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BBC's Steve Lee
"The haves and have-nots" end all-square
 real 28k

Saturday, 15 January, 2000, 21:06 GMT
Chelsea lose more ground

Taggart causes mayhem before scoring the opener


Chelsea 1-1 Leicester

Under-strength Leicester took a point from Stamford Bridge, and would have had all three but for Dennis Wise's equaliser five minutes from time.

The Foxes were without half their first team, while Chelsea started with new signing George Weah alongside the recallled Gianfranco Zola.

But defender Gerry Taggart capitalised on some awful Chelsea marking to put the away side in front before half time.


Match facts
Game starts with another Chelsea reshuffle up front
27 mins: First save by a keeper
41: Chelsea fail to clear and Taggart strikes
64: Flo on - a third Blues striker
85: Wise saves a point
Wise saved a point, although this result will be seen as another two lost in the context of Chelsea's chase for a Champions League place.

Zola was restored to the starting line up after being dropped for the midweek victory against Tottenham, and set up Wise's goal.

New signing Weah made his first start after scoring as a substitute on Wednesday.

This time it was Chris Sutton who was the odd man out, with Gustavo Poyet and Tore Andre Flo on the bench.



We were quite poor and our passing wasn't good enough. Hopefully this is the last time that we play in this way
Gianluca Vialli
The first half saw the Blues' new strike pair show their class in occasional flashes.

But Leicester defended in the same resolute style which brought them a 0-0 cup draw at Highbury last weekend, and fought for everything in the manner they had when beating Fulham on penalties in midweek.

The first save of the game was not required until 27 minutes had elapsed.

Zola curled a free-kick around the wall and keeper Pegguy Arphexad dived low to his left.

Jon Harley planted a header straight into the arms of the French keeper, before the visitors took the lead almost out of nowhere four minutes from the break.

Centre-back Gerry Taggart capitalised on weak Chelsea defending to rise virtually unchallenged to head Steffan Oakes' cross against the foot of the post.


Weah: No goals in second Premiership game
Keeper Ed de Goey could only push the ball weakly out and Taggart was allowed time to control the ball before then bundling his shot over the line.

Chelsea responded by introducing Poyet and Gabriele Ambrosetti on the flanks after the interval.

But they were almost undone at the back again as Emile Heskey raced onto a long through-ball only for De Goey to rush out and block at his feet.

Tore Andre Flo was introduced as defender Albert Ferrer limped off following a foul by Graham Fenton.

With a three-man defence and a trio of strikers, Chelsea were effectively going for broke in search of an equaliser and Arphexad saved Poyet's header.



We were all a bit apprehensive about facing George Weah. He's a world-class player and I'm just a scruffy old Irishman so you have to be a bit concerned
Gerry Taggart
De Goey again denied Heskey as the big striker broke, and Matt Elliott also had a header well saved by the Dutchman.

Poyet then shot weakly when well-placed and Steve Guppy's desperate attempt to clear saw him hack the ball onto the crossbar.

But with just five minutes left Zola swung over a free-kick and Wise back-headed the ball into the far corner.

The Blues launched a furious assault in search of a second late winner in four days.

But Leboeuf's strong claims for a penalty were turned down and Leicester held on to secure the point that their battling determination had deserved.

Teams:

Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer, Thome, Leboeuf, Harley, Petrescu, Deschamps, Wise, Di Matteo, Zola, Weah. Subs: Poyet, Ambrosetti, Flo, Cudicini, Terry.

Leicester: Arphexad, Sinclair, Elliott, Taggart, Gilchrist, Eadie, Zagorakis, Oakes, Gunnlaugsson, Marshall, Heskey. Subs: Flowers, Guppy, Fenton, Thomas, Stewart.

Referee: G Barber (Tring, Herts)

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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.