What has never happened before, not once in the 113-year history of this proud football club, is a run of three consecutive 0-0 draws.

That incredible statistic revealed the poverty of Chelsea in the past week, with goalless encounters with Norwich and Arsenal in cup-ties, and now against vibrant Leicester in the Premier League.

It explained the agitation of the Chelsea fans even though their club are still in all four competitions, and joint second in the League table this morning.Three goalless draws in succession — that’s the number which matters, much more than another Chelsea could pluck out that says they have lost only once in their last 18 games. 

And Chelsea were supremely fortunate to get a 0-0 yesterday because Leicester were clearly the superior team here.

They were more intelligent, more diligent and far more spirited. On another day they might have won by a couple of goals as their recent progress under manager Claude Puel was plain to see.

A key factor in that has been the revitalisation of Riyad Mahrez, who has found his dancing feet and precision passes.

Mahrez was the conductor of Leicester’s attacking orchestra, on song from the start. They created and spurned a series of early chances as Shinji Okazki scooped over the bar from close range and Jamie Vardy flicked an effort into the side-netting.

There should have been a goal when Mahrez waltzed to the touchline and crossed low across the face of goal — but no team-mate could find a touch. Moments later Marc Albrighton shot inches wide.

Chelsea’s crowd were noisily frustrated, both by the dominance of Leicester and the poverty of their own side.

Morata was caught offside far too often; a player trying too hard for his own good. Cesc Fabregas was wayward in his passing and Tiemoue Bakayoko simply anonymous.

They had but one effort in the opening period, a fierce drive from Fabregas tipped over the bar by Kapser Schmeichel just before the break.

Whatever words of wisdom or anger Conte delivered to his team, the pattern remained the same in the second half; Leicester superior and creating the opportunities to score.

When Mahrez had a shot deflected just wide it prompted a double substitution, with the rare sight of Hazard being withdrawn, correctly, in an attempt to improve the team

Nothing helped Chelsea, not even the dismissal of Leicester left back Ben Chilwell in the 68th minute after a second yellow card for a lunging studs-showing challenge that caught Victor Moses on the shin.

Nobody could complain about that decision, but Leicester kept their discipline and organisation to comfortably hold out for a draw, the very least they deserved from the match.

Chelsea were restricted to long range shots. The only threat was deep into injury time when Schmeichel pushed away a curling free-kick from Marcos Alonso.

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