Chelsea defeated Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, securing three successive victories across all competitions and continuing their recent revival under Graham Potter.
After a wretched run of form that left the Blues boasting just two wins across the board from 15 attempts, there was mounting pressure on Potter and his outfit, who had fallen into the middle of the Premier League and faced a miserable end to the first term of the new era under owner Todd Boehly.
And while there is still much work to be done, there is newfound optimism emanating from the west London side, who remain tenth in the division after 26 matches but are now just five points behind Liverpool in fifth.
Ben Chilwell added to his match-winning assist against Leeds United last weekend by volleying the away team into the lead in Leicester, before an exquisite dinked finish from Kai Havertz gave the Blues the lead in the dying embers before the break; Mateo Kovacic sealed the three points in the second half with a thumping finish from £88.5m winter signing Mykhaylo Mudryk’s headed pass.
How did Kai Havertz perform against Leicester?
Havertz has not always been in the limelight at Stamford Bridge since his £71m move from Bayer Leverkusen, despite scoring the match-winning goal in the 20/21 Champions League final, but with a delightful finish against the Foxes to add to his penalty against Borussia Dortmund in mid-week, he now looks like he is enjoying his talismanic role under Potter’s tutelage.
With eight seasonal strikes, the 33-cap German is now Chelsea’s top goalscorer of the term, and his overall performance in the midlands will have been most pleasing for Potter and co.
Was Kai Havertz the star man vs Leicester?
As per Sofascore, the 23-year-old’s 7.8 match rating was bettered only by Conor Gallagher, who replaced Joao Felix early into the second half, with Havertz’s indeed in the thick of the action with two goals on target and a further two wide of the mark, also having an effort blocked.
An incessant thorn in the side of the home team, the £150k-per-week gem made 55 touches, assuredly completing 89% of his passes from his robust role and created one big chance, also winning four of his 11 ground duels.
And having made three tackles on the afternoon, the forward forged an all-encompassing display that will hardly hamper his chances of remaining as the first-choice striker to lead the line of this lucrative and expansive Chelsea squad.
Hailed for his “beautiful” goal by journalist Nizaar Kinsella, Havertz expertly chipped the ball over the hapless Danny Ward, with Paul Merson even waxing lyrical over the ace’s “Bergkamp-esque” lob live on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday (11/03/2023).
With Chelsea now paving a sturdy foundation to build upon for the remainder of the campaign, casting the cobwebs of the awful run aside, Havertz’s rise to form comes at the perfect time, and should he continue to channel this newfound goal-scoring prowess, the Blues’ chances of completing a remarkable seasonal turnaround are only enhanced.