Chelsea three points away from Premier League title

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Chelsea could be crowned Premier League champions on Sunday after a scrappy 3-1 victory at Leicester City leaves the Blues just three points away from finally claiming the title.

It seemed a simple task for the table toppers against the struggling Foxes, but Nigel Pearson’s stubborn side clearly hadn’t read the script, as they took a 1-0 lead on the stroke of half time thanks to Marc Albrighton’s breakaway strike.

But the Blues picked up after a frustrating opening period, with Didier Drogba firing them level just three minutes after the restart, before John Terry’s close-range finish and Ramires’ late thunderbolt put any doubts to bed.

After being lambasted for their ‘boring’ goalless draw with Arsenal at the weekend, Chelsea were given a taste of their own medicine in the opening half as Jose Mourinho’s side were unable to break down the hosts’ steadfast defences.

Player of the Year Eden Hazard and Brazilian winger Willian twisted a turned but ultimately failed to find a way through, while a scuffed effort for Drogba and opening for Cesc Fabregas, where the Spaniard decided to pass rather than shoot, were the best they could muster.

Meanwhile, Leicester – who were hit with two early blows with centre-back Robert Huth and midfielder Matthew James forced off with injury – proved a real threat on the counter and almost took the lead with two quick-fire chances in an almighty goalmouth scramble.

Petr Cech, in the starting line-up over Thibaut Courtois, was at his best to deny Paul Konchesky’s shot from creeping into the bottom corner, but the flustered Blues failed to clear and Albrighton had an effort blocked on the line before it was finally hacked away.

And the Blues were punished from not learning from their mistakes as they soon conceded the game’s first goal. Piling men forward, the league leaders were left haplessly short at the back as the Foxes broke, Jamie Vardy sprinting up the field and whipping a superb cross in for Albrighton, who – helped by his marker Cesar Azpilicueta slipping to the turf – slotted home at the back post.

Imperial veteran midfielder Esteban Cambiasso masterminded the first half shut out as the Foxes, hoping to extend their winning run to five games in their quest to avoid the drop, threatened to inflict Chelsea with only their third top flight defeat of the season.

But Mourinho’s side mustered an immediate response to pull level early in the second period; Drogba finding the bottom corner with an angled, first-time finish from Branislav Ivanovic’s cross.

Just one minute later the Blues had a chance to go in front in practically the same fashion, this time clever wing play from Hazard, Willian and Fabregas setting up Drogba again, but the club hero skied his effort into the stands.

After Leicester’s more dominant first half it was now Chelsea’s turn to turn the screw, the visitors going close again through Drogba before finally going ahead on 79 minutes.

Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel did well to save Gary Cahill’s header from a corner, but he was helpless as Terry swarmed in and sliced the ball into the net on the rebound.

And three points were sealed in as many minutes later when assist king Fabregas added to his tally, laying the ball off for Ramires on the edge of the box and the Brazilian sending a rocket into the top corner.

Victory leaves Chelsea 13 points clear at the top, just three points away from title glory, while defeat means Leicester remain just two points above the bottom three, with four games left to save their Premier League status.