Raheem Sterling says 10-man Chelsea were “excellent” in keeping “tough” opponents Leicester City at bay in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
Sterling scored his first goals for Chelsea following his £50million summer switch from Manchester City as they beat Leicester 2-1. They both came in the second half after Conor Gallagher’s 28th-minute dismissal.
Thomas Tuchel’s side bounced back from last week’s 3-0 defeat at Leeds with their second win of the season and moved up to sixth in the table. “It was a massive three points and one that we needed, especially off the back of last weekend,” Sterling told the club’s official website.
“Even going down to 10 men, the boys showed a lot of passion and commitment to get the job done and it was a good win for us. It was a big team performance and everyone played their part.
“It’s always difficult when you go down to 10 men but it just showed how hard the boys worked for victory. The defenders were excellent in stopping Leicester and that ran right through the team, everybody worked hard for one another and you could see how much it meant to all the boys.
“It’s teams that win games and everyone pulled their weight today. Edou [Mendy] made some big saves and Kai [Havertz] led from the front, working his socks off to defend high up the pitch.”
Sterling gave Chelsea a 47th-minute lead with a deflected effort from the edge of the area and turned home Reece James’ cross at the far post just after the hour mark. Chelsea head coach Tuchel was serving a touchline ban following his red card in the recent 2-2 draw against Tottenham.
Gallagher was dismissed on Saturday after two yellow cards in the space of six minutes, both for challenges on Leicester’s Harvey Barnes, who pulled a goal back for the visitors. Sterling was denied a hat-trick by Danny Ward late on, when the ball came back off a post after the faintest of touches from the City goalkeeper.
“It would have been nice to get a hat-trick but I have to say it was a great save from their goalkeeper,” added Sterling. “I think he just got his studs on the ball to turn it onto the post. It’s something I just have to take, it’s a game of small margins.
“It wasn’t to be but the most important thing is we got a good win in what was a tough game against a tough opponent.”