City 1 Spartak Moscow 1
Report by Kate Thompson
Brendan Rodgers said after the game that the team had played well and Matt Piper on BBC Radio Leicester took a similar view. However, most fans would probably agree with Jordan Blackwell, the Leicester Mercury reporter, who complained that there was too much risk-free football – something with which the majority of fans would concur.
City put out a strong team but some players were suffering from a sickness bug, including Maddison who would probably have started, and he was replaced by Perez. Bertrand played at left wing-back instead of Thomas and took the corners, making more of an impact from them than either Maddison (in previous games) or Tielemans (in this one), however, we can’t play him just for this reason!
The same front two as in the away game, Iheanacho and Daka, started but neither made much impact. There were twelve substitutes on the bench as five are allowed in Europa League games, including three from the development squad.
Spartak sat very deep and City found it impossible to break them down, something that has been a problem recently. The nearest they came to breaking the deadlock before half-time was in the 18th minute when Soumare hit the left-hand post with a rasping shot. The only other event of note in the first half was Iheanacho weaving his way into the box but both he and Daka failed to hit the target.
Shortly after half-time City fell behind when Moses (who else?) headed Spartak in front despite the presence of seven Leicester players in his vicinity. However, an unlikely hero – Amartey – equalised with an excellent header only seven minutes later, which had been flicked on by Perez.
The players and fans thought they were about to go in front when City were awarded a penalty in the 74th minute after Lookman was fouled in the box. Vardy, who had only come on as a substitute three minutes earlier, saw his shot to the keeper’s left saved quite easily and that is how the score remained.
Apparently, we can still progress to the knock-out stage if we win both our remaining games, but as one of those is away to Napoli, that will be a tall order. The group is very tight, with only three points separating all four teams, but City will have to play a lot better than this to top the group.
The one positive was the form of Castagne, who played very effectively and was given as man of the match by some reporters. Our golden boy, Tielemans, was not as influential as we have come to expect, but it was very cheering to see Ndidi come on as a substitute in the 58th minute, replacing Perez. Lookman came on for Bertrand at the same time, just after the equaliser. The final substitution was Dewsbury-Hall for Soumare in the 83rd minute, and he was very unlucky when a goal-bound header hit Iheanacho, who failed to score with the rebound.
Another reason to be optimistic is that Evans played the whole match so we can only hope that his plantar fasciatis problem has gone away. I know that it is a difficult one to get over and time is often the only way.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Evans, Söyüncü; Castagne, Soumare (Dewsbury-Hall 83), Pérez (Ndidi 58), Tielemans, Bertrand (Lookman 58), Daka (Vardy 71), Iheanacho. Subs (not used) Ward, Choudhury, Thomas, Benkovic, Jakupovic, Daley-Campbell, Nelson, Marcal-Madivadua
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