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Leicester pile misery on Chelsea to go top of EPL table

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Five years after achieving the unthinkable, Leicester City have returned to the top of the Premier League standings again and are making another improbable run at the title.

For big-spending Chelsea and manager Frank Lampard any ambitions of winning the league already appear to be dashed.

The Foxes beat the Blues 2-0 to jump above the two Manchester clubs, United and City, and reach the midway stage of their league campaign two points clear of their closest rivals.

Even if their latest time at the summit lasts just one night – United and City are both in action on Wednesday, after all – Leicester are showing they mean business again.

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Just like in the 2015-16 season, when the team managed by Claudio Ranieri famously delivered one of the biggest underdog triumphs in sporting history to win the league at odds of 5,000-1.

Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison scored the first-half goals against Chelsea with Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester extending their unbeaten run in the league to six games, the past three all being wins.

“I thought it was a very good performance… The players have won a lot of games this season against big teams, big opponents and you see a maturity in our performances,” Rodgers said.

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“That’s the pleasing aspect.”

Chelsea were carved open time and again at the King Power Stadium and suffered a fifth loss in their past eight games in the league, to leave them eights and nine points adrift of the pace-setting Foxes.

Earlier on Tuesday evening, in-form striker Michail Antonio scored the match-winning goal for the second time in four days with his 66th-minute volley earning West Ham United a 2-1 victory over lowly West Bromwich Albion.

West Ham led through Jarrod Bowen’s close-range goal on the stroke of halftime but were pegged back by Matheus Pereira’s effort.

Antonio’s winner against Burnley on Saturday came on his first league start since recovering from a hamstring problem and if he can remain fit it isn’t too fanciful to see West Ham remaining in the vicinity of their current position of seventh.

“Long may it continue, we’re halfway through the season and we want to look up, not down,” said West Ham boss David Moyes, whose side have won all three league matches since new year.

West Brom remain second-bottom, five points from safety.

However, they may face more trouble with the Premier League to examine if a “gentleman’s agreement” between the Hammers and the Baggies which prevented Robert Snodgrass from playing against his former side contradicted league rules.

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Snodgrass, who joined West Brom a fortnight ago, instead watched on from the stands at London Stadium.

-AAP

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