KENYA BROWN - Monday, August 19, 2019
Christian Pulisic got his first Premier Leauge start for Chelsea as they shared the points with Leicester City while Matt Miazga and Reading proved dominant in their win over Cardiff City.
Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City
Mason Mount's goal in the first half would be canceled out by Wilfred Ndidi in the second as Chelsea and Leicester City shared the spoils at Stamford Bridge.
Pulisic, after a strong performance in the Blues UEFA Super Cup game against Liverpool at mid-week, earned his first start for the team and played 71 minutes.
After coming off a demoralizing loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford to kickoff the Premier League, and head coach Frank Lampard weathering the storm of criticism from some, a few changes were made to the lineup as Chelsea looked to secure their first points of the seaon.
Pulisic was inserted into the starting lineup to play on the let side while Olivier Giround replaced Tammy Abrahamm to start as center forward.
The host came out aggressive from the start and put Leicester on their toes as they committed to a high press to immediately regain possession of the ball. And they very close to opening scoring less than a minute into the contest when Giroud chested a pass in to the path of Pedro, but his volleyed shot hit the side netting.
Chelsea's next chance came seconds later when Mount fired a shot towards goal that Kasper Schmeichel did well to save but could not handle. Pulsic would rush towards the ball to pounce on the rebound, but could not get a shot past the Danish goalkeeper.
The Europa League winners would then find the goal they were looking for in the seventh minute when Mount took the ball of Ndidi and sent a powerful right-footed shot into the back of the net.
With that first goal put away, Chelsea pressed for more and should have doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Pedro sent a cross towards Mount from the right side, but the young English midfielder headed his effort directly into the hands of Schmeichel.
Ngolo Kante had his chance minutes later, but steered the ball just wide of the mark.
It was an impressive first half for Chelsea, but it would be the lack of further goals that hurt them, and that allowed Leicester City to stay in the game.
The Foxes pressed for the equalizer and looked the more dominant team in the second half as Chelsea were left chasing them all over the field.
Despite gifting the host the opening goal, Ndidi would go to redeem himself in the 67th minute as he headed in the ball from a James Maddison corner kick from the right side.
Chelsea were looking for answers and brought Willian in the place of Pulisic in the 71st minute, but it would be Leicester who still be pushing for the game-winner as the came to a close with both teams sharing the spoils.
The Blues have gotten their first point of the season, but will be kicking themselves as they could have had three or four goals early on to put the game out of reach.
Reading 3-0 Cardiff City
Reading earned their first points of the Championship and in convincing fashion as they blanked Cardiff City at the Madejski Stadium.
Miazga started for the Royals and played the entire 90 minutes in a strong performance.
The host broke the scoreless deadlock 25 minutes in when George Puscas, no relation to Hungarian legend Ferenc Puska, dribbled past his marker on the right side, darted into the area and curled his shot past Cardiff goalkeeper Alex Smithies.
The Romanian forward went on to score his second goal of the day 15 minutes later when he got his foot on a cross from teammate Jon Swift to steer the ball past Smithies.
Reading were in cruise control and Puscas could have had hat-trick in the second half when he was let one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but his shot went wide of the goal.
However, Swift would put the game away in the 83rd minute with his powerful-right-footed shot.
It was good result for the Royals and one they hope they can build as they head into their next league game in the mid-week.
In the Championship, Tim Ream started for Fulham as the scored a late goal to snatch a 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town.
Eric Lichaj started for Hull City as they shared the points with Brentford following a 1-1 tie.
Geoff Cameron started for Queens Park Rangers as they were blanked by Bristol City in a 2-0 loss.
Antonee Robinson started for Wigan Athletic as they went down to Leeds United in a 2-0 shutout loss.
Down in League One, Lynden Gooch started for Sunderland as they squeezed past Portsmouth with a 2-1 win.
Charlie Kelman started for Southend United as they suffered a heavy 4-0 loss to Lincoln City.
Giles Phillips started for Wycombe Wanderers as a last minute goal saw them come away with a 3-2 win over Milton Keynes Dons.
Matthew Olosunde started for Rotherham United as an own goal helped to a 1-0 win over Burton Albion.