Mutu The Hero As Blues March On  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 2 Leicester City 1

Adrian MutuThere really wasn't much in it between the princes and the paupers, just the odd goal, the odd sending off (and the odd hundred million pounds).

And it was an odd goal that eventually helped Chelsea retain their 100 per cent winning start under Roman Abramovich - sorry, make that Claudio Ranieri - the sort of howler of an own goal that true fans enjoy far more than a sumptuous, gilded, superstar-laden lily.

Leicester, of course, have new signings of their own and it was one of them - midfielder Lilian Nalis - who handed Chelsea an early lead.

Geremi swung in an innocuous corner from the right and the Frenchman - inexplicably facing his own goal - headed neatly past Ian Walker.

It was hardly the sort of thing that Abramovich could have expected when he conducted his lap of honour and shook hands with wide-eyed youngsters before his first Premiership game as Chelsea's benefactor.

All the world - admittedly bar a couple of hundred thousand Chelsea fans - were surely hoping that Leicester would douse Abramovich's bonfire and they provided the sort of battling performance you would expect.

Better than that, they equalised. Fittingly, it was a workmanlike, no-frills goal that is anathema to the likes of Chelsea.

Muzzy Izzet lifted a free-kick from deep into the Chelsea penalty area. John Terry - so lauded last week for his performance at Anfield - was outjumped by Jamie Scowcroft and the Leicester man looped a header over Carlo Cudicini.

Shock, disbelief, silence. And that was just the Leicester fans.

Had Leicester held their lead until half-time, who knows? Chelsea might have started to fall out among themselves, displayed prima-donna qualities, even hinted at the Fancy Dan syndrome.

But although money can't buy you love, it can, it seems, buy you luck.

Just before the break Chelsea new boy Mutu (is there any other kind now?) blasted a right-footed free-kick into the Leicester wall. It rebounded and in frustration he thrashed his left at the ball, which hit the side of his boot and curled past Walker.

The second half featured a couple of mazy runs from Damien Duff and three sendings-off.

Geremi went - somewhat harshly - for a challenge on Riccardo Scimeca and Alan Rogers - quite rightly - went for kicking Jesper Gronkjaer when the Dane was prostrate on the turf. Scimeca then went himself for a second booking, a foul on Joe Cole, although he clearly took the ball in the challenge.

Oh, and Leicester should have grabbed the point they probably deserved. Brian Deane out-muscled Marcel Desailly but lifted his header on to the top of the bar with just Cudicini to beat.

So the Chelsea fans went home happy and the world will have to wait for hubris to get its traditional reward.


Chelsea Cudicini, Melchiot, Terry, Desailly, Bridge, Duff (Cole 82), Geremi, Lampard, Veron, Hasselbaink (Gudjohnsen 87), Mutu (Gronkjaer 69).
Subs Not Used:
Ambrosio, Gallas.
Sent Off:
Geremi (67).
Nalis 3 og, Mutu 45.

Leicester Walker, Impey (Gillespie 52), Curtis, Howey, Thatcher, Rogers, Scimeca, Izzet, Nalis (Hignett 73), Dickov (Deane 73), Scowcroft.
Subs Not Used:
Coyne, Taggart.
Sent Off:
Rogers (84), Scimeca (88).
Howey, Thatcher, Scimeca.
Scowcroft 40.

Attendance: 41,073

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire).

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