Chelsea moved within one win of claiming the Premier League title after coming from behind to beat Leicester City 3-1 at the King Power Stadium. Leicester had gone in front in first-half injury time when Marc Albrighton slid home, but Chelsea quickly responded after the interval through Didier Drogba, before late efforts from captain John Terry and then Ramires captured the victory.
A goalless draw at Arsenal meant that Chelsea couldn’t get their hands on the trophy on Wednesday, but it was still a matter of when not if they would be crowned champions for the first time in five years. Despite struggling in the opening half, Jose Mourinho and his side can now begin planning for a party on Sunday, knowing that the title will be theirs with a victory over Crystal Palace in front of their own fans at Stamford Bridge.
In contrast, Leicester remain very much in the heat of a battle to achieve their own ambitions this season. A run of four consecutive victories meant that they went into the game a point outside of the relegation zone. With a match against fellow strugglers Newcastle United to come on Saturday, there had been speculation that manager Nigel Pearson would heavily rotate his side for the visit of the champions in waiting. But Pearson instead named the same lineup that beat Burnley at the weekend, and they produced a fine showing in the first 45 minutes to suggest that their winning run might just continue.
Chelsea had been flustered at the back on more than one occasion, including one notable goal-mouth scramble, before they fell behind. Jamie Vardy was played down the side of the Chelsea defense before his pull-back saw Cesar Azpilicueta slip to the turf to allow Albrighton to side-foot the ball past Petr Cech, playing because of a hip injury to Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea had been lackluster and the signs were that Mourinho made it clear to them at the interval that an improvement was required. They certainly produced it, almost immediately drawing level. PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard scooped the ball forward for Branislav Ivanovic, who got in behind Paul Konchesky to cross in low for Drogba to turn a shot beyond the dive of Kasper Schmeichel.
Cesc Fabregas, moved into a more advanced role, was a far greater influence in the period, and he was involved in setting up two more chances that Drogba perhaps should have taken. Instead, it took until 11 minutes from time for Chelsea to go in front. Gary Cahill did superbly to peddle backward and direct a header from a corner on goal, and while Schmeichel did well to pull off save, Terry was on hand to shin the ball over the line.
Four minutes later came the crowning goal. Fabregas cut the ball back and Ramires produced a perfect side-foot finish into the top corner with his weaker left foot.