Chelsea’s mini-revival continued with a third victory in a row as they consigned struggling Leicester City to a fifth consecutive defeat.
Buoyed by their Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea started brightly and Ben Chilwell volleyed in from a tight angle against his old club.
Chelsea’s Joao Felix and Leicester’s Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall hit the woodwork in the space of two minutes, then Felix had a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside.
Patson Daka rifled home an excellent equaliser after Ricardo Pereira won the ball off the dawdling Felix outside the box.
But Kai Havertz pounced six minutes into first-half injury time with an excellent dinked finish from Enzo Fernandez’s clever aerial ball.
Mykhailo Mudryk thought he had his first goal for the Blues after the break but his effort was disallowed for offside.
Mateo Kovacic sealed the win as he volleyed in from Mudryk’s header.
The sliding Foxes, who ended with 10 men following Wout Faes’ late dismissal for a second booking, now just sit one point outside the relegation zone.
Are Chelsea saving their season?
Chelsea have now despatched Leeds, Dortmund and Leicester in the space of eight days – having failed to win in the previous six games spread over five weeks.
This ended their worst run without an away win since 2000-01, having failed to win in their last 10 games on the road since October.
Graham Potter will be hoping this is the turning point after a difficult start in his first role at one of Europe’s biggest teams. They are still only 10th but now sit just two points off a potential European place.
They led from their first major chance when Chilwell met Kalidou Koulibaly’s cross to smash home, a goal he celebrated against his former employers.
It could have been even better with Felix clipping a shot past Danny Ward which hit the post, then finding the net from Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s cross. With everyone back at the centre circle ready to restart, it was ruled out by the VAR because Felix was offside.
Havertz did put them back into the lead with a clever finish from Fernandez’s ball.
The £89m Ukraine forward Mudryk sped away from Leicester’s defence to slot in but he was ruled outside. Not long after he had his first assist in English football as Havertz crossed from the right and Mudryk headed down for Kovacic to lash in.
The goal was checked by the VAR for a potential Havertz offside but the goal was given.
Pressure grows on Rodgers?
Leicester’s season is ridiculously streaky. They started the season terribly and then went on a great run before the World Cup. Then they lost their first four Premier League games after the break, before going three unbeaten and now losing four in a row (five including the FA Cup defeat by Blackburn).
This latest decline has taken them to within touching distance of the relegation zone and they were booed off at full-time.
Five losses in a row is their worst run since November to December 2014. They have suffered 16 Premier League defeats in a season for only the second time – the most Rodgers has ever lost in a league season in his managerial career.
Not taking chances has been one of their issues this season – and they had 17 shots here (to Chelsea’s 12), but only netted once.
James Maddison was one of their star performers again with five shots, two on target, and three chances created. But none ended up in the net.
He should have had an assist when his free-kick landed on the head of Daniel Amartey in front of an open goal but the defender somehow missed.
Dewsbury-Hall cracked a deflected shot off the angle of bar and post from 25 yards out.
The chances continued in the second half with Harry Souttar having an effort cleared off the line by Conor Gallagher and Dewsbury-Hall mis-kicking when he had an easy chance from six yards out.
Their misery was compounded when Faes lunged in on Carney Chukwuemeka and was shown his second yellow card.
Source – BBC Sport