Newport 2, Leicester 1, positives and negatives, player ratings and match report

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After a great game against Everton, without having the ball too much, it was time to play Newport County in the FA Cup. Puel is a bold person and his confidence must be high at the moment, leaving out Ndidi, Chilwell, Maguire, Schmeichel and even Vardy from the squad.

To then see Maddison, Mendy, Pereira and Gray placed on the bench is also a signal of what this is all about, no priority, but let the U.23’s take these games if it has so little value.

The fact that Matty James is in the starting line-up and Andy King is named on the bench says it all. Puel gives a damn about the result, have no real respect for travelling fans in this matter as he makes a cynical decision to rest players instead of securing a place in the next round.

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You should never fault professional teams even if they play a few levels below. Players train as much as they do at the higher levels, but lack of talent or just being overlooked at a top club, or being a local lad, might be a reason for playing lower in the ladder.

Tcf warned about two players in the preview, Matt and Bakinson. Matt scored the first goal early on in the game, and Bakinson came on as a sub and was the one shooting towards Albrightons hand and given a certain penalty.

Newports early goal was a nice one a great pass into Matt who perfectly heads the ball in the net via the post, a really good goal, but Fuchs must be thinking about how much he will put into his defending, surely scrappy and totally uninterested in the situation.

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Despite a lot of pressure and 65% ball possession, there were really no great attacks and Joe Day in the Newport goal had little or no big issues to solve. One attempt from Marc Albrighton landed on the bar, but that was in real the best chance, before that late goal from Ghezzal.

Great work in the Newport defense, especially from Fraser Franks, who in Tcf’s verdict was the best player on the field. The former AFC Wimbledon, Welling United, Luton Town and Stevenage Borough player had a great day at the office.

The big factor in this game was that there were little or no movement in the Leicester City team and runs in and behind defenders never happened, the only player to really show an effort was Marc Albrighton, who all in all was involved in everything both ways.

When Leicester City managed to score the equalizer it was really a mirror of the game all together, missed chances and scrappy finishing, ending with a Rachid Ghezzal shot, that in itself was a good one, but it was like it was never to happen.

Then to be able to give away everything again, on a very difficult turf, it was like this game had the scenario of a bad movie, and it all ended with Leicester City being knocked out of the FA Cup.

But with the way Claude Puel picked his team, included players that he has overlooked, said was no longer a priority at the club, and really just took this as a training session with kits on, something he had no reason to do, he had made his point clear about King, so no need to pick him anymore.

Andy King was even picked from the sub bench to play in front of Mendy in midfield, and that so late in the game, thinking, is this just hospitality work from Claude Puel. Andy King had a big chance to level in stoppage time, but his shot was so bad and soft that a baby could have saved it, could even be his last touch on the ball as a Leicester City player.

Leicester City is out of the FA Cup, might be a blessing in disguise, but to make it so obvious that you feel no great sorrow. We all remember Claudio Ranieri doing exactly the same, losing away to Millwall, even with The Lions being reduced to 10 men.

Claude Puel is payed to make decisions that secure wins for Leicester City in the competitions they are involved in, and if he makes selection errors and rest too many players that had no reason to be rested, no games before next week, then surely he has misjudged the situation, and there are no excuses for doing just that.

  • Positives:
    • Marc Albrighton, Leicester City’s best player, trying his best
    • Just Premier League games to concentrate about
    • Newport giving their support toward Vichai
    • Ghezzal goal, nice touch and finish
    • 65% possession shows who were the dominating team
    • The team sheet published, might be of big collection value
  • Negatives:
    • Puel regarding FA Cup games as no real value
    • Not respecting fans enough to field a team that had surely won this game
    • The team and the players had no real connections and no real plan
    • Choudhury with too many touch, don’t pass the ball fast enough
    • Iheanacho is not involved in anything, probably not worked with in training
  • Player Ratings: Ward 6. Simpson 5, Fuchs 6, Evans 5, Morgan 4, James 5, Choudhury 6, Ghezzal 6, Albrighton 7, Iheanacho 3, Okazaki 4, Subs: Maddison 5, Gray, King

Match Stats: H/A

  • Possession: 65 / 35
  • Corners: 0 / 5
  • Shots on target: 5 / 7
  • Shots wide: 4 / 8
  • Fouls: 6 / 5
  • Offsides: 2 / 0


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