Raheem Sterling hailed 10-man Chelsea’s “passion and commitment” after scoring both goals in their 2-1 Premier League win against Leicester.
Sterling’s first goals for Chelsea following his £50million summer switch from Manchester City 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.
Sterling told Chelsea’s official website: “It was a massive three points and one that we needed, especially off the back of last weekend.
“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.”
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.
Sterling, denied a hat-trick by Foxes goalkeeper Danny Ward late on, added: “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.”
Leicester remain winless and sit second from bottom after four matches, but created enough chances to have left Stamford Bridge with a point.
Daniel Amartey had an effort ruled out after Barnes was harshly ruled to have fouled keeper Mendy and Ayoze Perez struck the crossbar.
Leicester defender Timothy Castagne admitted it was “tough at the moment” but remains confident it will soon start to click for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
He told LCFC TV: “He (Rodgers) knows it’s tough for us because we haven’t had the start to the season that we wanted.
“It was again a bit like the first games when we were good in the games and then we give away cheap goals and we lose the result that we want. It’s tough at the moment.
“I think it’s going to come. We just can’t panic because sometimes – it didn’t happen here – but I feel in some of the other games we desperately want the win, so we start to panic, we stop playing our game and we lose the result. We need to keep working, keep playing our game.”
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1