FOXES SNATCH POINT IN RANIERI REUNION

Fulham 1 City 1

Match Report by Colin Hall

A 74th minute strike from James Maddison earned a draw for Leicester City during a rainswept evening on the banks of the Thames.

Although the result extended the Foxes' unbeaten run in all competitions to 7 games, this was far from an impressive performance by Claude Puel's side against Fulham, the Premier League's bottom club.

Indeed, the hosts had several chances, particularly during the closing stages, to have taken the game, and their spirited display frequently belied the gap of 11 places (and 13 points) that exists between the combatants in the current league table.

When the sides took the field, it came as no surprise to hear the name of the Fulham manager, a certain Claudio Ranieri, sung far with far more volume and gusto by the sizeable visiting contingent than that of the present incumbent.

The City side, showing several changes from the line-up that saw off Watford in the previous fixture, almost made a perfect start, when Maddison sent Kelechi Iheanacho clear on the home goal. However, the out-of-sorts striker, faced with several options, could only direct a weak effort straight at home keeper Rico.

Sadly, the miss set the tone for the rest of Iheanacho's game. Although he is a player of significant potential, there remains serious doubt as to whether that potential is ever likely to be realised at this club under the present regime.

The remainder of the opening half saw the hosts create more clear-cut scoring opportunities. Mitrovic outjumped the visiting defence to head wide from a corner, then Kasper Schmeichel was forced to turn away a fierce drive from Chambers.

But the breakthrough that Fulham had threatened finally arrived three minutes from the interval, as Kamara evaded an extravagant (and not entirely necessary) sliding challenge from Caglar Söyüncü before firing a shot which passed between Schmeichel's legs on its way to the net.

City fans hoped that Puel's half-time team talk would rouse the side into a response. Instead, though, whatever rhythm or cohesion the team possessed earlier in the game seemed to disappear completely, with simple passes going astray and Schmeichel's distribution – never his strongest point – becoming ever more erratic.

A more confident side than Fulham might have pressed home their evident superiority, but fortunately for the Foxes, the home side were unable to exploit such evident disarray, though sub Cairney sent a long-range shot inches wide with the City keeper stranded.

Puel, perhaps pushed into making changes earlier than he otherwise may have done, saw them produce the desired impact almost immediately, when Shinji Okazaki, only two minutes after being introduced for Danny Simpson, crossed for Maddison to net from close range.

To their managers' credit, both teams pressed strongly for a winner in the final 15 minutes. City created their share of the chances, with Vicente Iborra heading wide, while Maddison and Demarai Gray were denied by Rico in rapid succession.

Yet it was the hosts who nearly had the last word, when, with virtually the match's final kick, Odoi beat an ill-judged offside trap only to blaze wastefully over.

The prevailing post-match opinion among the fans I spoke to (or saw online comment from) was that the result represented a point gained by the visitors rather than two dropped. City have now played each of the league's bottom three clubs in the past month and failed to beat any of them in open play.

This form does not augur well for the series of forthcoming clashes with several of the league's big guns.

However, the plus points for Puel will be that the side appeared to avoid further serious injuries and actually (for once) managed to complete an entire game without collecting a single red or yellow card! 

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Rico; Christie (Ream 84), Odoi, Mawson, Le Marchand (Bryan 77); Chambers, Seri; Kamara, Vietto (Cairney 45), R Sessegnon; Mitrovic. Subs not used: Bettinelli, Kebano, Schürrle, Anguissa.

Goal: Kamara (42) 

Leicester (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Simpson (Okazaki 72), Morgan, Söyüncü, Chilwell; Ndidi, Mendy (Iborra 72); Albrighton, Maddison, Diabate (Gray 55); Iheanacho. Subs not used: Ward, Ricardo, Fuchs, Knight.

Goal: Maddison (74)

Referee: David Coote         Attendance: 22,881

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 – Fulham

View from the Opposition – Fulham

A bit about you:

Name: Michael Feelan

Current home town: London

Birthplace: London

How long have you supported your team? 28 years

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: Compactness creates a good atmosphere

Favourite match played by your team & why: 14 April 2001 and our 2-1 win at Huddersfield that saw our 33 year wait to return to the highest level of football over at last!

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: Louis Saha 53 goals in 117 games says it all

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why?  Aleksandar Mitrovic for his goals

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? I wish I was saying 17/18 player of the season Tim Ream, but after injury and poor performances he will not figure, so I’ll go for Aleksandar Mitrovic again for his goals

Player in our squad you most fear and why? Vardy if he plays

Up and coming prospect in your squad? Ryan Sessegnon

How do you think you’ll do against us? Win 2-1 Claudio Ranieri’s revenge!

General Questions:

Where do you think you’ll finish this season?  Mid table – but survival first of all!

Who do you think will win the league? Man City

Which three teams do you think will get relegated from the Premiership? Burnley, Southampton and Huddersfield

Any other comments? We were all gutted about your Chairman – as that banner said at your game on Saturday …. he allowed us all to dream.

Next Up – Fulham 5 December 2018

Next Up – Fulham 5 December 2018

Manager:            Claudio Ranieri                  Founded: 1879

Ground        Craven Cottage

Address       Stevenage Road, London, SW6 6HH

Capacity      25,700

Squad:

1              England                 GK          Marcus Bettinelli

3              England                 MF         Ryan Sessegnon

4              Belgium                 DF         Denis Odoi

5              England                DF          Calum Chambers (on loan from Arsenal)

6              Scotland               MF         Kevin McDonald

7              Congo                   MF         Neeskens Kebano

8              Norway                 MF         Stefan Johansen

9              Serbia                   FW         Aleksandar Mitrović

10           Scotland                MF         Tom Cairney (Captain)

11           Togo                      FW         Floyd Ayité

13           United States        DF           Tim Ream

14           Germany              FW         André Schürrle (on loan from Borussia Dortmund)

19           Argentina             FW         Luciano Vietto (on loan from Atlético Madrid)

20           France                 DF           Maxime Le Marchand

21           Netherlands        DF           Timothy Fosu-Mensah (on loan from Manchester United)

22           Rep of Ireland    DF           Cyrus Christie

23           England             DF           Joe Bryan

24           Ivory Coast        MF         Jean Michaël Seri

25           Spain                 GK          Sergio Rico (on loan from Sevilla)

26           England             DF           Alfie Mawson

29           Cameroon         MF         André-Frank Zambo Anguissa

31           Spain                GK          Fabri

44           Guinea              MF         Ibrahima Cissé

47           France              FW         Aboubakar Kamara

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.fulhamfc.com

 

Going to Fulham ?

Directions by road  SW6 6HH

Fans are advised NOT to park near the ground due to parking restrictions in the area, especially on matchdays.

From the North M1
At the end of the M1, turn right (west) onto the A406 (North Circular) and follow it towards Harrow for nearly 4.5 miles. Turn left (east) onto the A40 heading into London (passing close to Loftus Road and after a little over 4 miles turn right (west) onto the A402 for just about 350 yards. Here you turn left (south) along the A219 for a little over half a mile. This brings you into Hammersmith where you turn right onto the A315 and then after just 130 yards or so turn left (south) back onto the A219. Follow this road for a little over a mile, and the ground down the side streets off to your right. 

From The North M40 & West M25
Leave the M25 at Junction 15 and take the M4, which then becomes the A4, towards Central London. After around two miles branch off left into Hammersmith Broadway (before the flyover). Go around the ring road around central Hammersmith, keeping to the right. Then take the A219 Fulham Palace Road. Keep straight on this road, passing Charing Cross Hospital on your left. After about another half a mile, take one of the right hand turns for the ground. If you pass the Fulham Palace Garden Centre on your right, then you have gone too far. 

From the South M25
Leave the M25 at Junction 10 and take the A3 towards Central London. After around eight miles, leave the A3 at the turn off for the A219. Take the A219 towards Putney. Continue straight on this road, down Putney High Street and across Putney Bridge. You will see the ground on your left. 

Approx 112 miles and 2 hours travel time.

Directions by rail

The nearest London Underground station is Putney Bridge, which is on the District Line. The ground is about a fifteen minute walk. Turn left out of the station and then immediately turn right into a street called Ranelagh Gardens. As the road bends around to the right you will see the Eight Bells pub on your right. Turn left after the pub to take you up to the main road by Putney Bridge. Cross over to the other side of the main road and proceed up to the bridge and then on reaching the bridge turn right to enter into Bishops Park alongside the Thames. Just proceed through the park (keeping the Thames on your left) and you will reach the ground ahead.

An alternative route by tube, is to get the Piccadilly Line to Hammersmith from Central London or Heathrow. It is then around a 20 minute walk to the ground, going straight down Fulham Palace Road (passing Charing Cross Hospital). Further on you can then turn right into Crabtree Lane (for the pub of the same name) or carry on and turn right into Harbord Street for Craven Cottage.

Trains take 2hrs to get to London plus crossing London and tube/bus

Buying singles cost £49

PUBS

Near to the tube station is the 'Eight Bells' which is popular with away fans. “The Temperance" is only a few minutes walk away. From the Eight Bells walk up to the main road and turn right. The Temperance is across the road (Fulham High Street) on the corner. Opposite the Temperance on the same road is the King's Arms, which is also popular with visiting supporters. Further along the High Street is the King's Head which also admits visiting fans. There are many pubs close to the ground and the  Courtfield Tavern, near Earls Court tube station is recommended.

All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors. Thanks to the Football Ground Guide, and Fulham FC

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City draw the sting

Leicester 2-0 Watford

 

Report by Chris Griffin

 

The events of five weeks ago haunt the stadium and surrounding area. Many fans of both clubs visited the vast display of shirts, scarves and flowers at the site of the accident. Most walked in silence, the few who spoke did so with hushed voices: all trying to absorb the enormity and finality of that fateful night.

 

 

In the ground Watford fans displayed enormous solidarity with Leicester City Football Club and fans. They unfurled a huge banner which included the badges of Leicester and Watford and the message “Thank you, Vichai, for allowing us all to dream.” It was a reminder that Leicester’s title win set a benchmark of aspiration for many clubs. Vichai’s son Top responded to the Watford fans by waiving charges for half time refreshments in the away section. 

 

After these raw moments the football arrives as an afterthought. But this win mattered to Leicester. The previous three premier league home matches had yielded just two points. This victory against a good team was a welcome boost as we enter a busy period of fixtures. It also showed Leicester can vary their tactics from possession-based to counter attack.

 

After a cagey start from both sides Watford threatened through good runs from Pererya and Holebas. At the other end Ndidi had the ball nicked off his toe as he was about to shoot following a corner. Maddison then played a beautiful through pass to launch Vardy but the striker was shepherded to safety by Mariappa.

 

Leicester took the lead in the 12th minute. Mendy gathered the ball and fed Maddison whose early through ball found Vardy running in behind the Watford defence. Goalkeeper Foster came off his line to meet Vardy and his desperate dive brought the striker down. Foster made representations of innocence but it was a nailed-on penalty. Vardy’s spot kick was very cool, driven low and hard into the right hand corner of the net with Foster diving to the left.

 

 

Leicester looked good value for the lead with Mendy and Ndidi at this point patrolling and controlling midfield. Another attack saw a good cross from Albrighton clear the head of the incoming Vardy by a fraction.

 

Watford responded well and applied some sustained pressure down Leicester’s left flank. It was from defending this pressure that Leicester extended the lead in the 23rd minute. Chilwell conceded a throw in when preventing a Watford corner. City pressed the throw well and the ball went to the hard working Gray in the Leicester box. He played a good forward ball to Maddison in the inside left channel. Maddison turned inwards and found Vardy whose superb shoulder drop left his marker both rooted to the spot and staring into space. Vardy sped away and passed to Albrighton on the right wing. Albrighton’s first time cross to the edge of the area found Maddison surrounded by two defenders. Maddison’s keepy-uppy control via his knee and boot was breathtaking and he volleyed the ball fiercely past a helpless Foster. This was a brilliant goal, reminiscent of the breakaway goals of the title winning season and one which combined both great individuality and team work.

 

 

Watford nearly hit back immediately but firm Leicester tackling saw off the threats from a Watford free kick. Success then made a good run but City dealt well with the ensuing corner. At the other end Pereira, combining with Albrighton, sent his first time shot over the bar. Watford came back and Schmeichel had to be quick to stop Hughes reaching a through ball.

 

Watford were certainly enjoying most possession. Even so, Maddison won the ball and fed Gray whose shot was deflected for a corner. Watford broke from the corner and Success closed in on goal challenged by the hard-working Mendy. Success took his shot early but blazed over the bar. Leicester were putting themselves under pressure by conceding several free kicks around their penalty area but dealt effectively with threats up to half time.

 

 

The second half continued as the first half ended. Watford had most possession, assisted by some careless Leicester passing and also some anywhere-will-do clearances by the home team’s defence. Schmeichel made a smart save after Watford gained possession having clattered Chilwell from behind. Then Pererya burst into the Leicester penalty area but shot across goal for a goal kick. That was his last contribution as he and Deulofeu made way for Deeney and Andre Gray. The latter did not have a productive half hour, missing three chances including one swing-and-a-miss and a header that he placed gently wide of the goal.

 

Meanwhile Leicester made the occasional counter-attack. Vardy did superbly well to gain a corner despite the attentions of three defenders after a solo run down the right wing. Then Ricardo Pereira won the ball and burst forward before setting Demari Gray free in the area. The young winger’s shot was fierce but rattled the post before rebounding to safety. Following a free kick for hand ball against Albrighton (and a rather harsh yellow card) Watford won a corner which Schmeichel, under pressure, did very well to palm to safety.

 

 

Watford still got behind City’s defence. M. Puel changed to three at the back, bringing on Soyuncu for Gray, and then Iheanacho came on for the excellent Vardy. Let’s hope the January transfer window will see the recruitment team bringing someone to give Jamie support.

 

Leicester nearly nicked a third when a superb Albrighton pass sent Maddison through but the alert Foster cut out the danger. Iborra came on for Evans and City reverted to a back four. Morgan made a superb block to keep away a Chalobah effort then cleared a ball heading straight to Deeney who would have had a clear shot.  Ndidi shot over after good work from Chilwell and Maddison. Leicester seemed to have drawn the hornet sting but there was one last piece of drama when Capoue was shown a red card for a challenge on Iheanacho. Leicester comfortably saw out added-on time, though Maddison did manage to pick up an unnecessary yellow card following some nonsense at a Watford throw-in.

 

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Pereira, Morgan, Evans, Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Gray, Maddison, Albrighton. Subs: Soyuncu, Iheanacho, Ward, Okazaki, Iborra, Diabate, Fuchs

 

Watford: Foster, Femenia, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas, Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes, Pererya, Deulofeu, Success. Subs: Gomes, Deeney, Masina, Sema, Chalobah, Gray, Kabasele.

 

Referee:  Mr G Scott;               Attendance 31,353

 

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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