Post Match Analysis by Paul Weston

Thankfully the floods in Suffolk had abated so that I could get to Leicester in good time. Before the match I met up with two Leicester City mates and another good friend who was a Leeds United fan (who promised to sit on his hands if his team scored!). The pre-match banter and pizza were good and we were all looking forward to the prospect of a good close game of football with probably a few goals. It did not quite go to plan….

Maresca picked probably his best available team based on form and injuries, so Casadei came in again for the injured Ndidi. The attacking line up of Leeds looked fast and of good quality. Allegedly the Leeds defence was their Achilles heel.

I am sure Leeds scouts would have watched how Sunderland set up against City and whose players cut out our inter-passing high up the pitch. From the kick-off Leeds were right onto City’s defence and Piroe should have scored early on resulting from Leeds pressure. Soon after Hermansen sent a nervy pass into the danger zone and was lucky to get away with his error.

Leeds had a claim for penalty after a tackle by Casadei looked dubious. Thankfully VAR was absent but I dread to think of the possible outcome.

It must have taken about 15 minutes before Winks started to get onto the ball and City crossed the halfway line. Increasingly Mavadidi and Fatawu came into the game from the flanks. Both looked to have the beating of their respective fullbacks but often stopped to pass back instead of going to the by-line and crossing. Vardy was coming deep for the ball but he had an off day and often his touch was too heavy or pass miss-directed.

I had hoped that Casadei would progress after his showing in the last match. Sadly, I was wrong and early on it was clear that he was struggling which is a worry without an obvious replacement in Ndidi’s absence through injury. Despite Casadei’s size he is knocked off the ball too easily, too slow and not precise enough with his passing. Consequently, Leeds often found a way of breaking through City’s weakened midfield and then to counterattack with Summerville a real threat.

Initially Leeds had the higher possession statistic, but City gradually reversed that figure without having a shot on target. The closest City came to a goal in the first half was a stupendous left footed shot from distance from Fatawu which bounced off the bar with Meslier well beaten. Immediately afterwards Leeds had another penalty claim turned down by the referee. Again, the absence of VAR was gratefully appreciated.

Leeds started the second well and scored a rather messy goal close to their fans. A header from a corner, needlessly given away, was saved virtually on the line by Hermansen but not gathered and Rutter tapped in. Immediately afterwards Vardy was replaced by Iheanacho. City really did not pile on the pressure until Casadei was hooked for Choudhury who moved to right back, allowing the impressive Ricardo to move further forward. By now City were passing more quickly with Leeds always threatening on the counterattack. Possession statistics were high, but chances created low.

In injury time it looked like the match was rescued after KDH nearly scored with a header into the top corner of the goal, but Meslier pulled off a great save. City then ran out of opportunities as Leeds game management successfully weathered injury time and Leicester City’s fantastic unbeaten run came to an end.

On balance City probably did enough for a point but certainly did not deserve to win. Leeds were well drilled and fast and, were it not for their hesitant start to the season, could have had a much greater points tally.

Thanks to our superb start to the season this second defeat is, we hope, only a blip towards promotion. However, I am sure Maresca has learned a lot from this defeat. Opposing teams are starting to figure out how to play against us and our forward line is not fully functioning.

Casadei, unless he improves quickly, is nowhere near the quality we need. Our next match is away against Middlesborough who after a dodgy start have picked up form and present tough opposition. It is time to start another unbeaten run!

Player ratings: Hermansen (7) Faes (7) Vestergaard (7) Justin (6) Ricardo (8) Dewsbury-Hall (7) Winks (7) Casaei (3) Fatawu (7) Vardy (5) Mavididi (7). Substitutes: Iheanacho (6) Choudhury (7)

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