Leicester City 0:0 Burnley
The Leicester City family said farewell to Mr Chairman on an emotional day at the King Power which saw City draw 0-0 with Burnley…
At 12.45, a police-estimated 50,000 fans, with Harry Maguire, James Maddison, Andy King, Hamza Choudhury and Matty James, set off from Jubilee Square on the Walk for Vichai. An inspired idea by Megan Elliott and her sister Casey, who had originally hoped that 5,000 would join the tribute.
Although the heavens opened, soaking the procession, a vivid rainbow appeared as those at the front arrived at the King Power Stadium.
Many fans then made their way down to Raw Dykes Road to view the sea of tributes that have now been carefully relocated to Car Park E, poignantly close to the crash site.
Most of the crowd were in the ground by 2.30, to watch a tribute video on the big screens. The first half of the film was viewed in complete silence, until applause rang out when we saw the League Championship trophy and then the Premier League trophy appearing on the screens.
Before kick-off wreaths were laid by Top and Leicestershire service people, and two minutes’ silence was observed for Khun Vichai and the other victims of the crash, and to mark the centenary of Armistice Day, with the white scarves left on each seat being held aloft.
And then there was football to watch…
Claude Puel made two changes to his line-up with Evans and Ghezzal in for the injured Maguire and Maddison.
Despite going through such a difficult week, with many players attending the funeral in Thailand, City got off to a strong start.
As City pressed forward a low, long-range shot from Ndidi was guided round the post by Hart. A minute later a clear-cut penalty was missed by Mike Dean, as Taylor leant towards an Albrighton cross and it hit him on the upper arm.
In the 14th minute Hart failed to gather a cross and the ball fell for Vardy who fired goalwards, but Lowton was well-placed to block on the line.
Burnley’s first chance came in the 17th minute, but with Wood in on goal Ricardo did just enough to put him off and Schmeichel saved a tame effort.
Another chance passed City by in the 21st minute when Ghezzal got a thumping header to an Albrighton cross, but hit the bar.
Albrighton then had a shot blocked, before a good run into space from Gray saw him one-on-one with Hart who blocked the near-post effort with his leg.
After this lively start the game calmed down towards the break and the chances dried up.
In the 39th minute Gudmundsson’s 30 yard free-kick was tipped round the post by Schmeichel and then Ndidi sent a header wide from a corner.
Half-time saw the traditional Armed Forces parade around the pitch and for the second half the players exchanged their Vichai Tribute shirts for those bearing poppies.
Burnley took the initiative early in the second half, Morgan managed to intercept a dangerous ball to Vokes, before picking up a harsh yellow card for a robust but fair challenge on Wood.
As City broke upfield Albrighton then had a shot deflected into Hart’s chest as City’s luck in front of goal didn’t improve.
Evans, having his best game to date in a City shirt, and Morgan were kept busy, both making vital clearances as Burnley pressed.
Claude Puel made his first change on the hour, with Iheanacho replacing Albrighton.
As a round of applause broke out to mark the 60th minute Gray sent Vardy in on goal, but he miscued his shot and missed out on a perfect tribute goal.
Evans tested Hart with a header, and then the ball sat up for Wood in the area, but he sliced his effort and it span over the bar.
Not surprisingly City began to look tired in the closing stages. Iheanacho gave the ball away in midfield and then raced back to foul Barnes, getting a yellow card. Thankfully the free-kick came to nothing.
The 84th minute saw Okazaki on for Gray and he gave the side renewed impetus, sending Vardy down the left for a cross to Iheanacho who was denied by a well-timed challenge from Taylor.
Okazaki then got his head to a Chilwell cross in injury time but sent it narrowly over.
City had to be content with a point on a day that was about much more than football.
The vast majority of fans remained in the ground after the final whistle which saw the playing and coaching staff, former managers Claudio Ranieri, Nigel Pearson and Craig Shakespeare, and Estaban Cambiasso accompanying Top on a lap of the pitch. It was a hugely emotional moment, and by the time Time to Say Goodbye came over the tannoy there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
It was a day we will never forget. Leicester City have had a fraught two weeks, still managing to get 4 points from 6 in the process, and have carried themselves impeccably in such trying times.
They now have the international break to rest and regroup before the process of continuing Vichai’s legacy gets underway.
“Champions of England, you made us sing that.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Morgan, Evans (Söyüncü 90), Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Albrighton (Iheanacho 60), Ghezzal, Gray (Okazaki 84), Vardy.
Substitutes: Simpson, Söyüncü, Iheanacho, Ward, Okazaki, Iborra, Fuchs.
Burnley: Hart, Lowton, Long, Mee, Taylor, Lennon, Defour (Hendrick 55), Cork, Berg Gudmundsson (Brady 65), Vokes (Barnes 73), Wood. Substitutes: Heaton, Westwood, Bardsley, Vydra.
Referee: Mike Dean. Attendance: 32, 184.
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The next issue of The FOX will be dedicated to the memory of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabh and the others who died on that day.
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