Burnley Thanks to City Fans

With the Burnley fans playing a respectful role in our home games of the last 2 seasons which each time recognised the loss of Khun Vichai, yesterday was an opportunity to show our respects

Tony Scholes, representing the Burnley FC Supporters Groups, sent the following message today

“Yesterday it was our turn for a minute’s silence at a game against Leicester, our annual in memoriam. We’ve been doing it now since January 2013 and on a couple of occasions, against Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester United, the visiting fans have disrupted it.

The whole thing was very poignant for me personally yesterday. One of my best football friends passed away two days before the game after battling motor neurone disease for two years and he was in the forefront of my mind.

This annual event, if event is the right word to use, was instigated by Burnley FC Supporters Groups, and the reason for the email is to say a big thanks to all the Leicester supporters there yesterday who were impeccable in observing the minute’s silence.

Could you possibly pass this on to your various supporters organisations as to how thankful we were to your fans for helping us remember those involved with our club who have passed away in the last year.

Thanks so much,”

SLIPPING FROM THE SUMMIT

Burnley 2 Foxes 1

Match Report by Graham Tracey

For the second week running, we lost a game in which we scored first, and in doing so missed an unbelievable opportunity to cement our credentials for a Champions League berth after our rivals’ poor results on Saturday.

Despite their keeper Pope being man of the match, given that we had the match effectively won twice (once at half time, and again when Vards had the ball on the penalty spot at 1-1), and the very limited ability of Burnley as a top flight side, this defeat hurt me as much as any since the Newport shambles. To make matters worse, working in Burnley with an office full of Turf Moor season ticket holders, I can look forward to revisiting this defeat regularly until my retirement.

The side selected by Brendan continued to reflect our past and upcoming schedule, but looked strong enough to overcome the goal-shy Clarets. Chilwell was rested for Fuchs, and Mendy leap-frogged Hamza for the holding berth while we try to plough through Ndidi’s absence. Tielemans had another rest, with Praet again chosen for the game time he craves and indeed deserves.

Within seconds, there was reason to believe this would be a comfortable afternoon, as Vardy fed Barnes who produced a weak finish from inside the area. Powderpuff shooting was unfortunately a theme of the day.

Our strongest attacks came via Barnes and particularly Ricardo, but other players were having off days where the ball would not quite stick or run for them. Perez, Vardy and particularly Maddison were in this category, with Madders often ending up on the ground, sometimes with a free kick, but none within shooting range.

In contrast, Burnley relied on diagonal balls into the box to Wood, an old school tactic which we should back ourselves all day long to mop up. Their most skilful player (and perennially Leicester linked) Dwight McNeil was kept quiet, with Hendrick being their most noticeable player.

The important first goal came after the half hour mark. Praet won the ball in the centre circle (cleanly but enough to spoil the enjoyment of celebrating as it is the sort of thing VAR has overturned) and Barnes (helped by Vardy’s decoy run drawing defenders) drove past their defence and finished low with his right foot through Pope’s legs. It was a great goal and hopefully will give Harvey the confidence boost he needs in this one area of his game (finishing) that needs improvement. It will have been a bitter blow for Burnley fans, who had told me that his Leicester-born Dad Paul once scored 5 in a game for them against Stockport.

Listening to interviews with Burnley players afterwards, I was surprised to hear that they felt they had played their best in weeks in the first half. We were in control, and came out strongly in the second half, with Pope reacting at full stretch from Praet’s angled shot.

However, even limited opposition can exploit set pieces, and Burnley’s delivery from corners was worrying Schmeichel all afternoon.  Mee rose at the far post, and although Kasper reached to palm out the header, the law of the ex was enforced as Chris Wood knocked it over the line from a yard out

I still felt we could win the game again after this kick in the backside, despite the home crowd coming to life. The game hinged on a role reversal of this fixture in the Great Escape season, where they missed a penalty and we proceeded to score the winner. This time, Barnes was dragged down by Mee when played in for a clear penalty. As to my eye there was no effort to play the ball, I felt that a red card could have been produced.

Anyway, I was confident that Jamie would bury the spot kick, but he put it at a nice height to Pope’s left, and the tall keeper was able to parry the hard shot away. It was fizzed back in but Barnes just missed it sliding in at the far post.

Unlike at West Ham over Christmas, we would now pay the price for missing a penalty. Another diagonal ball was miscued by Evans for Westwood to smash home from inside the area. We still had another chance when Vardy was put through, but Pope stood tall to block a ferocious strike with his chest. I recall he also had a fine game in a Puel defeat here two seasons ago. And while the day will come when Kasper scores from a stoppage time corner, this was not the day.

All the season’s endeavours suddenly feel at risk of slipping through our fingers. Winning has suddenly become like climbing Everest rather than shelling peas. I doubt that complacency is an issue, but confidence and fatigue are clearly playing a part. Mendy was competent today but not the force of Ndidi. Top four and at least one trip to Wembley remain within our gift and I am not minded to splash the cash on players no better than we have now – let’s learn from this lesson!

LEICESTER: Schmeichel 5, Pereira 8, Fuchs 6, Soyunco 6, Evans 5, Mendy 6, Barnes 8, Praet 7, Perez 5, Maddison 6, Vardy 5. Subs used: Ihenacho, Tielemans, Subs not used: Justin, Morgan, Ward, Gray, Allbrighton

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

Going to Burnley ?

Burnley    BB10 4BX

From the East: Exit M65 at junction 12 and follow signs to ‘Burnley North A682,’ over two roundabouts and into Colne Road. After 1.5 miles, turn left at the lights into Casterton Avenue. After another half mile, go straight on at another roundabout, follow signs for ‘Rochdale A6114,’ into Eastern Avenue. After 1.5 miles, you will be on Belvedere Road and the stadium is there.

From the West: Exit M65 motorway at junction 9 (Signposted Halifax A679) and turn right at the first roundabout, over the motorway. Go to the second roundabout and take a left, still following signs for Halifax and onto Accrington Road. After ¾ of a mile, go right at the traffic lights, into Rossendale Road. Follow for another 1.5 miles and then go straight on through the traffic lights into Glen View Road. After another mile, turn left into Todmorden Road, where you will find Turf Moor.

From the North and South: Exit M6 at Junction 29 and onto the M65. Exit the M65 at junction 10 and follow signs for ‘Towneley Hall.’ This road eventually goes past Turf Moor.

 Most of the surrounding streets have parking restrictions on a matchday so it is advisable for away supporters to use the cricket club or the following car parks:

 

Woodgrove Car Park

Towneley Park, BB11 3RQ
Capacity: 200 cars 
Advantage: Close to ground, 5 minute walk, illuminated. 
Cost £5.

Town Centre Car Parks

Millennium NCP, Brown St, BB11 1PZ. 
Capacity: 500 cars 
Advantage: Town centre location, close to all the shops and fast food outlets. 
8 minutes walk from the stadium. 
Cost £3 to park.

Deanmill (Plumb St) Car Park, BB11 3AG.
Capacity: 100 cars 
Advantage: Close to stadium, new car park, secure, well lit. 
4 minute walk from stadium. 
Cost £4

Aircelle Ltd, Bancroft Ave, BB10 2TQ.
Capacity: 275 cars 
Advantage: Away from city centre traffic, close to motorway after the game ahead of traffic flow. 
15 minute walk or hop on local bus (3 minute journey). 
Cost £3.

Train

Rail: The nearest station is Burnley Manchester Road. From here, exit the station and walk down Centenary Way, from here, Turf Moor is clearly visible. When you reach the roundabout at the bottom of the road, go right down Yorkshire Street, which becomes Harry Potts Way and the ground is on your left hand side.


From Burnley Central, follow signs for the Town Centre and then head left towards the ‘Gala’ Bingo Hall. From here, walk down Yorkshire Street and use instructions from above.


Trains take approx 4 hours with 2 changes cheap day return £76

 Bus Routes: The Bus Station is situated relatively close to the ground, just off Centenary Way. Leave the station and turn right towards the Gala Bingo Hall and go under the aqueduct onto Yorkshire Street. Then, follow the instructions from above.

Where to drink

The clubhouse at the Cricket Club (you can also park there) is open on matchdays and visitors are always made welcome (wearing colours).The Queen Victoria (Brewers Fayre establishment) is  no more than 10 minutes walk away.

The Bridge Bier Huise pub is around ten minutes walk away from the ground, serves good beer and food and is fine for away supporters. This pub which is in the centre of Burnley is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and in addition to a number of real ales, offers a large selection of bottled beers from around the world.

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 Burnley FC

Complied by Anne Noble

Lacklustre City lose their way

Leicester City 1 – Southampton 2

Report by Chris Griffin

Three Premier League home games since mid December have yielded one point. This was a sub-standard performance with Leicester not establishing their usual dominance of possession or control of the tempo of play. Ndidi’s absence left a serious gap. His patrolling of the central third from touchline to touchline has been a crucial part of City’s success this season. Without him City were too often second best in winning the second ball, giving Southampton’s attacking trio of Ings, Long and Redmond many chances to threaten.

Choudhury came in for Ndidi and Praet and Barnes also started. After a scrappy start (not surprising given the blustery, wet conditions) Vardy made a good run but his cross did not reach the unmarked Praet. Then Barnes cut back a cross but Southampton cleared.

Southampton showed serious intent and Ings forced Schmeichel to make an outstanding double save after Leicester had carelessly surrendered possession – which was to happen all too often.

Nevertheless City took the lead in the 14th minute. The defence cleared their lines and Perez took possession but was fouled near the halfway line. He showed quick-witted awareness by taking the free kick quickly to send Vardy accelerating into space in the inside left channel. Vardy crossed to the far post where Praet, after a lung-breaking run, drove the ball past McCarthy.

If Southampton were cowed by this they did not show it. Schmeichel made a smart save from Armstrong. In the 19th minute Southampton pounced on the ball just outside the City penalty area and worked it to the unmarked Armstrong on the right hand of the box. He cut inside and his left foot shot took a big deflection off Maddison so Schmeichel had no chance to save.

Southampton kept up their attacking pressure. Ings headed wide from a Redmond cross then Evans headed clear a dangerous Ward-Prowse free kick. A rare City attack saw Southampton play too casually in defence and the ball fell to the unmarked Vardy. He promptly smacked it in the net but the linesman’s flag was up for offside. 

Back came Southampton, winning a free kick from a Söyüncü foul. Ward-Prowse put in a searching kick and Leicester were relieved to see Choudhury head away for a corner. Then, following a quick counter attack, an Ings shot hit the cross bar and was cleared for a corner. Following the corner Ings shot from the edge of the area, the shot beating Schmeichel but again smacking against the bar. Two strikes of the crossbar within 60 seconds.

Half time was a relief to fans. In J2 the feeling was that we would settle for a draw rather than hope for a win. Some interesting statistics were exchanged such as Leicester having given away possession 45 times in the first half, most un-Leicester like.

Southampton started the second half on the front foot. Schmeichel failed to cut out a Bertrand free kick and the ball fell to the unmarked Stephens at the far post whose shot was blocked. Then Schmeichel saved a firm Ings header. Southampton’s high press tactics were confounding Leicester who were struggling to play through midfield in their usual way.

Even so Leicester started to exert pressure. Following a corner Evans headed a point blank effort but unfortunately straight at McCarthy who did well to hold on. Iheanacho came on for Barnes in the 58th minute and gave Leicester greater presence. One promising attack came to nothing following a superb Maddison pass to Chilwell but the full back’s attempted centre sailed high and wide.

In the 63rd minute VAR came to Leicester’s help. Long was played through and knocked over by Söyüncü in the penalty area. Referee Mason gave the penalty and booked Söyüncü. VAR intervened and ruled that Long was offside so no penalty.

At the other end Maddison was fouled and, following the free kick, Iheanacho put the ball in the net from close range but was flagged offside. With 25 minutes left Gray replaced Perez and added urgency and directness. Following a foul on Gray, Evans played a superb ball into the area but sadly just out of reach of the stretching Iheanacho. Maddison then played a through ball for Vardy which keeper McCarthy just reached first. Tielemans then came on to replace the excellent Praet.

In the 80th minute Southampton took the lead. Adams, who had replaced Long, played a through ball for Ings whose shot beat Schmeichel to register Ings’ 14th Premier League goal of the season. Southampton almost increased their lead following a counter attack from their own half. The ball came to Ings only ten yards out but Schmeichel made yet another top class save to foil the striker.

At the other end McCarthy made a smart save from Gray and then Iheanacho had a firm shot smothered by the advancing keeper. Leicester kept going forward. Following a foul, Maddison put in an excellent free kick from the right hand side. Evans headed the cross firmly into the roof of the net but Leicester’s joy was short lived as VAR ruled Evans offside.

That was the last roll of the dice. A disappointed but realistic Brendan Rodgers said: “The performance probably didn’t merit anything from the game. The players kept going right to the end and kept fighting. We didn’t press the game strong enough, or well enough, and then when we had the ball, we made too many mistakes. So, it looked like up until the end, it was going to be a draw, which we would have taken because we didn’t play well. However, they played through our midfield too easily and then they get in and get the goal, so it was a disappointing result.”

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Pereira; Söyüncü; Evans; Chilwell; Choudhury; Perez (substituted by Gray 67 minutes); Praet (substituted by Tielemans 77 minutes); Maddison; Barnes (substituted by Iheanacho 58 minutes); Vardy. Subs not used: Justin; Albrighton; Ward; Benkovic

Southampton: McCarthy; Cedric; Stephens; Bednarek; Bertrand; Armstrong (substituted by Djenepoat 78 minutes); Ward-Prowse; Hojbjerg; Redmond (substituted by Romeu 92 minutes); Long (substituted by Adams 78 minutes); Ings. Subs not used: Yoshida; Boufal; Obafemi; Gunn

Referee: Lee Mason.                      Attendance: 32,115

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

Keeping it interesting for the second leg

Leicester City 1 v 1 Aston Villa – Carabao Cup semi-final first leg

A surprisingly well-organised Aston Villa side arrived at the King Power Stadium, clearly briefed to blunt Leicester’s usual creative play.  To a large extent, they achieved that objective and the second leg of the tie will be a competitive one as a result.

There was a decent crowd at a wet and windy King Power Stadium.  The pre-match entertainment included a repeat of the light-and-sound display used before the match against Liverpool, but without the fireworks.  I can understand why the club want to experiment with new formats, but so far I am not a fan. 

In particular, on both occasions the ‘show’ has finished a full three minutes before the teams emerge from the tunnel so an event that, presumably, is meant to build excitement has precisely the opposite effect.  Everyone is watching and waiting for something, anything, to happen for what seems like a very, very long time.  If it was up to me – which obviously it isn’t – I would drop it all together, as the often-changing montage of clips and rousing music works well.  If light shows are to be maintained then, at the very least, their choreography and timing needs to be improved.

Anyway, on to the match …

… Rodgers went for a 5-3-2 formation with Fuchs joining Evans and Söyüncü at the back.  Whether that was to compensate for the unfortunate lack of Ndidi due to injury, or whether it was an attempt to stifle Villa’s main creative threat, Grealish, is not clear.  By and large, it achieved the latter – Grealish had a decent match but made no game-changing interventions.  However, a number of City players were below-par for the evening, and the formation did not really work as an attacking threat.

City had the vast majority of the play, but their use of it was often patchy.  Tielemans, in particular, gave the ball away a lot, three times in the first ten minutes and more later.  Despite this, City created three decent chances in the first twenty minutes with Perez shooting narrowly wide and Vardy having a couple of shots well saved.

Villa then broke, for only the third time, El Ghazi played the best cross of the evening, from the left wing, and Guilbert got a toe end in advance of all of City’s defenders to stab the ball into the goal from short range, giving Villa a lead totally against the run of play.

The shape of the match changed little, if at all.  City created more half-chances, but nothing that was likely to result in a goal.  Then Villa got a rare corner, Konsa’s beat a mis-placed Schmeichel to head the ball solidly against the bar.  It could (and probably should) have been a second goal for the visitors.

Pereira picked up a cut to his head and played much of the match with a bandaged forehead.  This made him stand out even more than usual, and he was arguably City’s most impressive player going forwards.  City seemed particularly uninspiring on the left wing, with Chilwell looking slower than usual and never once trying to get around his defender to cross, nor did any City player try to make an overlap down that flank.

At half-time, Rodgers replaced Praet with Choudhury.  Most people around me were querying why Praet was removed, as he had looked as tidy as ever, rather than Tielemans who had looked off-the-pace and wayward in his passing.  Choudhury, though, did make a positive difference which continued for the rest of the match.  Indeed, City looked far livelier from the start of the half.

They won corner after corner, but almost all of them were played as in-swingers into a Villa box crowded with tall players clad in Claret shirts who dealt with them easily – it did not seem a very good tactic.

Substitutions were made by both sides, with Iheanacho replacing Perez, who had made any number of runs to try to find a way through Villa’s stubborn defence but was rarely found by passes from midfield.

For all Leicester’s increasing grip on the game, it was not clear where an equalizer might come from.  Then came a moment of divine retribution.  Konsa took an age to take a free kick in his own half.  Referee Chris Kavanagh rightly booked him.  Konsa then rushed a very weak pass and Vardy managed to pounce onto the ball, he played a neat pass to Iheanacho, but there was still a lot of work for the Nigerian striker to do.  He did it all, cutting inside two defenders and beating the keeper with a high-class finish to make it one-one.  In a seemingly short space of time, Iheanacho has gone from someone who had not scored in a year, to someone who – like Vardy – looks as though he might score each time he gets a chance; it is a most welcome transformation for Leicester.

Villa continued to waste time as often and as much as possible, clearly happy with a draw, whilst City looked increasingly positive, helped by substitute Albrighton who was clearly motivated against his former club after he came on to replace Tielemans.  Half of the stadium thought that Vardy had equalized when he got behind the Villa defence for the third time in the match, but his shot has hit the side netting.  A winner looked like it might possibly come, but it was not to be.

I’m sure City would have preferred a score more in keeping with the balance of play and chances – Villa recorded their fewest shots on goal of any match for over three years – but there is some consolation in the thought that City are capable of playing much better than this, whilst I doubt Villa are capable of defending much better than they did.  Villa will have to change their approach, and that should suit City.

And finally, two totally random and unrelated comments on the match.  The Villa fans chanted about Vardy’s wife, yet Vardy did not score; I think that is a first.  And, I can only blame the fact that at times the match was not that interesting for the two women I attend matches with having an earnest conversation to the effect that, yes, the Villa players’ shorts really are quite a bit tighter than those of the City’s players.

Roll on an exciting second leg and, we hope, a trip to Wem-ber-ley.

Leicester – Schmeichel, Söyüncü, Evans, Fuchs, Ricardo Pereira, Praet, Tielemans, Maddison, Chilwell, Pérez, Vardy

Substitutes – Justin, Albrighton, Ward, Iheanacho, Barnes, Benkovic, Choudhury

Aston Villa – Nyland, Konsa, Mings, Hause, Guilbert, Douglas Luiz, Nakamba, Taylor, Trézéguet, El Ghazi, Grealish

Substitutes – Chester, Lansbury, Hourihane, Jota, El Mohamady, Kalinic, Vassilev

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