Frank Lampard said managing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time was the “stuff of dreams”, despite Wilfred Ndidi’s second-half header earning Leicester City a deserved point.
Chelsea took the lead when 20-year-old midfielder Mason Mount scored a memorable first goal for the Blues after robbing Ndidi of possession just outside the Foxes penalty area before beating Kasper Schmeichel with a low drive.
Lampard’s side started with real intent, Spain forward Pedro volleying into the side-netting and France midfielder N’Golo Kante denied a goal against his former club by Christian Fuchs’ fine challenge either side of Mount’s goal.
Leicester were much better after half-time and secured the point their second-half dominance warranted when Ndidi got between Spain right-back Cesar Azpilicueta and France defender Kurt Zouma to head in from a corner.
Both teams remain without a win, with Leicester on two points from two games, one more than Chelsea.
“It felt great, it is a special moment for me to come back to the club and manage them at Stamford Bridge,” said Lampard, who was appointed Blues boss in the summer.
“For me it is a huge thing, but my focus today was on the match and trying to win.
“Thanks very much to the fans, I appreciate that, but I am here to do a job and here to try and win for the club and we can do better than we did today.”
Blues fade again on Lampard’s homecoming
Despite opening the season with their biggest Old Trafford defeat against Manchester United since 1965, there was a carnival atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge to welcome a Chelsea icon returning to manage the club he spent 13 years playing for.
Lampard’s image adorned the front cover of the programme, while the 41-year-old was greeted by the sight of a huge blue-and-white ‘Welcome Home Super Frank’ banner when he emerged from the tunnel before kick-off.
Flames from black boxes leapt into the sky as Stamford Bridge reverberated to the sound of Chelsea fans singing ‘Super Frank Lampard’.
There were placards and scarves too and it was not long before the veteran of 648 Chelsea appearances was punching the air in celebration after Mount punished Ndidi’s hesitancy after the Nigeria midfielder received the ball from Jonny Evans.
Despite the heavy 4-0 defeat, Chelsea had started the game well at Old Trafford last week, hitting the woodwork twice before falling away badly.
Chelsea faded in this game too, especially in comparison to the aggressive start they made in the upbeat atmosphere created by Lampard’s return – although their midweek Super Cup exertions in Turkey may have been a factor.
While Leicester failed to muster a shot on target in the first-half, Chelsea managed three in the opening seven minutes including Mount’s goal, a superb low finish that left Schmeichel flat-footed.
Fuchs’ challenge to deny his former team-mate Kante was pivotal, while Mount headed another opportunity at Schmeichel before Leicester responded strongly to take the shine off Lampard’s return.
Maddison inspires Leicester
Leicester are without a Premier League win in four games in a run that stretches back to last season, but their impressive second-half showing will leave Brendan Rodgers with optimism for the season ahead.
As poor as the Foxes were in the first half, they dominated after the interval and there will be a touch of disappointment they did not go on to seal victory.
Having managed just one shot in the opening 45 minutes, Leicester had 11 attempts in the second half of the match.
There are now few survivors from their legendary 2015-16 title-winning side, but in James Maddison, Rodgers has a player around whom he can build another impressive Foxes team.
The 22-year-old was the stand-out player in the game, not just content to distribute the ball intelligently but also threaten in the Chelsea box himself.
Maddison, who was called into the England squad last season, rounded Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga but from the byline could not pick out a team-mate to apply the finish.
However he then delivered the corner that Ndidi headed home for the equaliser as Chelsea were caught cold.
The former Norwich player blazed a late chance to win the game over the bar but, while the game seemed to pass title-winning hero Jamie Vardy by, Maddison’s energy and creativity bodes well for Leicester’s future.
Man of the match – James Maddison (Leicester)
‘We need to be more clinical’ – what they said
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, speaking to BBC Sport: “It’s very early for us. We have to be patient as we are working towards something.
“Two or three nil would have taken the game away from them but we didn’t take those chances. That’s the story of our season so far. We need to be more clinical, for sure. It is defining.”
On the reception he received from Chelsea’s fans: “This is home for me and I really appreciated the support. It’s my club, I played here so long and I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t get the win but I’m thankful to the fans.”
Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers, speaking to BBC Sport: “It is my fault, the mistake [that led to Chelsea’s goal], because I ask my players to build in the game. But it was a brilliant response.
“We were outstanding in the second-half but didn’t win the game. We came out with a positive mindset and had chances to put it to bed. The most important thing is getting the players into those positions.”
Mount makes Chelsea history – the stats
- Mason Mount became the first English player to score on his first home appearance for Chelsea in the Premier League since Paul Hughes did so against Derby County in January 1997.
- Mount became the first English player to score for Chelsea under an English manager since Dennis Wise against Blackburn Rovers in May 1996 (Glenn Hoddle as manager).
- Frank Lampard is the first Chelsea boss to fail to win any of his first three games in charge of the club since Rafael Benitez in the 2012-13 campaign.
- Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has faced Chelsea on 13 occasions as a manager but is yet to register a victory against the Blues.
- Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi’s goal was just his fifth in 90 Premier League appearances, and his first away from home.
- After winning their first Premier League home game in 12 consecutive seasons between 2003-04 and 2014-15, Chelsea have failed to win three of their last five opening home games in the competition.
Both teams are in action against newly promoted teams next, with Chelsea at Norwich on Saturday (12:30 BST) and Leicester at Sheffield United (15:00) on the same day.
Charlton’s players need to start believing they are worthy Championship competitors, says manager Lee Bowyer, after starting the season with successive victories.
The Addicks beat Stoke City 3-1 to join Sheffield Wednesday as one of only two second-tier teams with a 100% record after two games.
“Sooner or later they’ll start to realise that they are a good side and they do deserve to be in this league,” Bowyer, who guided Charlton to promotion via the League One play-offs last season, told BBC Radio London.
“When people keep saying negative stuff and saying we’ll get relegated, it’s tough for them.
“I’m constantly telling them that they’re good and they’ll surprise teams. If teams do underestimate us, that’ll be their choice. We’ll be professional and respect everyone we play.”
Lyle Taylor fired Charlton into the lead at The Valley, only for Tom Ince to level before half-time.
Substitute Chuks Aneke scored six minutes into his Charlton debut to restore the home lead after 75 minutes and on-loan midfielder Conor Gallagher hit a late third to seal the points.
“My lads were great again,” Bowyer added. “They keep on going and going. They’ve left everything out there and they’ve got their reward for it.
“Man for man, I thought we were stronger than them and more hungry than them. It gives you momentum and the lads are gaining confidence from these results.”
The two sides cancelled each other out in a drab opening, but Taylor broke the deadlock in the 25th minute with his second goal in as many games, collecting the ball on the edge of the box and rifling the ball into the far corner.
Taylor’s strike roused Stoke and Scott Hogan struck the crossbar before Ince snatched the equaliser, unleashing a left-foot drive that zipped into the net.
Lee Gregory squandered opportunities to put the Potters ahead either side of half-time, hitting the post and then blazing an effort over from close range after Sam Clucas had teed him up.
But Jonny Williams and Josh Cullen combined to set up summer signing Aneke, who dispatched the chance from 10 yards.
Chelsea midfielder Gallagher completed the scoring with his first senior goal seven minutes from time, finding the roof of the net after Taylor had flicked on Cullen’s corner.
Stoke City boss Nathan Jones told BBC Radio Stoke:
“We’re creating enough chances. We created 10 chances and scored one – they created four and scored three. That’s a hell of a difference and goals win games, but that’s what we’re not doing.
“We hit the post, we hit the bar – and then they’ve scored with their first chance. Second half we’re dominating the game, get a glorious chance and don’t take it and we’re hit with the sucker punch, which is frustrating.
“The third goal we got undone by a set-play, but we’re not giving ourselves a chance. People are not having to score good goals against us at the moment.
“Last year we were really sound defensively and we’re showing a little creakiness. We’ve got to be better in both boxes – in between, not a problem.”
London City Airport wants to increase the number of its flights to meet “increased passenger demand”.
The current annual limit of 111,000 should be increased by 36% to 151,000 by 2035, according to a draft master plan out for consultation. This could mean an extra 110 flights per day.
Campaigners described the plan as a “disaster for residents”.
The airport pledged up to 2,500 new jobs and that sustainability was “central” to its thinking.
There were 75,000 flights carrying more than 4.8m people at the airport in 2018 and passenger numbers have increased by 42% over the past five years.
The draft plan forecasts that by 2030 passenger demand to use the airport in the Royal Docks, east London, could increase to 9.8m per year and to 11m by 2035.
‘Flights could double’
Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said the proposal was a “long-term vision for London City Airport, detailing how London’s most central airport can meet continued demand sustainably, create jobs and opportunities for east London, and support the capital as a major global city for tourism and business”.
“These proposals reflect the airport’s changing role, with an increasing proportion of leisure passengers choosing the airport, and east London’s continued transformation.”
John Stewart, chair of Hacan East which campaigns about the impact of the airport on local communities, said: “For all its green talk, this plan would be a disaster for residents.
“Flight numbers could almost double from today’s total.”
The airport insists it will retain its eight-hour night-time closure and not permit any noisier aircraft than those currently operating.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks.
Newham Council, which would decide on any bid to increase operational caps, said it remained “committed to improving air quality in Newham” and pledged to make the borough “carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon zero by 2050”.
Manchester City completed a domestic cup double as they eventually overpowered West Ham at Wembley to lift the Women’s FA Cup for a second time in three years.
England midfielder Keira Walsh’s bouncing strike from outside the area put City ahead in the second half, after major final debutants West Ham had initially defied their underdog status with an impressive first-half display.
Late goals from City youngsters Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp completed the win, securing the club’s sixth major trophy.
Victory also saw Nick Cushing’s side move within one match of completing an entire domestic season unbeaten, as they added to February’s League Cup success.
The Hammers, who reached the final in their first season as a professional side – less than a year after leaping up from the third division with a successful top-tier licence application last summer – had threatened to pull off a shock win, creating the best chance of the first half.
But City – who had not conceded a goal in the FA cup this season – showed their class and experience after the break and could have added to their tally in the final moments.
The crowd of 43,264 at England’s national stadium fell just short of last season’s competition record of 45,423, but was nevertheless still one of the largest for a club-level women’s game in Europe in the modern era.
All of City’s six major trophies have come since 2014 under the management of Nick Cushing and they will finish the season without losing a single domestic game if they can avoid defeat away at Women’s Super League winners Arsenal next Saturday.
More to follow.