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    Chelsea thrash Champions Leicester to go seven points clear

    Marcos Alonso scored a brace and Pedro headed his fifth goal of the season as Chelsea dominated the Champions without top scorer Diego Costa to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

    It was the Spanish show at the King Power Stadium with Alonso being the unlikely scorer of the opening goal in the sixth minute as Leicester’s defence failed to adapt to the new formation applied by manager Claudio Ranieri.

    The second came six minutes after the half time interval through the boot of Alonso once again, as his powerful drive deflected past the despairing Kasper Schmeichel to give Antonio Conte’s men a comfortable lead.

    A third was added through the head of Alonso’s fellow Spaniard Pedro after a perfect cross from Willian to take Chelsea back to winning ways and to preserve their record of not being beaten outside London this season.

    Chelsea cruised to victory without influential striker Diego Costa who was left out of the squad following reports of a training ground clash over his fitness.

    Ranieri will be disappointed as his side hardly troubled Chelsea as Champions Leicester remain 15th in the table and only five points clear of the relegation zone.

    The Champions made a bright start to the game as Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa dribbled his way through the Chelsea defence in the second minute to force a smart save from Thibaut Courtois at his near post from a tight angle.

    However, Chelsea took the lead in the sixth minute through the right foot of Marcos Alonso who netted his second goal of the season as he calmly placed the ball into the right corner from eight yards following neat build up play from Eden Hazard. 

    Chelsea were dominant for much of the first half, with Courtois almost untroubled after the opening goal. Leicester typically tried to counter attack quickly through the pace of Jamie Vardy but Chelsea coped well and went into the interval with a deserved lead at the King Power Stadium.

    Antonio Conte’s men returned from the break with a spring in their step and scored six minutes into the second half as Alonso was on hand again following a poor clearance to score a deflected drive from the edge of the 18-yard box beyond the sprawling Schmeichel.  

    Alonso almost completed a remarkable hat-trick just after the hour mark with a crisply struck volley from the left-hand edge of the 18-yard box which fizzed just beyond the far post. Pedro then completed the rout for Chelsea as his intricate flick sent Willian clear who chipped the ball back onto the head of the onrushing Pedro who headed into the far corner from eight yards. 

    "We put Pedro, Hazard and Willian up there and it is hard to defend against talent like that and we are delighted with that victory," said Chelsea defender Gary Cahill.

    "I'm proud that we produced a performance like that," he added.

    Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri said: "We made a good performance but we lost, and that is football. The changes I made were effective but if we had not conceded those goals it would have been another match." 

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    Item Reviewed: Chelsea thrash Champions Leicester to go seven points clear Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdullah Mulla
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