Never discount Vardy

Sheffield Utd 1 City 2

Report by Kate Thompson

For not the first time, or hopefully the last, Vardy proved that he can be anonymous for 85 minutes but opposition defenders take him lightly at their peril!

There were ten changes from the last game and, much to my surprise, Perez started; it was an inspired choice as he had an excellent game. 

Good return to the starting 11

The back three was used again, which I am not convinced by, but who am I to tell Rodgers how to play!  It was pleasing to see City start in a much livelier fashion than we have seen recently and early possession statistics showed that we had 77%.  For once this figure was reflected in the result. 

The first goal came halfway through the first half; Albrighton had a shot blocked and Perez was on hand to rifle the ball into the net.  However, the lead only lasted two minutes, when McBurnie scored with a header from a corner, something we seem to have difficulty preventing.  Apparently, more goals have been scored against us from corners than any other team in the Premier League.

The high press meant that the front men was offside quite a few times but, as we all know, there are very fine lines in matches.  I got cross with Maddison for slowing the game down too much and the way he strolls across to take corners (which rarely trouble the opposition) is particularly irritating. 

I thought we should have had a penalty when Tielemans was wrestled to the ground in the box, in the 34th minute.  Lowe was booked in the 37th minute and shortly after he brought Perez down, which would ordinarily have merited a yellow card.  The referee decided to let it go and I was annoyed to see Maddison clearly saying it should have been a second yellow.  I hate this unsporting gesture that we see far too often.  It was no surprise when Lowe was substituted at half-time, to be replaced by Osborn.

Sheffield United were defending as if their lives depended on it, and there was block after block from City efforts; in addition, both Vardy and Maddison hit the same post.  In the second half the pace of the game slowed and it looked as if it would be another disappointing draw.  Sheffield had a few efforts, mainly headers from corners, and City continued to dominate, without reward. 

They started the irritating sideways passes between the back three, which I guess suggests a lack of confidence.  However, the talisman Vardy, who had been kept pretty quiet, was released by Maddison, with a bit of help from the Sheffield defenders, and he calmly slotted the ball past Ramsdale.  His over-exuberant celebrations shattered the corner flag, for which he was booked. 

Last minute smash (well certainly the corner flag) and grab

To quote one of the Sky commentators, ‘hardly seen him tonight’.  Two other City players received yellow cards, Fuchs and Maddison, for what looked like innocuous challenges, and no other Sheffield players were cautioned.  In the 68th minute Ndidi replaced Mendy and Iheanacho came on for Perez; the final substitution, Praet for Maddison, came in the 93rd minute.

So, a much better performance but we have to remember the quality of the opposition.  I hope Sheffield stay up, but it is not looking good for them.  I don’t think a single Leicester player had a bad game, but I would pick out Justin, Perez and Evans as being particularly effective.

Leicester City: 1 Kasper Schmeichel, 3 Wesley Fofana, 6 Jonny Evans, 28 Christian Fuchs: 11 Marc Albrighton, 8 Youri Tielemans, 24 Nampalys Mendy (25 Wilf Ndidi 68), 2 James Justin: 17 Ayoze Pérez (14 Kelechi Iheanacho 68), 10 James Maddison (26 Dennis Praet 90+3), 9 Jamie Vardy. Subs not used: 5 Wes Morgan, 12 Danny Ward, 15 Harvey Barnes, 19 Cengiz Under.

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