Leicester City 2:0 Sheffield United
City bounced back from the disaster at Bournemouth with a fine 2-0 win against Sheffield United at the King Power Stadium on Thursday evening.
Brendan Rodgers’ squad is being stretched thin with Maddison, Chilwell and Fuchs out for the rest of the season and Söyüncü suspended. He made four changes to his side bringing Morgan, Bennett and Barnes in and handing 19-year old Luke Thomas his debut.
United carved out an early chance as City’s new defence got bedded in, Justin just managing to get a foot in to block a McGoldrick shot. But after that City applied a concerted spell of pressure.
Tielemans had a shot deflected and Thomas delivered a fine cross for Pérez, who nodded over from a good position. Justin then crossed from the right and Vardy’s first shot was smothered by Basham, his second from the rebound was fended away by Henderson’s out-stretched leg.
With City moving the ball around well Thomas cut a ball back for Evans who swung over a cross that Pérez caught on the volley at the far post. Henderson again came to the Blades rescue, blocking that shot and Tielemans’ follow up.
City kept up their attacking momentum after the drinks break and took a 28th minute lead. Thomas squared a ball to Pérez in the area, and he teed himself up for a precise shot into the bottom left hand corner.
There were few incidents up to the break, with Ndidi bossing the midfield, Tielemans looking back to his best and Thomas an assured presence on the left. The defence coped easily with everything the Blades had to offer up front.
United hadn’t looked like the side that beat Chelsea 3-0 and Chris Wilder brought on three subs for the second half. But City remained in control and went close in the 51st minute. An excellent through ball from Tielemans sent Vardy down the left channel but, under pressure from Egan, his shot skimmed the outside of the left upright.
After this Vardy turned provider, first playing a ball into Barnes’ path, though a subtle push in the back from O’Connell saw him off-balance when he shot straight at Henderson.
In the 61st minute Vardy set up Barnes again having drawn two defenders to him, but his first time effort was placed too close to Henderson.
There was a concern that City might pay for not taking their chances, and United went close in the 63rd minute. From a corner Egan nodded the ball down at the far post and it deflected off Lundstram’s thigh, forcing a fine reaction save from Schmeichel.
Nothing came of a series of United corners and the drinks break saw City preserving their narrow lead. Choudhury replaced Pérez for what now appears to be called the final quarter.
City were having less possession at this stage and Rodgers brought Gray on for Barnes. After three minutes on the pitch he sealed the win.
A fine ball forward from Evans sent Vardy down the left. He cut in and picked out Gray in the area, who cut a precise low shot across Henderson and into the net.
United looked beaten now and City managed the the last ten minutes well.
It had been a fine performance that had seen City assured of a Europa League place at least. More importantly a Champions League place is still on if they can achieve this level of performance in the final two games.
Another big positive was the outstanding performance of Syston”s own Luke Thomas, who didn’t look out of place at this level and could provide an instant replacement if Chilwell’s future lies elsewhere.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Bennett, Morgan, Evans, Justin, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas, Pérez (Choudhury 71), Vardy, Barnes (Gray 76).
Substitutes: Ward, Iheanacho, James, Mendy, Praet, Johnson, Hirst.
Sheff Utd: Henderson, Basham (Sharp 59), Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Berge (Lundstram 45), Norwood, Osborn (Fleck 45), Stevens, McBurnie, McGoldrick (Mousset 45).
Substitutes: Jagielka, Freeman, Robinson, Moore, Zivkovic.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
You can print and send the form below or pay online via Paypal.
FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.
FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.
FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.
Or print out and post this form, along with a cheque made out to ‘The Fox’.