attack as Forsell flicked on Graeme Le Saux's cross for Hasselbaink to head past the exposed Walker. The visitors had no right to be on level terms though and a sense of justice was restored as Scowcroft exposed the Blues' fallibility at set-pieces to nod home a corner six minutes later.

Having scored two at home for the first time this season, the Foxes looked bang on track for a first win in 10 Premiership outings. But Zola retaliated by curling a free-kick directly into the bottom left-hand corner of the net to end that aspiration.

Bassett's boys were far from deflated and Cudicini pulled off a goal-line clearance before Hasselbaink produced the sucker punch by latching onto Forsell's pass and shooting across Walker with injury time beckoning.

Has to take the nod ahead of Leicester's James Scowcroft because without his eye for goal Chelsea looked anything but a top-five side.

Leicester: Walker, Sinclair, Elliott, Laursen, Impey (Marshall 69), Savage, Izzet, Oakes, Davidson, Piper, Scowcroft.
Subs Not Used: Flowers, Benjamin, Lewis, Rogers.
Booked: Laursen.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Terry, Desailly, Le Saux, Lampard, Dalla Bona, Petit, Stanic (Forssell 45), Gudjohnsen (Zola 45), Hasselbaink.
Subs Not Used: de Goey, Jokanovic, Ferrer.
Booked: Stanic, Petit.
Att: 19,950
Ref: G Barber (Tring)

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