LEICESTER, England — N’Golo Kante gave his former club another reason not to have sold him as defending English Premier League champion Chelsea beat Leicester 2-1 on Saturday.
Talk before the match focused on another former Leicester player Danny Drinkwater — who stayed on the Chelsea bench — but it was Kante who made the difference at King Power Stadium.
Kante, Drinkwater’s central-midfield foil during the Foxes’ 2015-16 title-winning season, capped a typically consistent display with a goal from 25 yards to double Chelsea’s lead after Alvaro Morata’s opener.
Jamie Vardy smashed one back for the hosts from the penalty spot, but Antonio Conte’s team held on for the three points. After losing its opener to Burnley, Chelsea has won three straight league games. Leicester has one win and three losses.
Kante made the move to Stamford Bridge in July 2016 and Drinkwater followed him on transfer deadline day last month.
Chelsea went in front when Cesar Azpilicueta crossed the ball from the right and Morata got above Wes Morgan to head home before halftime.
Five minutes into the second half, Kante struck. He was afforded too much room outside the penalty area and his low shot crept into the bottom corner of the net. Kasper Schmeichel appeared to react late and will be disappointed to be beaten from that far out.
In the 62nd, Vardy beat Thibaut Courtois to a loose ball and was brought down by the goalkeeper inside the six-yard box. He got back to his feet and tucked away the penalty to put Leicester right back in the match.