Leicester City 0:0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
A poor opening day spectacle at the King Power saw a VAR decision ruling out a Wolves goal to produce a 0-0 scoreline…
Brendan Rodgers handed Pérez his debut, Söyüncü took Maguire’s place in the back line and both Ndidi and Choudhury were employed in midfield.
Before the game a Union FS tifo celebrated 100 years since the club was restructured after World War One and renamed ‘City’.
A first half of few incidents unfolded, with Wolves set up to defend and attack on the break.
The first chance came in the 2nd minute but Dendoncker shot from the edge of the area flew high and wide.
City pressed forward but were met by a wall of old gold and Choudhury and Tielemans both had shots blocked.
City were confined to trying their luck from the edge of the area and Chilwell, Ricardo and Ndidi all failed to hit the target.
In the 35th minute Doherty delivered a free-kick into the goalmouth and the ball fell for Bennett in front of goal, but Evans managed to prod the ball away before he could react.
City’s best moment of the half came in the 37th minute when they passed their way around the Wolves area, before Tielemans delivered a hard and low cross but Vardy’s attempted flick from two yards out was too elaborate when any touch would have seen a goal.
Wolves then broke upfield and Jota was in a great position when he fell over, presenting the ball to Söyüncü.
The half time whistle drew a veil over a forgettable half.
After the break Wolves came racing out of the traps and enjoyed a spell of pressure.
Jiménez bore down on goal and forced a save from Schmeichel, and then Bennett sent a header wide from a corner.
This spell of pressure appeared to have ended with a goal in the 51st minute. Dendoncker got his head to a corner and it brushed Boly’s arm. Dendoncker fired the loose ball home and the away corner erupted.
But this is 2019-20, and 98 seconds later it was the home fans celebrating as the scoreboard flashed up ‘NO GOAL’ and referee Andre Marriner signalled a free kick.
A combination of the poor new handball law and VAR’s all-seeing eye had left Wolves feeling robbed.
Jota had a chance to put Wolves ahead a couple of minutes later when he went clear down the right, but he pulled his shot 10 yards wide of the left hand post.
Maddison then had a shot blocked as City continued to struggle to get past Wolves well drilled defence.
Rodgers made his first change in the 61st minute, bringing on Barnes for Choudhury.
City upped the pressure and won a series of six corners, but Maddison failed to deliver a decent one and Wolves easily soaked up the pressure.
Albrighton replaced Pérez in the 76th minute, but still City couldn’t find a way through.
Tielemans picked out Barnes for a swerving 30 yarder, but Patrício gathered it just inside the post.
Barnes then charged into the area and exchanged passes with Vardy before delivering a low cross which Boly did well to block.
Maddison sent a shot wide and Evans’ attempted overhead kick from close in didn’t work out. Albrighton had a shot blocked late on, but this game had long looked like a 0-0 draw.
It was an underwhelming performance from City in the face of high expectation, but Wolves are a very good side and their Europa League games appeared to have put them more in their stride than City.
Maddison, Tielemans and Vardy all looked a little rusty, though the fine performance of Söyüncü made the decision not to spend large on a Maguire replacement look like a wise one. Brendan Rodger revealed that he earned a round of applause from his team mates.
Inevitably the main talking point was the VAR decision, which may have left some Wolves fans thinking they might never celebrate a goal quite as enthusiastically again. Which would be a great loss to the game.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Ndidi, Pérez (Albrighton 76), Tielemans, Choudhury (Barnes 61), Maddison, Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho, Praet.
Wolves: Rui Patrício, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves (Saïss 81), João Moutinho, Castro Otto, Jiménez, Jota (Cutrone 76).
Substitutes: Lomba Neto, Gibbs-White, Ruddy, Vinagre, Traoré.
Referee: Andre Marriner. Attendance: 32,015.
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