Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City (Alonso 34’ | Maddison 6’)
At least Chelsea succeeded in meeting their final target available to them this term. Marcos Alonso’s equaliser ensured they will finish third and that’s as good as it gets for Thomas Tuchel’s side after a season of disappointment played out against a backdrop of off-field chaos.
Alonso cancelled out James Madison’s opening goal for Leicester and with Sunday’s home meeting with Watford to come, Chelsea sit three points clear of fourth-placed Tottenham but with a vastly superior goal difference.
If Chelsea were still suffering from a hangover from Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat, then Maddison’s early opening goal did nothing to help ease the pain of that loss.
Hakim Ziyech had come close to giving the Blues the ideal start when he shot narrowly wide in the fifth minute, but two minutes later Tuchel’s side found themselves trailing after being opened up by a sweeping counter-attack started by Kasper Schmeichel.
The Foxes goalkeeper’s clearance found right wing-back Timothy Castagne, who took advantage of Alonso’s failure to react before finding Maddison with the help of a deflection off Antonio Rudiger.
The Leicester playmaker pushed forward before striking a curling shot from outside the penalty area that beat Edouard Mendy at the goalkeeper’s near post.
Chelsea’s response was initially muted although Trevoh Chalobah drew a fine save from Schmeichel with a long-range shot. That effort aside, though, they lacked conviction in front of goal with Romelu Lukaku taking too long when presented with a shooting opportunity and Thiago Silva directing a free header over the bar.
It was Leicester who looked the more assured despite having little to play for, looking at ease in the face of Chelsea’s attacking efforts and moving the ball confidently when they got the chance to break.
The home side’s persistence, though, was rewarded in the 35th minute when Reece James floated a cross towards the far post and into the path of Alonso who volleyed past Schmeichel.
There was much more fluency to Chelsea’s play after the break. Tuchel’s side began to dominate the game and created a succession of chances that should have brought the winning goal. Ziyech twice brought Schmeichel into action and Lukaku should have done much better than send a header wide.
The clearest opportunity though fell to Christian Politic who somehow failed to make a clean contact when he attempted to meet Lukaku’s low cross.