Fulham 1:1 Leicester City
City got a point from a poor performance against Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham on Wednesday night…
Claude Puel made four changes to his side, Iheanacho and Soyuncu replaced the injured Vardy and Evans, while Simpson and Diabate were given their first Premier League starts of the season.
City almost got off to a perfect start when an incisive through ball from Maddison sent Iheanacho through on goal but his attempted lift over the keeper hit the advancing Rico in the chest.
Fulham’s first chance came in the 8th minute when Morgan fouled Kamara 20 yards out, but Mitrovic’s free-kick was delivered tamely straight at Schmeichel.
Three minutes later Schmeichel made an excellent save from a Le Marchand shot that diverted off Mitrovic, but the linesman signalled offside.
In the 20th minute Schmeichel produced a fine save after Odoi nodded down for Chambers from a free-kick, the latter firing across goal.
Fulham threatened again when Sessegnon got the better of Soyuncu to hit a low cross in, but Simpson blocked and Schmeichel fielded the steepling loose ball.
Kamara then tried a fancy curling shot with the outside of his boot that went a couple of yards wide.
Although Chilwell had been struggling with his crosses he delivered a decent one on the half hour, but Morgan mistimed his jump and sent a header over from a dangerous position. As City had a spell of pressure Maddison cut a corner-kick back to Chilwell, lurking on the edge of the box but he miscued his shot.
At the other end Ndidi threw himself in front of Chambers shot and Mitrovic headed wide from the resulting corner.
In a game that lacked quality, but was finely poised, it was City’s turn to miss a chance. Maddison cut back another corner to Albrighton who chipped to the far post, but Morgan’s downward header from close in was placed to close to Rico.
Vietto then caused chaos in City’s area, dancing round three defenders before Chilwell managed to block his shot.
But it was Claudio Ranieri’s side who opened the scoring in the 42nd minute. A Mitrovic backheel sent Kamara in down the left and he dummied to shoot, sending Soyuncu almost into the crowd, before hitting a shot through Schmeichel’s legs from a tight angle.
It was Fulham who emerged from the tunnel for the second half looking more purposeful and they were on top in the early stages.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 55th minute, bringing Gray on for Diabate.
But City still struggled to put an attacking move together with Fulham determined to protect their lead. And the home side looked the more likely scorers with Mawson heading wide from a corner and Cairney sending a shot inches past the post.
Puel made a double change in the 72nd minute, bringing Okazaki and Iborra on for Simpson and Mendy, and it produced instant results.
Okazaki and Gray linked well with a one-two down the right, before Okazaki picked out Maddison’s run into the area, setting him up perfectly for a neat side-footed finish.
It was City’s only true moment of quality all night, but was enough to earn a point.
Both sides had chances to win the game in a frantic end to the game.
Iborra went close with a header, Gray forced a good save from Rico with a fierce shot, and Maddison had a shot blocked and sent the rebound over the bar.
While at the other end Cairney’s well-struck shot was parried by Schmeichel and Odoi headed over the bar.
Fulham should have won the game in the fourth minute of injury time after a corner was cleared by Soyuncu, Cairney lifted the ball over the defence and Odoi was presented with a gilt-edged chance from 6 yards which he sent well over the bar.
A draw was the right result in a game that neither side had done enough to win.
Fulham: Rico, Christie (Ream 84), Odoi, Mawson, Le Marchand (Bryan 77), Chambers, Seri, Kamara, Vietto (Cairney 46), Sessegnon, Mitrovic.
Substitutes: Bettinelli, Kebano, Schurrle, Zambo.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Okazaki 72), Morgan, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Mendy (Iborra 72), Ndidi, Albrighton, Maddison, Diabate (Gray 55), Iheanacho.
Substitutes: Ward, Ricardo, Fuchs, Knight.
Referee: David Coote. Attendance: 22,881.
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