Leicester City 0:1 Cardiff City
A spectacular injury time goal from Camarasa earned Cardiff the points at the KPS on Saturday as City looked a shadow of the side that had beaten Chelsea and Man City…
Claude Puel made two changes to his side with Morgan and Choudhury replaced by Söyüncü and Gray.
The pattern of the game soon established itself with Cardiff defending in numbers and City having plenty of the ball.
Cardiff had a scare in the 5th minute when Cunningham intercepted a ball from Gray but then a back pass beyond Etheridge. To his relief it trickled inches wide of the post.
Cardiff then had spell of pressure and Morrison got his head to a Gunnarsson cross but cleared the bar. But City soon regained their dominance.
A skilful drag back earned Maddison some space for a 20-yarder but Etheridge guided it round the post. Ndidi sent a header over the bar from a corner and then a Ricardo shot forced a good save from Etheridge.
After a Bamba foul on Maddison the City No 10 picked himself up and swung the free-kick over the wall, but it didn’t have enough pace to beat Etheridge.
As half time approached Cardiff ventured forward more. There were big shouts for a penalty when Mendy appeared to shove Paterson over, and then a misplaced Söyüncü header hit the top of the bar.
As play switched from end to end, Maddison sent Vardy in down the left channel but Etheridge was swiftly off his line to block the shot.
Etheridge was called into action again, saving a well-struck Gray shot and the sides went in goalless at half time. Many fans had expected a frustrating afternoon, and that’s what they were getting.
Etheridge made another fine save from Ricardo early in the second half, before getting booked for time-wasting when he didn’t appear to grasp the fact that he had to take a goal kick.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 58th minute, replacing a tired looking Albrighton with Ghezzal.
A wayward pass from Söyüncü then presented Murphy with a chance but Schmeichel got his defender off the hook with a solid save.
Puel then made an unpopular decision in the 68th minute, bringing Iheanacho on for Vardy, and prompting loud booing from the stands.
This substitution didn’t look any better six minutes later when City were awarded a penalty. Maddison wriggled through a crowded penalty area, playing a one-two with Ghezzal before having his arm pulled by Morrison. With no Vardy on the field Maddison took the kick, and sent it lamely within Etheridge’s reach. To make matters worse Maddison was slow to react to the rebound and was beaten to the ball by Bamba.
Okazaki came on for Gray as City tried to find a breakthrough with increasing desperation. Ghezzal fired in a shot that Bamba did well to block, and then he attempted a dipping 20-yarder that went narrowly wide.
As the game entered time-added-on Cardiff looked as though they fancied a first win of the season and began to press forward.
Schmeichel had to tip a Camarasa free-kick over the bar, but this was only a warning shot. Two minutes later the Real Betis player was given too much room 25 yards out and he launched a superb dipping shot into the top right hand corner.
After the recent triumphs a point would have been disappointing but understandable. But a defeat was tough to take, especially after the penalty award that should have given City the lead.
After a period of grace, the pressure is now piled back onto Claude Puel, who appears to be his own worst enemy at times. Although it is a hectic schedule, should he have changed a winning side and formation?
Puel explained his substitution of Vardy: “I manage my team about what I see. Jamie was in difficulty, he was tired. It’s normal. He has played almost all the last games, with full minutes. For Jamie or for other players, they have tiredness in this busy period.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Söyüncü, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi,
Albrighton (Ghezzal 58), Maddison, Gray (Okazaki 79), Vardy (Iheanacho 68).
Substitutes: Simpson, Ward, Iborra, Fuchs.
Cardiff: Etheridge, Ecuele, Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Cunningham, Gunnarsson,
Hoilett (Reid 83), Camarasa, Arter (Peltier 90), Murphy (Harris 78), Paterson.
Substitutes: Bennett, Ralls, Smithies, Mendez-Laing.
Referee: Simon Hooper. Attendance: 32,047.