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Chelsea struggle without a striker

Chelsea were left ruing the lack of a clinical forward when they fell 1-0 to Leicester in the English Premier League on Saturday in their first home defeat of the season.

Coach Maurizio Sarri deployed Eden Hazard up front in a false No. 9 position flanked by Willian and Pedro.

The Blues enjoyed a lot of possession but could not convert it to clear-cut chances.

In the first half, Hazard struck the crossbar with a powerful drive and Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a fine save to tip another Hazard effort to safety after the break.

Oliver Giroud was thrown on for the final half-hour, but the French striker could not force his way into the game.

Sarri, though, attributed the defeat to the team's failure to respond to Jamie Vardy's 51st-minute strike.

Chelsea's attackers have struggled to score all season, except for Hazard, who has eight EPL strikes.

Alvaro Morata has just five league goals in 14 appearances and is set to return from injury when Chelsea face Watford on Boxing Day, but Sarri may persist with Hazard in the middle. - REUTERS

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