Tag Archives: craig shakespeare

Leicester lack vitality on the south coast

AFC Bournemouth 0:0 Leicester City

1718 bournemouth away

An early let-off, when Simpson handled inside the area, helped City scrape a point from a disappointing performance at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Craig Shakespeare made two changes to his side, with Fuchs reclaiming his place from Chilwell, and Mahrez dropped in favour of Gray.
But in a game that would determine who occupied the relegation zone for the international break, City were on the back foot from the very start.
Bournemouth swiftly got their passing game into gear and should have gone ahead in the 3rd minute. A low King cross from the right was met by Defoe at the near post, but his effort hit the bar from close in. The rebound fell for Pugh whose shot looked goalbound until Simpson stuck out a hand to divert it wide of the left hand post.  Fortunately for City neither referee nor linesman had a good view of it and Pugh’s protests were waved away.
Pugh soon had another chance but sent it well wide.
Stanislas then split City’s defence with ball forward to Defoe, but Morgan did well to keep pace with him and denied him a clear shot on goal.
With one way traffic towards Schmeichel’s goal Stanislas fired a shot off target before Daniels lobbed an effort straight at the City keeper.
On a rare foray forward City won a corner in the 22nd minute, but Bergovic got a firm punch to Albrighton’s flag kick.
As the Cherries pushed forward again, Pugh got in a good cross that was scuffed wide by King.
Pugh then wasted another chance, hitting his shot over the bar when well placed, before Ndidi blocked a Defoe shot.
Despite the total domination by the the home side, City survived up to the break.

Craig Shakespeare brought Iborra on for King for the second half, which gave City’s midfield a more solid look. Bournemouth still had a large share of the possession, but couldn’t make it count in front of goal.
King sent a weak effort straight at Schmeichel, and then the City keeper got down smartly to save a well-struck Stanislas effort.
City then had a glorious chance on the hour. A ball into Vardy deflected off Francis to Okazaki 12 yards out. He chose to place his shot, but sent it a yard wide of the right hand post.
This was City’s best spell of the game and Gray unleashed a wild effort that hit the stand roof.
Shakespeare made his second change in the 69th minute bringing on  Iheanacho for Okazaki, soon followed by another – Albrighton making way for Mahrez.
Stanislas tested Schmeichel with a fine shot, before Gray also unleashed a long range effort that curled towards Begovic, allowing him to tip it over the bar.
Although Mahrez gave City an added threat down the right, and Bournemouth attacked with increasing urgency, neither side could find the net and the ref blew the final whistle on a stalemate.
It had been a disappointing display from City, with the consolation of a late winner for West Ham keeping them above the dotted line during the international break.
For much of the game City did’t appear to have a plan beyond hoofing the ball forward to an isolated and not fully fit Vardy. At this level, that will get you nowhere.
“I suppose we have to be happy with a point,” said Craig Shakespeare. “We got a clean sheet, we’ve had a real tough start to the season but now we’ve got a chance to regroup.”

Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith, Francis, Aké, Daniels, Stanislas (Fraser 88) L Cook, Surman, Pugh (Ibe 69), King, Defoe (Afobe 82)
Substitutes: Boruc, S Cook, Gosling, Mousset.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Albrighton (Mahrez 75), King (Iborra 45), Ndidi, Gray, Okazaki, (Iheanacho 69), Vardy. Substitutes: ChilwellHamer, Amartey, Slimani.
Referee: G Scott. Attendance: 10,444.

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Leicester scrape a draw at Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town 1:1 Leicester City

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City, Premier League, 16 September 2017

City failed to impress at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday, but came away with a point from Huddersfield thanks to a Jamie Vardy penalty…

Craig Shakespeare made three changes to his side, with James injured and Fuchs surffering an eye injury on the training ground, bringing in King and Chilwell, while Iheanacho made his full debut up front.

The raucous atmosphere from a set of fans who are absolutely chuffed to be in the Premier League spurred Town on to a lively start. They were on top in the opening spell, and Depoitre looked impressive on his debut, sending a thumping header into Schmiechel’s grasp.
While City were squandering possession, Town played with more urgency and were dominating possession.
City’s first chance came in the 18th minute when Smith slid in with a fine tackle as Iheanacho was about to pull the trigger.

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City, Premier League, 16 September 2017

The game settled into a midfield hustle and bustle, with few moments of inspiration, and it was a minute before the break before City went close again, Vardy hooking an effort over the bar from a tight angle.

If the first half had been deservedly goalless, the game burst into life 40 seconds after the break. Kachunga played a ball forward to Depoitre, and the big Belgian turned Maguire and then raced ahead of him to slot an angled drive past Schmeichel.
There was pandemonium in the home areas, but City struck back within four minutes.
King played a one two with Iheanacho, and burst into the area, where his progress was halted by a trip from Lowe.
Vardy blasted his penalty down the middle and it was all square again.

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City, Premier League, 16 September 2017

Huddersfield found the net again in the 61st minute, but Kachunga was ruled to be offside when he got a head to Jorgensen’s cross/shot from six yards out. It looked to be a very marginal decision that got City off the hook.
Soon after this Williams sent a 25 yarder narrowly wide.
Craig Shakespeare made a couple of changes, bringing Gray on for Albrighton and then Okazaki for Iheanacho.
Okazaki almost had an instant impact, racing down the right and cutting a ball back for Mahrez, who flashed a ball across goal. Incredibly, what looked like an easy sidefoot home was completely missed by Vardy from two yards out.

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City, Premier League, 16 September 2017

In the 78th minute Mooy teed up Ince for a shot which curled two inches wide of the left hand post.
But Huddersfield hearts were in mouths in the 89th minute. Ndidi sent Gray in on the right and he tumbled in the penalty area under a Jorgensen challenge. Referee Jon Moss rightly ignored the penalty appeals with replays showing minimal contact.

At the final whistle both sides had to be content with a point, with Huddersfield the more disappointed.
Craig Shakespeare admitted:  “I think we have to look at it as a good point, I thought we were second best in the first half and if you’d offered me a point at half-time I would have taken it. We created more chances in the second half but I have to give credit to Huddersfield, they did to us what we normally do to teams.”

Huddersfield: Lössl, Smith, Jorgensen, Schindler, Löwe, Williams, Mooy, Kachunga (Quaner 74), Sabiri (Hogg 82), Ince, Depoitre (van La Parra 90).
Substitutes: Malone, Billing, Coleman, Hefele.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, King, Albrighton (Gray 65), Iheanacho (Okazaki 69), Vardy (Slimani 82). Substitutes: Hamer, Dragovic, Amartey, Iborra.
Referee: J Moss. Attendance: 24,129.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Kante strike sees Leicester edged out by Chelsea

Leicester City 1:2 Chelsea

1718 chelsea home a

Goals from Morata and Kante were enough to ease Champions Chelsea to victory over City at the KPS on Saturday.

With Okazaki suffering from jet lag after international duty, Slimani made the starting line-up, the only change to Craig Shakespeare’s side. Adrien ’14 seconds’ Silva watched from the stands, and Danny Drinkwater from the Chelsea bench.
In a lively opening spell Morata saw his shot saved by Schmeichel, while Vardy’s low cross from the left flashed across the goalmouth with no blue shirt on hand to apply a finishing touch.
Vardy then chased down Courtois after the Chelsea keeper took a poor first touch to a back pass, but the clearance was made with inches to spare.
Chelsea then settled into their stride and City had some defending to do, with Morgan producing a couple of vital blocks to keep them at bay.

1718 chelsea home c

In the 25th minute City broke upfield and Mahrez set up Vardy for a shot across Courtois that beat the far post by a couple of yards.
Morgan then produced another good block to deny Morata.
Chances were rare for City, with Chelsea dominating possession,  but they should have taken the lead five minutes before the break.
Mahrez raced upfield, with Vardy unmarked on his left, but as the Chelsea defence caught up he opted to pass to Slimani whose shot was brilliantly saved by Courtois.
A minute later this missed opportunity was compounded when Chelsea took the lead.
Azpilicueta delivered an inch perfect cross from the right and Morata rose above Morgan to plant a header past Schmeichel.
As City pressed forward looking for an instant reply James had a shot blocked by Bakayoko.
In a sudden heavy shower, the last action of the half saw Schmeichel save a well-struck Moses effort.

1718 chelsea home b

Craig Shakespeare had a reshuffle at the break, bringing Gray and King on for Slimani and Albrighton, but City went two goals down five minutes into the second half.
Kante was given an acre of space to line up a 25 yard shot which Schmeichel saw late, and it crept beyond his reach into the bottom left hand corner.
City had a big job on now, and Chelsea were content to sit back and let them try to pick their way through with everyone behind the ball.
After much sideways passing to little effect City got a break on the hour when Courtois clumsily upended Vardy in the box.
Although it looked as though Mahrez wanted to claim the spot kick, before James dissuaded him, Vardy placed the ball and crashed it home.

1718 chelsea home d

With City pressing forward in search of an equaliser referee Lee Mason then angered the home crowd following a clash of heads between James and Willian, that looked like a foul on the City player. Not only did Mason proceed with a drop ball, but he told Vardy it couldn’t be contested, somewhat exceeding his juristiction.
Iheanacho then replaced James as City looked to strengthen their forward line.
Although Willian went close with a couple of efforts, City piled on the pressure with time running out.
Vardy was inches short of getting his head to a King cross, and the Chelsea defence dealt with crosses from Fuchs and Gray.

The final whistle heralded a third defeat in four games which, despite the toughness of the opening fixtures, was not a good start to the season.

Craig Shakespeare summed up:  “When we got back to 2-1 we just couldn’t find that final bit that was required to get something from the game and I just feel at the moment the big moments aren’t going our way.”

With City at the wrong end of the table, some big moments need to start going their way soon.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, James (Iheanacho 78), Albrighton (King 45), Slimani (Gray 45), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Hamer, Amartey, Ulloa.
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rüdiger, Moses (Zappacosta 74), Kanté, Bakayoko, Alonso, Pedro (Willian 63), Fàbregas (Hazard 78), Morata. Subs Not Used: Caballero, Drinkwater, Batshuayi, Christensen.
Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 30,923.


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Leicester coast to victory over Brighton

Leicester City 2:0 Brighton & Hove Albion

1718 brighton home c

City eased their way to victory against a toothless Brighton side, with goals from Okazaki and Maguire at the KPS on Saturday…

City, with an unchanged starting line-up from the Arsenal game, set the tone inside a minute, taking the lead against the Premier League new boys.
Mahrez shimmied round Seagulls left back Suttner as though he wasn’t there, and fired in a low shot which Ryan could only parry out to Okazaki, who gleefully netted from six yards.

1718 brighton home b

City should have gone 2-0 up after a defensive error saw Okazaki break through in the 16th minute, but his cut back to Vardy saw Duffy blocking two scuffed efforts from the England striker.
Okazaki then sent Vardy in on goal, but Ryan raced off his line to meet him, taking a blow to the face for his trouble.
Brighton had little to offer going forward, and although their first attack saw Murray volleying into the net, a linesman’s flag for offside halted the celebrations.
Brigthon’s other notable attempt on goal saw Morgan block a fierce shot, but penalty appeals were turned down.
City were happy to let Brighton have possession, but they couldn’t convert it into chances, and City threatened on the break.
Vardy delivered a cross from the right which Okazaki met at the near post, but he directed his effort just the wrong side of the upright.
The half ended with lengthy treatment for Duffy, after an aerial collision with Okazaki.

City continued to look comfortable in the second half and doubled their lead in the 54th minute. A Mahrez corner from the right saw Maguire rise at the far post to nod past Ryan. This capped a superb performance from City’s new centre-half, who had treated the home crowd to several surging runs out of defence, combined with incisive passing, making his £17m fee look like a bargain.

1718 brighton home d

Mahrez, who had also had a fine game, then looked set to wriggle and pirouette his way through a crowd of yellow shirts, before being halted by a strong challenge.
At this stage Knockaert was introduced to the action and received a huge ovation from the home crowd,  but he had little chance to impress, with City now in charge of the proceedings.

1718 brighton home a

Another surging run forward from Maguire saw him fouled on the edge of the area, but Albrighton’s free-kick was blocked by Knockaert.
The game then drifted towards its inevitable conclusion. Hemed forced a saved from the under-employed Schmeichel with a well struck 25 yarder, and then Okazaki was replaced by Slimani after putting in another huge shift.
The final spell of the game saw a couple of injury worries, with Morgan looking to have tweaked his troublesome back again, and Vardy limping off after a collision with Ryan.
The final whistle heralded City’s first win of the season, which was essential looking at the upcoming fixtures.
Craig Shakepeare was happy: “When you get a start like that it’s very pleasing. It was hard to break them down today but it was a professional performance to the end. It didn’t feel as comfortable as the stats suggest. We learned cruelly about game management last week, but to get the first win under the belt was the main thing.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, James, Ndidi, Albrighton, Okazaki (Slimani 75), Vardy (Gray 90). Subs Not Used: Chilwell, King, Hamer, Amartey, Ulloa.
Brighton: Ryan, Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner, March, Propper, Stephens, Murphy, Grob (Knockaert 62), Murray (Hemed 66). Subs Not Used: Bong, Hunemeier, Skalak, Maenpaa, Rosenior.

Referee: L Probert. Attendance: 31,902.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber


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Leicester lose out in opening night thriller

Arsenal 4:3 Leicester City

1718 arsenal away c

Despite twice taking the lead, City went home with nothing from a thrilling season curtain-raiser at the Emirates, suffering a late collapse and losing 4-3 to Arsenal…

The last City player to score a winner at Arsenal was Mike Stringfellow, in 1973, so this trip is always made more in hope than expectation.
With Huth, Iborra and Drinkwater ruled out through injury, and Iheanacho not quite up to match fitness, it was difficult to argue with Craig Shakespeare’s first starting line-up of the season. Maguire made his debut in defence, and James started his first game for City in over two years.
However, less than two minutes into the 2017-18 season City found themselves a goal down. Elneny curled a cross into the area, and an unmarked Lacazette had time and space to direct a header past Scmeichel from ten yards.
But City responded well and were level just three minutes later. Albrighton swung in a cross from the left, Maguire nodded it back across from the goalline and Okazaki leapt the highest to head past Cech from close in.
In a lively opening spell there were chances for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Vardy as play swept from end to end.
A good passing move from Arsenal then ended with Welbeck having a goalbound shot blocked by Maguire.
Arsenal had the upper hand by this stage and threatened again when Kolasinac fired in a shot which Schmeichel tipped away at the near post.
But it was City who took a 29th minute lead with a classic break. Albrighton hared down the left and delivered a cross into the goalmouth, which Vardy sidefooted home from four yards, having slipped between two defenders.

1718 arsenal away b

City pressed forward again, and this time it was Fuchs who delivered a good cross from the left, Okazaki going inches wide with his header.
Loud appeals for a penalty were turned down by referee Mike Dean who recognised that Kolasinac had been a yard away when he struck the ball at Ndidi’s arm.
But City didn’t make it to half time with their lead. After a scramble on the edge of the area Arsenal passed their way through City’s back line, but with the entire City defence appealing for offside, Kolasinac squared for Welbeck who steered the ball past Schmeichel from close range with seconds of the half remaining.

The second half started in more pedestrian fashion than the first, and City created the first real chance when a good ball forward from Mahrez saw Vardy outpacing two defenders, but Cech had timed his run well to come out and sweep up.
Vardy didn’t have long to wait for his second goal of the season, as City regained the lead in the 56th minute. Mahrez delivered a corner from the right and Vardy took advantage of slack marking to rise and direct a header in at the far post.

1718 arsenal away a

Arsenal began to press forward and Schmeichel blocked a long range effort from Oxlade-Chamberlain and then smothered an effort from Bellerin at his near post.
The pressure then increased when Arsene Wenger introduced  Ramsey and Giroud to the action. Ramsey immediatley went close with a header, under pressure from Fuchs.
Craig Shakespeare made his first change in the 72nd minute, bringing on Amartey for Okazaki, before Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain both sent shots narrowly wide of the left hand post.
City were fighting a rearguard action, which Shakespeare attempted to relieve by bringing on Iheanacho for James, to give City more presence up front. But it appeared to backfire with the home side equalising in the 83rd minute.
A blatant handball from Ozil wasn’t seen by the referee and from the resulting corner Ramsey was allowed too much space on the right and had time to line up a shot past Schmeichel to level the game.
Worse was to follow two minutes later when Arsenal went ahead, Giroud winning a battle with Maguire to head home from a corner.
It was a heart-breaker for City and their followers, and despite throwing everything forward in five minutes of time added on, they couldn’t find a way through.

The winless run away to Arsenal now stretches to 44 years, but there was plenty to be optimistic about with this performance.

Craig Shakerspeare commented:  “We spoke about being compact and being a threat with the pace of Vardy. We executed that well. We’re disappointed to score three and come away with a defeat.”

Arsenal: Cech, Holding (Giroud 67), Monreal, Kolasinac, Bellerín, Elneny (Ramsey 67), Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Welbeck (Walcott 75), Lacazette.
Subs Not Used: Ospina, Iwobi, Mustafi, Coquelin.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, James (Iheanacho 82), Ndidi, Albrighton (Gray 88), Okazaki (Amartey 72), Vardy.
Substitutes: Chilwell, King, Hamer, Slimani.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 59,387.

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Leicester confirm Harry Maguire signing

Leicester completed a five-year deal for Hull’s Harry Maguire this afternoon…

mcguire

The 24-year old defender has completed the deal for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £17m.
Although Hull were relegated from the Premier League, Maguire had an impressive season, with solid defensive stats and a willingness to go forward and have a crack at goal.
The Sheffield-born England under-21 international should be a vital addition to a City defence that had began to look stretched towards the end of the season.

Maguire, the first signing under Craig Shakespeare,  told LCFC TV: “There were a number of clubs interested, but when I met the manager here, he pretty much swayed it into the direction of this club.
He showed me the way that the club is going. It’s on the up and it looks very promising for the future, so credit to the gaffer.”

PHOTO: Simon Kimber.

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Craig Shakespeare takes the Leicester reins

Craig Shakespeare has been appointed as Leicester City manager…

cs new boss

Leicester City’s owners have elected to go down the tried and trusted route, awarding Shakespeare a three-year deal.
The 53 year old has been a constant factor in City’s success of recent years and is very popular with the players.
He won his first five games in charge last season, guided City from the fringes of the relegation battle to a mid-table finish, and also engineered the win over Seville that took the club into the Champions League quarter-finals.

While some fans think this shows a lack of ambition, most are delighted with the appointment, welcoming the continuity, and feeling that Shakespeare has earned the job.

Best of luck Craig.

PHOTO: Simon Kimber.

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