LEICESTER CITY 1 CHELSEA 2 (after extra time)

Match Report by Paul Weston

It is still fresh in my mind since Sunday. Kasper Schmeichel went rashly for a standard Kante cross, punched thin air and substitute Pedro (one of the smallest men on the pitch) headed into goal in extra time. The noisy crowd were stunned and City’s dream of FA Cup silverware disappeared for yet another year. Frustration and disappointment became worse when we learned that, if we had beaten Chelsea, then our opponents would have been Southampton in the semi-final. Ah well…

The omens before the match were good. Chelsea had had a tough match against Barcelona and City had a clear week of warm weather training to prepare for the match. It was a freezing night at the King Power and there was a lively atmosphere in the crowd.

Puel picked the same team which started the West Brom match, with Iheanacho supporting Vardy and Iborra in midfield. Chelsea picked a strong team, although Danny Drinkwater did not even have a place on the bench. I wonder whether he feels if his move to Chelsea has been a success so far?

After a bright start City started to drop back into their recent slow passing sideways and back mode which at times seems rather pointless and frustrates the crowd. One can see what Puel is trying to achieve but has he got the right players to play his way?

Vardy, although looking sharp, was becoming isolated and we were not pressing as much as we could from the front. City were giving too much space to Moses and Alonso and, although Chelsea were also giving room to Chilwell and Simpson on the flanks, they frequently failed to deliver decent crosses. When they did there often was one attacker surrounded by three defenders.

However, City had a great chance to score late in the first half when Iheanacho broke forward with Mahrez in support. His pass was abysmal to Mahrez who had to double back and then, when surrounded by three Chelsea players, lost the ball which was played quickly to Willian. Both Chilwell and N’Didi then had the chance to either tackle or foul Willian to stop the move. Neither happened and the ball was passed to Morata who took his chance really well so, instead of winning 1-0, City were 1-0 down going into the half time interval.

City upped the pace and pressed more in the second half although I would have liked to see Okazaki on earlier rather than 30 minutes from the end. His endeavour immediately had an effect, replacing Iheanacho who had faded in the first half. Vardy had a great heading chance which he got completely wrong.

However, as time ticked by, Mahrez was fed the ball by Ndidi and he dribbled his way to the by line and crossed. Both Vardy and Iborra (twice) had shots blocked before Vardy slammed the ball in. 1-1 and game on! Diabate was also brought on later than I would have liked. His drive and creativity forward were just what we needed.

The match then went into extra time and possible penalties. It felt like the momentum was with City but I was dreading penalties- never our strong point! City were on the front foot but gaps were starting to appear at both ends. And then the Pedro goal happened from nowhere and City were 2-1 down.

Chelsea then unashamedly wasted time afterwards at every opportunity. The referee pointed to his watch to show that he was aware of the time wasting (or perhaps he was showing us that he had a nice watch!). We thought that he was adding on time for time wasting. How wrong we were! One minute only additional time was added to the boos of an incredulous crowd and City players alike. It should have been 5-6 minutes at least and cut short the end of the match as City pressed forward for an equaliser.

It was a frustrating end to a close match which was decided by two City errors and not Chelsea’s superior play. On reflection there were both positives and negatives to take from the match.

Vardy looked sharp but often was left unsupported; Iheanacho cannot fulfil the Okazaki role; Albrighton worked his socks off, often covering for Chilwell’s errors in defence; Simpson tried manfully but he does not look capable of being an attaching full back; Mahrez is better cutting in from the wing rather than feeding the ball to Simpson; N’Didi won so many tackles but cannot play a really creative pass; Iborra seemed to fade in the match after starting well; Morgan and Maguire looked strong in the middle but both were caught out by Morata.

Schmeichel has often been a saviour for City but he has had only an average season. Worryingly, his flaws at crosses, freekicks, corners, which are well known, have not been eradicated. His distribution, which used to be a strength, has deteriorated so that we frequently immediately hand possession to the opposition. The lack of pressure on Schmeichel from a high quality understudy goalkeeper must be addressed by Puel as well as both full back positions.

The next challenge for City is to regain momentum after the international break and secure 7th spot in the league and Europe could beckon again. It is important that this season does not fade away after this FA Cup disappointment.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan (c), Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Iborra, Mahrez, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Vardy. Subs: Hamer, Fuchs, Dragović, Silva, Gray, Okazaki, Diabaté.

Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta (c), Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard. Subs: Eduardo, Cahill, Zappacosta, Emerson, Fabregas, Pedro, Giroud.

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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View from the opposition – Chelsea

View from the opposition – Chelsea

A bit about you:

Name: Shaun Deacon

Current home town:  Leicester

Birthplace: London

How long have you supported your team?  Since 1970

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground:  Peter Osgood statue outside the ground

Favourite match played by your team & why:  Champions League Final against Bayern- of course!

Favourite player of all time who played for your club:  Peter Osgood

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why  

(Dave) César Azpilicueta – we’ve had a mixed season, but he always gives 100% and is committed to the cause.

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? Eden Hazard – If he’s on it he’s very hard to stop

Player in our squad you most fear and why?  Vardy – scoring regularly again

Up and coming prospect in your squad?  Chaly Musonda – very skillful!

How do you think you’ll do against us?  I think it will be 3-1 to us

Who do you think will win the FA Cup? Chelsea

General Questions:

Where do you think you'll finish this season? I’m hoping we squeeze in to fourth

What did you think of your summer and winter transfer activity?

We did our business too late and it looked a bit panicky.

Which three teams do you think will be relegated? West Brom, Huddersfield & Palace

Who do you think will win the league? That’s an easy one, Man City.

How do you think you will bounce back from the Barca defeat?  Hopefully this will be a good opportunity to get the Champions League knockout out of our system. If we don’t win today it could end up being a very disappointing season.

Next Up – Chelsea

Next Up – Chelsea – 18 March 2018 – 4.30pm 

Manager       Antonio Conte         Founded       1905 

Ground   Stamford Bridge          Address   Fulham Rd, London SW6 1HS   

Capacity      41,631           


1          Argentina        GK        Willy Caballero

2          Germany         DF        Antonio Rüdiger

3          Spain               DF        Marcos Alonso

4          Spain               MF       Cesc Fàbregas

6          England           MF       Danny Drinkwater

7          France             MF       N'Golo Kanté

8          England           MF       Ross Barkley

9          Spain               FW       Álvaro Morata

10        Belgium           MF       Eden Hazard

11        Spain               FW       Pedro

13        Belgium           GK        Thibaut Courtois

14        France             MF       Tiémoué Bakayoko

15        Nigeria            MF       Victor Moses

18        France             FW       Olivier Giroud

21        Italy                 DF        Davide Zappacosta

22        Brazil               MF       Willian

24        England           DF        Gary Cahill (captain)

27        Denmark         DF        Andreas Christensen

28        Spain               DF        César Azpilicueta

30        Brazil               DF        David Luiz

33        Italy                 DF        Emerson

36        United States   MF       Kyle Scott

37        Portugal          GK        Eduardo

44        Wales              MF       Ethan Ampadu

50        England           DF        Trevoh Chalobah

66        England           DF        Dujon Sterling

70        England           FW       Callum Hudson-Odoi 

We have tried our best to ensure factual accuracy at the date of going to press – apologies in advance for any errors or out of date information.  

For the very latest updates please follow the link below to the club web site: 

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A return to form or another false dawn?

West Brom 1 Leicester 4

Report by Kate Thompson

I remember hearing a Leicester supporter on Radio 5 live many years ago, saying that all Leicester supporters had their optimism gene surgically removed at birth!  He wasn’t altogether wrong and supporting this team for so many years makes you wary of looking too far forward. 

I went to this game fearing the worst and this was not dissipated by the indifferent start.  Claude Puel made five changes, two of which I was unconvinced by.  Ben Chilwell is great going forward but surely his first job is as a left back and I’m afraid he was at fault for West Brom’s goal.  In my opinion, Fuchs is a safer bet. 

Gray is undoubtedly talented but he needs to learn that it is a team game and the best option is rarely to have a shot himself unless he is confident that he can score. Simpson was no surprise, likewise Okazaki, and I was pleased to see Iborra come back into the team.  However, I was also pleased last week that Silva played, but sadly he had an indifferent game and was not even in the squad for this game.

When Rondon scored in the 7th minute my heart sank, but this time the outcome was very different.  Having said that, had Schmeichel not acrobatically tipped a goal-bound shot onto the bar before we equalised, we might not have seen what turned out to be a comfortable win. 

The equaliser, described as a thing of beauty, was probably one of the best goals Vardy has scored; Mahrez put a peach of a long pass over his shoulder and without looking at the goal Vardy scored – with his left foot! – into the bottom right-hand corner. 

Like most Leicester fans I imagine, I needed to watch it later on television to appreciate what a remarkable goal it was.  On ‘Match of the day’ on Saturday evening Frank Lampard was eulogising about it and said it was one of the best goals he had ever seen.  And it was scored by little old Leicester!

We managed to go in at half-time without conceding but the second half was totally different.  In the 62nd minute Iheanacho put a delightful pass through to Mahrez who dinked the ball over Foster in the West Brom goal to put us in front. 

The West Brom players’ heads went down although I thought they tried to the end, and it was no surprise when Iheanacho scored himself in the 76th minute.  The rout was completed by Iborra scoring in added time. 

It was interesting that the last two goals were headers and it was refreshing to have two tall players who could make the most of the numerous crosses, especially from Albrighton (on as sub for Gray in the 67th minute).

OK, West Brom looked a beaten side long before the end, but how many times have we seen teams in a similar situation frustrate the Leicester players?  Most of them came out of the game with credit, although Okazaki had a disappointing return and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Iheanacho in the 60th minute.

The final substitution was Diabete for Mahrez in the 88th minute, perhaps because the latter had picked up a yellow card (as had Vardy and Ndidi).  My hope is that this display will give them confidence to win against our nemesis Chelsea next Sunday and progress to the semi final of the FA Cup.

Leicester:  Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan (c), Maguire, Chilwell, Iborra, Ndidi, Mahrez, Gray, Okazaki, Vardy. Subs: Jakupović, Dragović, Fuchs, James, Diabaté, Albrighton, Iheanacho

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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View from the Baggies

View from the Baggies

Name: Helen Allport

Current home town:  Great Wyrley    Birthplace: Walsall

How long have you supported your team?  As long as I can remember!

Overview of your club:Favourite thing about your home ground: The seat next to me which is kept free in memory of my dear friend and legend Les James aged 91. His scarf and cap are on his seat every game.

Favourite match played by your team & why:  Still the great escape of 2005! Because we never believed it could happen we just hope it will happen again this season.

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: Super Bob Taylor he was so swift on the ball

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why? Craig Dawson. He is all over the pitch so versatile. Works so hard.

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? Unfortunately our squad are poor this season as we see from results.  We don't have anyone who is consistent which is our problem.

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Got to be the Vardy monster ! Hope he has an off day!

Up and coming prospect in your squad? Sam Field a home grown young talent has done well when he's played. 

How do you think you do against us? We have to win no question about it. With no goal scorers it is so hard. 

General Questions:

Where do you think you will finish this season? Hopefully we stay up to fight another season in the premier league but can't see it to be honest.  So disappointing.

What did you think to your transfer activity over the season? Absolutely awful. No good signings and as far as sturridge is concerned he's played one game and 3 mins for his £120k per week! 

Which three teams do you think will be relegated? I got this right last season !!!!! so stoke  (hopefully) palace as I can't stand that ground and Southampton.

Who do you think will win the league? The real team of Manchester. …..City

Any other comments? Well done Matt Davis on keeping this view feature going.