Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Leicester City
Post Match Analysis by Cristian Bratu
Leicester City’s indifferent form continues as a last-gasp Jeff Hendrick goal earned bottom of the table Sheffield Wednesday a deserved point against the league leaders.
The Owls should have been ahead within a minute of the game as Barry Bannan capitalised on a mistake from the backline only to drag his effort wide, while Jannik Vestergaard’s block denied Callum Paterson after further sloppiness in possession.
Abdul Fatawu put the Foxes in front, arguably against the run of play, after controlling Stephy Mavididi’s dinked cross with his chest to volley into the bottom corner, but Leicester struggled to build on from their advantage.
Kasey McAteer had the chance to settle the game within the last ten minutes after good work from Jamie Vardy, but the young forward couldn’t direct his shot on target.
It would be mistakes from the backline once more that eventually lead to Wednesday’s deserved equaliser as Hendrick ghosted behind the defence to poke the ball beyond Mads Hermansen after the Foxes were unable to clear a looping ball into the box.
Leicester came close to snatching all three points at the death but Vestergaard’s header in the final seconds of the game was saved by Cameron Dawson.
Fresh from ending the two-match losing run with a comfortable display against Watford, a result that also coincided with an Ipswich loss to open up a gap in the table, this was a chance to push on further against a side who found themselves bottom of the table and with four losses from their last five games, but the level of performance did not match the opportunity presented.
Making six changes to the starting line-up, resting the likes of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and James Justin, Leicester once again dominated the ball, but for the majority of the match, lacked a sense of urgency or any penetration with their passing as Wednesday looked relatively untroubled in defence. In an attacking sense for the Owls, this also presented chances as Leicester were sloppy in possession, leading to opportunities that teams with more confidence would have surely put away, such as Bannan’s effort within the first minute.
On the couple of occasions that Leicester changed their stance and added urgency, chances were carved out – the first being Mavididi’s change of pace to beat his man, leading to Fatawu’s opener, and Vardy’s tenacity in the box to latch onto a ball he shouldn’t have been able to which led to McAteer’s effort.
Possession has been the common theme during Enzo Maresca’s tenure as he was quick to establish a style of play that the Foxes would live by, but it could be questioned whether his team are too patient in their build-up, with this game being a prime example as Sheffield Wednesday ended the game with more shots and shots on target despite only having 32% of the ball.
It has been more than just a successful season so far as Leicester still sit in first place and are on track for a quick return to the top flight, but the more games played without a plan B, the easier it will be for the opposition to identify and nullify the gameplan and with the form of Ipswich, Leeds, Southampton and Saturday’s opponents, West Brom, that may be something that the team will want to look into to avoid a dogfight for promotion.
Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Iorfa, Diaby (Palmer 62′), Bernard, Famewo, Vaulks (Fletcher 79′), Paterson, Byers (Buckley 72′), Bannan (Hendrick 79′), Johnson, Cadamarteri (Musaba 61′)
Leicester City: Hermansen, Ricardo (Choudhury 83′), Coady, Vestergaard, Faes (Justin 45′), Casadei (Dewsbury-Hall 61′), Winks, Akgun (Ndidi 61′), Fatawu (McAteer 60′), Vardy, Mavididi
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.