Honours even in spring sunshine

Leicester City 0-0 Chelsea

Report by Chris Griffin

Post match opinions differed. Mainstream media saw it as a gentle end of season stroll. Brendan Rodgers, on the other hand, called it “a very good game.” Both sides certainly had chances to score but a point apiece was the right result.

Before the game fans’ attention was on Alan Birchenall and his helpers. For the 39th year Birch was fund raising for charity at the final game of the season  –  this time for Vichai’s foundation. The efforts of Birch and his team drew warm applause around the stadium and in this season of the Chairman’s death served as a fitting reminder of the remarkable community that is Leicester City Football Club. The playing squad joined Birch for one lap and manager Rodgers also took part.

The game started with Jorginho fouling Vardy, the first of three first half fouls that eventually saw him yellow carded. Minutes later Jorginho played in Barkley whose fierce shot was turned aside by Schmeichel. Next Loftus-Cheek headed a Pedro cross over the bar and the early exchanges saw City on the back foot. However City came close in the tenth minute when Albrighton ran past Alonso but Choudhury volleyed the cross over the bar.

City retained possession across their back four but were finding it difficult to play the ball forward due to Chelsea’s high press. After one such occasion the excellent Loftus-Cheek seized on a loose ball and put Willian through but Schmeichel saved the shot smartly.

Around the twenty minute mark City started to look more comfortable. Choudhury lifted the crowd with his aggressive, ball-winning tackling. David Luiz was at full-stretch to cut out an Albrighton cross after good work by Pereira. Then Vardy put in Chilwell whose left foot shot was saved by Caballero.

A superb City move involving Evans, Chilwell and Maddison saw Vardy played through but he was just caught offside. A Maddison corner picked out Tielemans on the edge of the area but Caballero coped assuredly with the shot. At the other end Choudhury’s awareness was welcome when he took the ball from the overlapping Zappacosta in the City penalty area. Willian then played in Higuain who shot wide. Maguire blocked a Higuain shot and then thwarted a Chelsea break after Zappacosta had beaten Chilwell. At the other end Maddison delayed his shot by just a second following excellent play by Pereira and the chance was lost.

Just before half-time Vardy broke past the Chelsea back line. With the crowd expecting him to shoot he chose to play in Tielemans but overhit his pass and Caballero was able to snatch the ball. The best chance of the half was still to come. Willian and Alonso combined and set up Higuain in front of goal but he sent this gilt-edged chance past the post. 

The second half started with Azpilicueta left behind by a Vardy run. The Chelsea man did well to track back and block Vardy’s attempt. Loftus-Cheek’s clearance from the ensuing corner fell to Tielemans but his volley flew just wide of the goal. Chelsea replied with a good move but Alonso’s distance shot presented no danger. Barkley then attempted a shot that went just outside the post.

In the 57th minute another sweeping Leicester move involving Albrighton, Vardy and Tielemans led to a corner from which Ndidi won the header but the Chelsea defence cleared off the line. Maddison then reached the by-line but his excellent pull back was cleared.

In the 66th minute Rodgers replaced Ndidi with Okazaki for his last appearance in a Leicester shirt. The crowd gave a warm ovation to this stalwart of the title year. Chelsea withdrew Willian and put on Hazard – for what might turn out to be his last appearance in the premier league. Barkley then shot from outside the area but the City defence held firm blocking out the danger.

Danny Simpson, another mainstay of City’s title season, came on to a great reception replacing Mark Albrighton with Pereira pushing forward. Chelsea continued to probe with the dribbling of Hazard a constant threat. But City were still in the game. A lung-bursting run from Chilwell saw him cover just short of the length of the pitch to make the Chelsea bye line. Sadly his excellent cut back was met by a mass of Chelsea shirts.

Rodgers put Barnes on for Maddison and the young winger set up a chance for Tielemans but his shot went too high. Both sides maintained their efforts to the end but the game finished goalless.

So City finished ninth. In the ten games since Rodgers took over they have won five, drawn two and lost three. An average of 1.7 points a game which had City averaged that figure over the season would have harvested 64 points. “Ifs” count for nothing of course but fans will look forward to Rodgers ensuring better winning consistency at home to support the drive for an improved position. Many fans remained to show their appreciation of the players in what has been a distinctly draining season following Vichai’s death in October.

Rodgers was clearly taking the positives from the game and from his management of the team so far. "They want to learn. We beat Arsenal, played well against Manchester City and got a point today. People thought we would not get any points from the last three games. It's been a nice induction into the club – the players have been good and the supporters. We'll now add that bit of depth to the squad."

There are some encouraging statistics such as Ndidi making the most tackles in the league (143) and Maddison creating the most chances (100). The talk in the stands after the game and during half time was about recruitment and retention of playing personnel. One lesson from the game came in the danger constantly posed by the high quality wing skills of Willian and Pedro. If we are to seriously challenge for top six then that calibre of player is needed as well as a support striker for JV.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Albrighton, Ndidi, Choudhury, Tielemans, Maddison, Vardy. Subs: Simpson, Morgan, Gray, Iheanacho, Ward, Barnes, Okazaki.

Chelsea: Caballero, Zappacosta, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Alonso, Barkley, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Higuain, Willian. Subs: Arizzabalaga, Hazard, Kovacic, Giroud, Christensen, Emerson, Guehi.

Referee: Anthony Taylor               Attendance: 32140

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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Man City 1 Leicester City 0

Report by Colin Hall

Leicester City's season on the road during the 2018-19 Premier League season ended in the same fashion in which it began – with a narrow defeat at the hands of a Manchester club.

On this occasion, it was the blue half of the city that inflicted the damage, courtesy of a spectacular strike by home captain Vincent Kompany which may well have ensured that his team, Manchester City, successfully retain their title.

Visiting fans arriving at the Etihad encountered two pleasant surprises. First of all, the weather was dry, in welcome contrast to the incessant downpours that have regularly featured in our previous trips to this venue. Secondly, the club staff were busy handing out free T-shirts bearing the slogan “Together We Are One”.

I've lost count of the number of times our fans have been treated to gifts this season on our travels. Given the challenging circumstances we have faced during the course of this campaign, the club's continued generosity can only be commended.

To little surprise, Brendan Rodgers made no changes from the side that had beaten Arsenal so convincingly in the previous fixture. Meanwhile the hosts were missing the influential midfield duo of Fernandinho and De Bruyne, while their record signing – a certain Riyad Mahrez – was, as so often in recent weeks, left to languish on the bench. Although the former Fox has enhanced his medal collection during the course of the season, he has yet to become the match-winning force that his coach and club hoped he would be.

The game began in a predictably frenzied fashion, with the home side looking to seize the initiative and forcing the Foxes onto the back foot. However, Rodgers had prepared his side well and the visitors displayed considerable fortitude and resilience in resisting the onslaught that came their way.

Indeed, there was only one moment of genuine alarm during the opening half, when a rare lapse of concentration in the Leicester defence allowed Aguero a point-blank header from a Gundogan header. Kasper Schmeichel, though, was somehow able to paw the ball against the underside of the bar and referee Dean ruled, with the aid of technology, that the ball had not crossed the line, much to the relief of both the visiting contingent and those TV viewers eagerly anticipating a setback for the home side.

Despite conceding a string of corners, the Foxes held out until the interval, with Jonny Evans and Harry Maguire looking as solid a partnership as they had been all season. Meanwhile, as home frustrations grew, both Kompany and David Silva earned yellow cards for brutal challenges which may have merited more stringent action.

After the break, the champions continued to pile on the pressure, with Leicester being restricted to rare sporadic breaks. Sterling headed over when he should at least have found the target, before being denied by Hamza Choudhury and Ben Chilwell when looking set to break the deadlock.

Midway through the half, the entire stadium held its breath as Maguire went marauding well into opposition territory He managed to find James Maddison just outside the box, but the midfielder's effort flew just wide of the home goal.

As the tension and intensity rose even further, Aguero was sent clear on goal, only to see Schmeichel's legs divert his goalbound attempt.

The breakthrough was not long delayed, though, as seconds later Kompany burst into the visiting half and unleashed a fierce, swerving, long-range piledriver that gave Schmeichel no chance.

Could the defence or midfield have done more to close him down? Perhaps so, but neither they nor Schmeichel would have expected a central defender to strike a ball with such pace and precision.

During the remaining stages of the game, Rodgers deployed the full range of attacking options from the bench. This could – and perhaps should – have brought due reward with three minutes remaining, when excellent work by Choudhury sent Kelechi Iheanacho through on goal. Sadly, though, the substitute, without a goal since last September, failed to get his bearings right and sent the ball well wide of the target.

Although the former Manchester City frontman has undoubted potential, as his international record indicates, this incident is the latest in a series that suggests that this potential is unlikely to be realised at the King Power Stadium. As with Mahrez, the expectations generated by a hefty price tag have had adverse effect on form and confidence.

Iheanacho's evening went from bad to worse when he was booked in stoppage time following the most theatrical of falls from home sub Jesus. The referee then added further insult by allowing the free-kick to be taken a full 20 yards from its correct position – in stark contrast to his stance previously when he insisted on Leicester free-kicks being taken from the exact blade of grass where the foul had occurred.

The hosts saw out the remaining moments in some comfort and their fans gave a predictably rapturous welcome to the final whistle. Meanwhile, the Foxes, as so often on our trips to the bigger clubs this season, were left to reflect what could have been.

This defeat finally extinguished the faint hopes we had of Europa League qualification, but, in truth, our general standard of performance has not really been high enough to earn that honour. The side is still a work in progress and much will depend on whether Rodgers is able to keep it together during the next transfer window.

At the end of one of the most momentous weeks the Premier League has enjoyed for some time, it remains to be seen whether the Foxes can conclude the season on a high note by seeing off Chelsea in our final fixture.

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Kompany (c), Laporte, Zinchenko; Gundogan, D. Silva (Stones 90 + 1), Foden (Sane 56); B. Silva, Aguero (Jesus 87), Sterling. Subs not used: Muric, Danilo, Otamendi, Mahrez,

Scorer: Kompany (70)

Booked: Kompany, D. Silva, Jesus. 

Leicester City (4-5-1): Schmeichel (c); Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell; Albrighton (Gray 85), Tielemans (Barnes 75), Ndidi, Choudhury, Maddison (Iheanacho 80); Vardy. Subs not used: Ward, Morgan, Fuchs, Mendy.

Booked: Maguire, Iheanacho. 

Referee: Mike Dean           Attendance: 54,506


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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And Finally… Chelsea

Chelsea – 12 May 2019 3pm 

Manager       Maurizio Sarri         Founded       1905 

Ground   Stamford Bridge          Address   Fulham Rd, London SW6 1HS  


Capacity      40,853         


1          Spain               GK        Kepa Arrizabalaga

2          Germany         DF        Antonio Rüdiger

3          Spain               DF        Marcos Alonso

5          Italy                 MF       Jorginho

6          England           MF       Danny Drinkwater

7          France             MF       N'Golo Kanté

8          England           MF       Ross Barkley

9          Argentina        FW       Gonzalo Higuaín (on loan from Juventus)

10        Belgium           FW       Eden Hazard

11        Spain               FW       Pedro

12        England           MF       Ruben Loftus-Cheek

13        Argentina        GK        Willy Caballero

17        Croatia             MF       Mateo Kovačić (on loan from Real Madrid)

18        France             FW       Olivier Giroud

20        England           FW       Callum Hudson-Odoi

21        Italy                 DF        Davide Zappacosta

22        Brazil               FW       Willian

24        England           DF        Gary Cahill (Captain)

27        Denmark         DF        Andreas Christensen

28        Spain               DF        César Azpilicueta

30        Brazil               DF        David Luiz

31        England           GK        Robert Green

33        Italy                 DF        Emerson

44        Wales              DF        Ethan Ampadu

        Netherlands    MF       Marco van Ginkel 

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: www.chelseafc.com 

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Are you a football fan who regularly attends matches or watches the game on TV?

Would you be willing to take part in a survey on the importance and role of alcohol for football fans in Scotland and England?

Researchers from the universities of Stirling, Loughborough and Edinburgh are running a research project on this issue.

The survey will ask fans some questions about their views and experiences of alcohol consumption and on current regulations on alcohol in and around football.

Once you complete the survey, you will be given the option to be entered into a prize draw for £50 worth of High Street vouchers

This project has been ethically approved through the University of Stirling General University Ethics Panel

If you are interested in taking part in the survey, please click the following link

Understanding the role of alcohol consumption in football cultures (Alcohol FC)

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Next Up Man City

Next Up Man City – Monday 6 May 2019 8pm

Manager        Pep Guardiola

Founded       1880            Ground         City of Manchester Stadium

Address       Etihad Campus M11 3FF

Capacity        55,017  


1        Chile            GK     Claudio Bravo

2        England       DF     Kyle Walker

3        Brazil           DF     Danilo

4        Belgium       DF     Vincent Kompany (Captain)

5        England       DF     John Stones

7        England       FW     Raheem Sterling

8        Germany     MF     İlkay Gündoğan

10      Argentina    FW     Sergio Agüero

14      France         DF     Aymeric Laporte

15      France         DF     Eliaquim Mangala

17      Belgium       MF     Kevin De Bruyne

18      England       MF     Fabian Delph

19      Germany     MF     Leroy Sané

20      Portugal       MF     Bernardo Silva

21      Spain           MF     David Silva

22      France         DF     Benjamin Mendy

25      Brazil           MF     Fernandinho

26      Algeria         MF     Riyad Mahrez

30      Argentina    DF     Nicolás Otamendi

31      Brazil           GK     Ederson

32      England       GK     Daniel Grimshaw

33      Brazil           FW     Gabriel Jesus

34      Netherlands DF     Philippe Sandler

35      Ukraine        MF     Oleksandr Zinchenko

47      England       MF     Phil Foden

49      Kosovo        GK     Arijanet Muric

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: http://www.mcfc.co.uk/

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