Muzzy IzzetLeicester City 2-1 Chelsea
Izzet 24, Rowett 76 - Hasselbaink 75
FA Carling Premiership


Simon Breakell reports

Muzzy Izzet and Gary Rowett struck either side of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for Chelsea to continue their woeful record on the road.

The Londoners went into the game unbeaten in eight games and started this encounter brightly. Gianfranco Zola and Jesper Gronkjaer especially took the game to Leicester. However, despite passing the ball superbly, Chelsea rarely broke down the resolute Foxes defence.

When Leicester did venture forward, Roberto Mancini looked sharp with some sublime touches, but his team-mates were on a different wavelength and the moves came to nothing.

In truth, it was Peter Taylors men, who should have taken the lead on fifteen minutes. Robbie Savage was presented with a glorious one-on-one after racing onto Andy Impey's long, lofted pass. But the Foxes midfielder could only fire a low, stinging shot against the legs of Carlo Cudicini.

Suddenly, Chelsea sprung to life, and immediately broke clear. Gronkjaer, making his full Premiership debut, showed pace and expert skill to reach the by-line.

His cross was dummied cleverly by Zola, leaving Hasselbaink to shoot from eight yards. The Dutchmans shot was blocked and Dennis Wise, with the goal gaping, could only hit the side netting.

The deadlock was broken just before the half-hour mark. Steve Guppy danced his way down the left wing, and delivered a perfect cross for former Chelsea man Izzet, to head powerfully past the despairing Cudicini.

Icelandic striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, who will have considered himself unlucky to only be on the bench at the start, came on at half-time in place of Zola.

Two minutes after the break, Guppy showed once again why his left foot is so feared. The wing-back broke down the left and curled an exquisite cross to the back-post where the unmarked Dean Sturridge hammered in a shot which Cudicini did excellently to block at point-blank range.

Izzet may have been the hero of the first half, but his glaring miss after 50 minutes was enough to make him the villain of the second. Mancini floated a cross of such perfection that it would have been harder to miss the target, but somehow the Turkish international put his header wide from eight yards.

Junior Lewis, making his home debut on loan from Gilingham, crowned a mature display for the Foxes with a pass to Sturridge that Mancini would have been proud of. The pace on the ball took out two Chelsea defenders but the former Derby striker blasted well over.

Mancini made way for Ade Akinbiyi after an hour, with the Italian's fitness still not up to the rigours of a full Premiership match.

As the clock approached the final quarter, the game exploded into life. Chelsea struck with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink goal, notching up his 12 strike of the season. Ranieris men banished the neat style of play, and opted for the direct approach.

Wise crossed, more with hope than precision, and the Dutch striker planted a looping header beyond Royce.

As the Chelsea fans celebrated a deserved equaliser, Leicester went straight up the other end and grabbed a dramatic winner Savage floated in a free-kick, Matt Elliott won a flick-on and Gary Rowett showed up Chelsea's appalling marking once more as he fired home from six yards.

The result leaves Ranieri still unsure how his team will win on their travels.

Despite missing a glourious one-on-one, the Welshman covered ever blade of grass and was brilliant in the battle with Dennis Wise.

Leicester: Royce, Rowett, Davidson, Elliott, Impey, Robbie Savage, Izzet, Guppy, Lewis, Mancini (Akinbiyi 60), Sturridge (Eadie 78). Subs Not Used: Price, Sinclair, Gunnlaugsson.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Babayaro, Leboeuf, Melchiot, Ferrer, Gronkjaer (Stanic 64), Poyet (Jokanovic 41), Wise, Dalla Bona, Zola (Gudjohnsen 45), Hasselbaink. Subs Not Used: de Goey, Lambourde.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

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