Tag Archives: jamie vardy

Blades blunted as Leicester reach the quarter-finals

Leicester City 1:0 Sheffield United

1718 sheff u home b

A Jamie Vardy header in the 66th minute ended Sheffield United’s resistance at the King Power Stadium on Friday night, as City progressed to the FA Cup quarter-final stage…

Claude Puel sent out something close to a full-strength side for this tie, with Morgan restored to the heart of the defence after an eight game absence.
Riyad Mahrez’s first home appearance since he went AWOL saw mostly cheers, with the odd bit of booing.
United looked well-drilled at the back and let City have plenty of early possession, but there were few chances created.
Vardy had a shot blocked and Gray sent an effort well high and wide, before the first proper chance came in the 16th minute. Gray went on a good run down the middle before slipping a ball left to Vardy, who sent a low shot a foot wide of the far post.
Chilwell then cut in from the left and set up Ndidi for a long range shot that was too close to Blackman to trouble him.
United came more into the game and had a chance of their own. A cross from the right was headed out by Simpson, but deflected off Maguire and sat up nicely for Stevens to shoot from 8 yards out, but Maguire managed to throw himself in the way and block the effort brilliantly.

1718 sheff u home d

At the other end Mahrez prodded a ball through for Vardy to run onto but the impressive Blackman swiftly narrowed to angled to save.
Half-time arrived without City finding a way through United’s defence, and the Blades only chance had been the closest call.

The low-key end to the first half continued after the break, with United enjoying more possession,  but little going on at either end. A neat turn from Gray sent Mahrez in but his shot was blocked.

1718 sheff u home c

But City eventually found a way through in the 66th minute and it was Mahrez who created the chance out of virtually nothing with the pass of the game.
Faced with two defenders down the right he checked back, had a look up, and spotted Vardy, lurking with intent at the far post. He delivered a perfect ball for Vardy to send a looping header over Blackman and into the net.

1718 sheff u home a

Gray went close with a low shot, but Blackman got a touch to send it round the post, before Baldock’s low side-footed shot saw Schmeichel get down smartly to save.
Moments later a Chilwell cross was nodded back by Mahrez for Vardy to net, but the celebrations were halted by an offside flag.
In the 84th minute Claude Puel brought Albrighton on for Vardy, looking to close the game out, and there were no moments of drama in the final stages.

City had reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012, and were 90 minutes away from a Wembley appearance.

Puel commented on the architect of City’s goal:  “The most important thing in the game was the fans supported Riyad, and when I replaced him it was a good feeling with the fans. It’s important to stay united about this. The situation is behind us, it’s important to look forward. Now we have two home games in the Premier League and it’s important to get the support of the fans.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Gray, Iborra, Ndidi, Mahrez (James 90), Iheanacho, Vardy (Albrighton 84).
Substitutes: Hamer, Silva, Dragovic, Fuchs, Diabaté.
Sheff Utd: Blackman, Basham, Wright (Evans 76), O’Connell, Baldock, Carruthers (Duffy 76), Lundstram, Lafferty, Stevens, Donaldson, Wilson (Brooks 45)
Substitutes: Sharp, Stearman, Heneghan, Eastwood.

Referee: L Mason. Attendance: 28,336.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester collapse at the Etihad as Agüero nets four

Manchester City 5:1 Leicester City

1718 man city away

A decent first half showing was followed by a second half collapse as Manchester City thrashed Leicester 5-1 at the Etihad on Saturday evening…

Claude Puel made two changes to his side, with Iheanacho and Simpson making way for James and Chilwell, and a three man defence being used initially.
Mahrez, having returned to the fold after a 10 day absence, had a place on the bench.
But Leicester found themselves a goal down after just two minutes.
De Bruyne, on the right, curved a perfect cross in behind Leicester’s defence and Sterling nipped ahead of Albrighton to net at the far post.
Leicester weathered a storm of City attacking play for 20 minutes after that, before striking back with a 24th minute equaliser. A wayward pass from Otamendi set up Vardy, who raced towards the penalty area and fired a low shot that that a slight deflection off Laporte and evaded Ederson.
City kept up their barrage and Schmeichel had a busy few minutes, fielding an effort from Gundogan and saving shots from Silva and Fernandinho.
De Bruyne got in on the left twice but had one shot blocked by Dragovic and the next saved by Schmeichel at the near post. Sterling then lost the use of his legs in the area but was ignored by referee Mike Jones.
De Bruyne then thumped a 35 yard free-kick into Schmeichel’s chest.
Five minutes before the break Sterling went clear on goal and rounded Schmeichel but Dragovic slid in to block his shot with a timely interception.
Despite the one-way traffic, Leicester went in level at the break having rallied after the worst possible start.

Sadly their resistance didn’t last, with Simpson on for Silva and four at the back, the visitors conceded another early goal.
De Bruyne, out on the left, threaded another superb pass between defenders and keeper and Aguero tapped it home at the far post.
Five minutes later the contest was over, when de Bruyne’s third assist sent Aguero in on goal, his shot squirming between Schmeichel’s arm and body.
The City pressure was relentless now and Claude Puel made a double change, replacing Chilwell and Diabate with Iheanacho and Mahrez. Both subs were cheered by both sets of fans.
Although the Leicester defence were still hard pressed Mahrez managed one decent run that was halted by Gundogan, who was yellow carded for a crude challenge. Albrighton’s free-kick was over-hit and a brief spell of respite was gone.
Aguero completed his hat-trick in the 77th minute, when the latest in a series of poor kicks by Schmeichel went straight to Aguero on the edge of the area, and he chipped it over the embarrassed keeper.
The rout was completed in the 90th minute when Aguero stuck home his fourth, an incredible dipping strike that went over Schmeichel’s head and in off the underside of the bar.

Claude Puel summed up: “We had some luck to come back in the game after their first goal, we conceded the goals in a bad time just at the beginning of both halves. They killed the game with the second and took confidence, and then it’s difficult to resist against a team like this. They press, they play between the lines. It’s difficult to start and have a certain position against them – but it’s a lot of goals conceded, which is a shame.”

Although it is difficult to gauge a performance against such a magnificent Manchester City side, the second half display was disappointing and Puel needs to get Leicester’s season back on track.

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi (Stones 81), Laporte, Zinchenko (Danilo 65), De Bruyne, Fernandinho (Foden 80), Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, Agüero, Sterling. Substitutes: Bravo, Kompany, Nmecha, Diaz.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs, Albrighton, James, Ndidi, Adrien Silva (Simpson 45), Chilwell (Iheanacho 62), Diabaté (Mahrez 62), Vardy.
Substitutes: Gray, Jakupovic, IborraBenalouane.

Referee: 
M Jones. Attendance: 54,416.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Swansea hold Leicester to a frustrating draw

Leicester City 1:1 Swansea City

Leicester City v Swansea City - Premier League

A strong first half performance from City wasn’t enough to claim the points as Swansea took their chance for a 1-1 draw at the KPS on Saturday.

The talk in the media, the pubs and the stands before the game was all about Riyad Mahrez , who continued to be AWOL following his transfer deadline day disappointment.
Claude Puel made five changes to the side that lost at Everton, with Silva, Diabate, Fuchs, Simpson and Iheanacho brought into the starting XI.
Diabate soon made his mark, but it was on Clucas’s ankle in a clumsy challenge and the youngster was booked.
City dominated the early stages of the game, pressing hard on Swansea and forcing them into errors, and they broke through in the 17th minute. Some lovely footwork by Iheanacho saw him beat two defenders on the edge of the area, slipping the ball through for Vardy to slot past Fabianski for his 12th goal of the season.

Leicester City v Swansea City - Premier League

Three minutes later Swansea’s first meaningful attack of the game saw Sung-Yeung set up Dyer, but Ndidi nipped in with a fine tackle as he shaped to shoot.
Albrighton then shot from distance, but didn’t test Fabianski.
City cranked up the pressure and fine run down the left by Diabete saw him sting Fabinski’s palms with a shot. Iheanacho’s fierce follow-up shot then struck Mawson on the shoulder.
Moments later, Ndidi surged into the area and netted past Fabianski, but the ref consulted with the linesman before disallowing the goal for an offside much earlier in the move.
The 36th minute saw a long delay when Fer appeared to catch his studs in the turf and he had to be stretchered off with a serious looking injury.
Swansea had a little more possession towards the break, but still offered nothing up front and City’s 1-0 lead at half-time really should have been bigger.

Leicester City v Swansea City - Premier League

With the home crowd expecting to see City finish the job, they never really got started.
And Swansea equalised in the 53rd minute, with their only on-target effort of the game.
Sung-Yeung’s fine corner kick found Fernandez, who somehow found some space in a crowded area to nod home from 6 yards.
City’s miserable record of defending set-pieces continued.
Swansea were enjoying more possession at this stage,  but City went close on the break in the 63rd minute. Diabate fed Vardy down the right and then raced forward to get on the end of his cross, but his low shot went inches wide of the left hand post.
Claude Puel made two changes in the 68th minute, bringing Gray and James on for Silva and Iheanacho.
Gray soon had a chance from a Fuchs cross but sent an acrobatic effort way over the bar.
After a clash of heads with Bony, Maguire swiftly got to his feet and had a chance in the 76th minute. Albrighton’s cross found Maguire at the far post but his header under pressure found the side-netting.
Okazaki came on for Simpson in a more attacking line-up and City put the Swans under relentless pressure with a long series of corners and Fuchs long-throws into the box.

Leicester City v Swansea City - Premier League

But the Swansea defence stood firm and dealt with everything that was thrown at them.
The thought that we needed a special player with the skill to unlock a solid defence was hard to avoid.
Swansea managed to run the clock down and City had to make do with a point on a hugely frustrating afternoon.
Claude Puel was getting tired of questions about Riyad Mahrez: “Today it is just after the game and Riyad is not my pre-occupation. My pre-occupation is about my players who are available. We wanted to keep this positive attitude and continue this good work and keep the focus on the pitch and quality also.
It is a big frustration. I think first well done to this team because they defended very well. They had just one chance in the game and I think we played very well in the first half. We created a lot of chances. We created of chances with quality and good combinations, a good understanding. It was amazing but without the final the clinical edge.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Okazaki 80), Dragovic, Maguire, Fuchs, Diabaté, Ndidi, Silva (James 68), Albrighton, Iheanacho (Gray 68), Vardy.
Substitutes: Chilwell, Hamer, Iborra, Benalouane.
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Fer, (Carroll 36), Ki Sung-yueng, Clucas, Dyer (Bony 71), J Ayew (Routledge 90).
Substitutes: Abraham, Narsingh, Nordfeldt, Bartley.
Referee: A Taylor. Attendance: 31,179.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Win over Watford moves Leicester up to 7th place

Leicester City 2:0 Watford

1718 watford home c

Goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez earned a 2-0 win for City against Watford at the KPS on Saturday…

Claude Puel reverted to the line-up that started at Chelsea, with new signing Diabaté getting a place on the bench.
Before the kick-off there was a minute’s applause in honour of the recently departed Cyrille Regis, as well as City players Rodney Fern and Gordon Wills.

1718 watford home d

Watford pressed forward early on and gained a couple of corners, but the spell of pressure ended with a Carrillo shot that was way off target.
City should have gone ahead in the 6th minute, when a long ball forward from Okazaki saw Vardy bearing down on goal, but after he cut inside the defender his shot was too close to Hornet’s keeper Karnezis.
City had another chance a minute later, when Mahrez delivered a free-kick to the far post, and Maguire nodded it back for Ndidi in the six yard box, but his shot was blocked at point-blank range.
Doucoure sent a shot straight at Schmeichel, and then the City keeper ordered no wall for a 35 yard free-kick, but it was struck too tamely to trouble him.
Real chances were rare at this stage of the game, but Deeney had the ball in the net in the 36th minute. The offside flag halted the celebration, but it was a very tight decision.
Instead, it was City who took a 38th minute lead.
Vardy was racing across the penalty area when Wague brought him crashing down for an obvious penalty. His blast down the middle having been sussed out earlier in the season, Vardy placed this one nicely into the bottom right hand corner, sending Karnezis the wrong way.

1718 watford home a

Half-time saw no changes and City had a decent chance five minutes into the second half. Vardy raced down the left and picked out Okazaki in the middle, but his first time shot went straight at Karnezis.
Two minutes later Mahrez swung a corner over to the far post, but Ndidi headed it well wide, and then Vardy got a shove in the back when chasing a ball into the area, but didn’t go over.
City were well on top now and the Watford defence scrambled a Chilwell cross away with Vardy lurking at the far post.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 65th minute, bringing Gray on for Okazaki.
In the 70th minute there were loud appeals for a penalty when Doucouré appeared to trip Mahrez from behind in the area, but Lee Probert waved play-on.
Moments later Mahrez played Vardy through, but the flag was raised for offside as he struck the post. Another very tight decision.
City had a scare in the 75th minute when Gray bore down on goal and shot from close-in, but Maguire had raced back to block his shot. The big defender had been excellent all afternoon.

1718 watford home b

In the final ten minutes of the game City continued to press for a second goal, rather than protect the lead, but they struggled to find a way through.
Vardy came off for Silva in the 89th minute and he would claim an injury time assist as City put the seal on their victory.  Silva played Mahrez in down the left and he accelerated around his marker before producing a slide-rule finish that went across Karnezis and just inside the far post.

The three points, and Burnley’s defeat against Manchester United, saw City up to 7th place in the Premier League.

Claude Puel commented: “First half there was not enough quality for us with passes, the rhythm of game was not important. In the second half, with good play, good space, we played well. With scoring another goal, we needed to be more clinical, we had a lot of chances. Until the last goal it was difficult to play against this team, congratulations to them because it’s a tough game and a difficult team to play.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Dragovic, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi, James, Albrighton, Okazaki (Gray 65), Vardy (Silva 89).
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Hamer, Fuchs, Benalouane, Diabaté.
Watford: Karnezis, Janmaat (Okaka 81), Wagué (Prödl 61), Kabasele, Zeegelaar, Watson, Doucouré, Carrillo, Pereyra (Gray 60), Richarlison, Deeney. Substitutes: Mariappa, Sinclair, Capoue, Bachmann.

Referee: 
L Probert. Attendance: 31,891.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————

We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win. 

fs poster

The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.

The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)

You can pay online via Paypal HERE

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Iheanacho seals FA Cup win with historic VAR goal

Leicester City 2:0 Fleetwood Town

1718 fleetwood home c

Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice to ease Leicester past Fleetwood in the FA Cup Third Round replay on Tuesday night, his second strike making history as the first ‘VAR goal’ in English football…

Having been matched by Fleetwood ten days previously, Claude Puel fielded a slightly stronger side, with Iborra and Silva partnered in midfield, Mahrez made captain, and Vardy on the bench.
On a cold night, the KPS was just over half full, with the East Stand closed.
After an attacking spell for the League One side right from the kick-off, City then got a grip on the game and had a huge share of the possession. But they struggled to create chances against a deep-lying and dogged Fleetwood defence.
It was Fleetwood who looked more threatening on their occasional breaks upfield,  Hiwula went down in the area under a challenge from Amartey but appeals weren’t considered for VAR, and then McAleny sent a shot straight at Jakupovic.
Two minutes later McAleny forced a good save from Jakupovic as Fleetwood again caught City on the break.
City went close in the 33rd minute when Mahrez curled a 25 yard free-kick inches wide of the left hand post.
Benalouane then put in a heavy challenge on Hiwula near the technical area and was lucky only to see a yellow.
Another Fleetwood charge upfield then saw Dempsey firing off a shot that looked to be dipping under the bar before Jakupovic tipped it over.
But, two minutes before the break this tie finally offered up a goal.
A clever ball from Slimani sent Iheanacho through and his composed finish beat Neal to put City ahead with their first shot on target.

1718 fleetwood home d

There were no changes for either side for the second half and City should have doubled their lead after four minutes. Iheanacho teed up Slimani, but his first time effort skewed wide from close in.
Soon after this Slimani was substituted for Albrighton, and didn’t look too happy about it.
City had the ball in the net in the 63rd minute when Mahrez played Gray down the right and he cut back for Iheanacho to finish, but the ball had gone over the goal-line before Gray reached it. Although Jon Moss had his finger to his ear, VAR intervention was not necessary.
Another ‘earpiece moment’ followed when Iborra protested that he had been held back in the area while trying to reach an Albrighton free-kick, but again play continued without outside interference.
However, we finally saw VAR kick-in in the 77th minute.
Mahrez slipped a ball through to Iheanacho, who dinked the ball over Neal for a fine finish, but celebrations were halted by the linesman’s flag for offside.
It looked very close and we had a long delay while Jon Moss had a chat with the VAR.

1718 fleetwood home a

With the tension building, Moss eventually picked the ball up and headed for the halfway line – goal. The delayed celebrations felt a bit bizarre and we had witnessed a piece of football history. And perhaps another step towards robots taking over the world.

1718 fleetwood home b

Fleetwood were beaten now, and the remainder of the game saw City enjoying possession. Puel brought on Vardy and Okazaki for Iheanacho and Mahrez, but City couldn’t add to the scoreline.
Peterborough await in the 4th round, and hopefully a strong City line-up will be able to do the job at the time of asking.

Claude Puel was happy with Iheanacho’s performance: “Kelechi showed a good attitude, worked hard for his teammates and got between the lines. His first goal showed a lot of quality and the second was a fantastic move between him and Mahrez.”

Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs, Mahrez (Vardy 81), Silva, Iborra, Gray, Iheanacho (Okazaki 81), Slimani (Albrighton 56).
Substitutes: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Barnes.
Fleetwood: Neal, Jones, Pond, Bolger, Bell, Hunter, Glendon, Schwabl (Grant 72), Dempsey, McAleny (Burns 65), Hiwula-Mayifuila (Cole 65).
Substitutes: Coyle, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill.
Referee: J Moss. Attendance: 17,237.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

___________________________

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leicester outplayed by Fleetwood but scrape a replay

Fleetwood Town 0:0 Leicester City

1718 fleetwood away fac

City clung on to a place in the 4th round draw by the width of a post after a very poor performance at Fleetwood on Saturday afternoon…

Claude Puel made eight changes to his side for this FA Cup tie against League One opposition, with Jakupovic, Silva and Barnes making their full debuts. But the pre-match media focus on Jamie Vardy returning to his former club was snuffed out by injury.
This was a Leicester side that had never played together before, and it showed.
In a game illuminated by a low, blinding winter sun they never got into their stride.
The first chance to emerge from a frantic midfield scrap saw Gray delivering a free-kick to Slimani at the far post, but his unconvincing touch drifted wide.
There was a close call for City in the 9th minute when Dragovic played a ball back to Jakupovic without looking, sending the keeper scrambling to tip it round the post.
The ref awarded a corner, rather than a free-kick, but Bolger missed the target with his header.
Hunter then tried his luck from 25 yards, but his shot went straight at Jakupovic.
Fleetwood were forced into a change after a quarter of an hour, Pond replacing the injured Eastham, but this didn’t disrupt their rhythm and Hunter fired in another shot, which didn’t trouble the City keeper.
In the 22nd minute Gray raced down the left, but had his cross blocked. King met Gray’s flag-kick with a near post header, but sent it well over from 6 yards.
City were enjoying more possession now, but were being given no space or time by the home side and were restricted to a couple of chances: Gray having an angled shot deflected and Barnes slicing a volley high and wide.
There was a moment of dread when Silva stayed down after a challenge with Schwabl, but he recovered after treatment. The first half limped to a conclusion as the ref blew time on a poor spectacle.

The second half continued in much the same vein with more hectic midfield action, until Fleetwood went close in the 55th minute. Hunter raced down the left, leaving Amartey in his wake and getting round Dragovic before firing in a low cross which Benalouane chested narrowly past the left hand post.
Two minutes later Claude Puel made a double change with Barnes and Silva replaced by Albrighton and Okazaki, but even those two couldn’t improve matters.
Fleetwood were in charge now and forced a series of corners, Bolger heading wide when unmarked and Schwabl making good contact with an 18 yarder that went straight at  Jakupovic.
City’s next chance came in the 67th minute when Gray beat Coyle down the left and swung over a cross to the far post, but it had already gone out of play when Slimani put it into the side-netting.
King then sent a shot woefully wide when well-placed, before Puel brought Iheanacho on for Slimani.
Fleetwood pressed forward in the last ten minutes, winning a series of corners and free-kicks, as the home crowd increased the volume, but Bolger sent two more headers well off-target.
As the game entered time-added-on, Fleetwood went within inches of winning the tie.
Hunter’s low shot took a deflection off Benalouane and hit the foot of the right-hand post, before bouncing off Jakupovic and back onto the post where the keeper gathered it gratefully.

No one could have begrudged Fleetwood a late winner, but City lived to fight another day. The travelling fans were not impressed with what they had seen and there were boos at the final whistle.
Claude Puel commented: “I picked a team that can win the game, knowing the fitness levels of my players after four games in 10 days. I think there is no excuse about this. We have had a good team on the pitch but it was not enough from the play.” 

Fleetwood: Neal, Coyle, Bolger, Eastham (Pond 15), Bell, Glendon, Schwabl, Dempsey, Burns (McAleny 69), Cole, Hunter.
Substitutes: Hiwula-Mayifuila, Jones, Cairns, Biggins, Sowerby.
Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Chilwell, Adrien Silva (Okazaki 57), King, James, Gray, Slimani (Iheanacho 80), Barnes (Albrighton 57).
Substitutes: Hamer, Maguire, Ndidi, Choudhury.
Referee: S Hooper. Attendance: 5,001.

___________________________

We have a very limited number of these A4 sized ‘Premier League Champions’ prints left.
You can buy one online via Paypal HERE.
for £5.50 including postage.
When they’re gone, they’re gone.

champs print small

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Salah double overturns Leicester lead at Anfield

Liverpool 2:1 Leicester City

Liverpool v Leicester City, Premier League, 30 December 2017

Although Jamie Vardy put City ahead in the 3rd minute at Anfield on Saturday, two goals from Mohamed Salah ensured victory for Liverpool…

Claude Puel made four changes to the side that lost at Watford with Amartey, Fuchs, Iborra and Gray in for the injured Simpson, flu-victim Chilwell, King and Okazaki.
And they got off to a perfect start, taking a third minute lead. An aimless ball out of defence from Matip was seized on by Iborra and he played Mahrez in down the right. Mahrez squared for Vardy who nipped in ahead of Matip to net from six yards.

Liverpool v Leicester City, Premier League, 30 December 2017

After that bright start, City faced a red tide for most of the first half.
Liverpool were totally dominant and launched one attack after another.
Mané’s cut-back from the left set up Salah ten yards out, but he fired his shot wide of the left hand post.
A through ball from Milner then sent Salah racing down the left channel, but Maguire recovered brilliantly to slide in and block his shot.
Milner then bore down on goal but Schmeichel came out well to smother his effort.
As the pressure continued, Coutinho connected well with a 30 yard shot, but Schmeichel fielded it comfortably.
Firmino was the next to have a crack, from 18 yards, but Scmeichel got down to it well, Amartey almost playing Salah in after making contact with the rebound.
Salah then looked certain to score as he burst through on the right, but he lifted his attempted finish across the face of goal.
Liverpool had the ball in the net after 20 minutes, but Robertson’s cross for Mané found him in an offside position.

Liverpool v Leicester City, Premier League, 30 December 2017

There were appeals for a penalty when Amartey nudged Robertson as he shaped to cross from the byeline, but it would have been harsh.
Firmino then tested Schmeichel with another shot, before the pressure began to ease towards the break.
It had been a dogged defensive display from City who had done very well to survive the onslaught, and they took their lead in with them at half time.

The second half saw the Reds in complete control again, with City unable to retain possession and the equaliser arrived in the 52nd minute. A back-heel from Mané unlocked City’s defence and the irrepressible Salah side-stepped Amartey before firing a low shot past Schmeichel.

Liverpool v Leicester City, Premier League, 30 December 2017

it was all hands to the pump again for City, although a rare attack saw Vardy in on goal, only to be halted by the offside flag.
Coutinho stung Schmeichel’s palms with a fierce shot from inside the area, and then Salah lifted an effort onto the roof of the net.
Ndidi sent a low shot a foot wide of the right hand post, before Mané had another goal disallowed for offside.
City then had a decent attacking spell, before Claude Puel made his first changes, bringing Okazaki and Slimani on for Mahrez and Vardy.
But Liverpool breached City’s backline in the 76th minute and it was that man Salah again. 25 yards out, with his back to goal, the Egyptian rolled round Maguire before advancing on goal and sending a low left-footer just inside the right hand post.
Only now did City get some attacking moves going against a suspect Liverpool defence, and Maguire sent a low ball across the goalmouth but no one was on hand to finish.
2017 had ended with a run of one point from four games.

Claude Puel summed up: “We tried to defend higher up the pitch and play but sometimes in the first half we lost the ball too quickly. It was good when we kept good possession and found space between the lines but we had some rubbish in our play and game without the possibility to keep the ball high up the pitch.”

Liverpool: Karius, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Robertson, Coutinho (Klavan 89), Can, Milner, Salah (Wijnaldum 83), Firmino, Mané (Oxlade-Chamberlain 72).
Substitutes: Lallana, Mignolet, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez (Okazaki 73), Ndidi, Iborra, Albrighton (James 83), Gray, Vardy (Slimani 74).
Substitutes:Hamer, Musa, Dragovic, Thomas.
Referee: N Swarbrick. Attendance: 53,226.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized