Rafael Benitez came to Leicester with one goal, to try to frustrate Leicester with their own medicine, counter attacking and just sitting back with 10 men. He had a clear game plan that worked from the first minute.
Brendan Rodgers fielded a team that really was just not equipped to tear Newcastle apart and all attempts were stopped by an effective defense, who took the “bite” off the Leicester City attack, with Jamie Vardy vanishing.
Brendan Rodgers decided to play Wes Morgan in this game, and he struggled a bit with both tempo and positioning, and again a new pair in the back after other combinations used in the past.
Ayoze Perez was the player that med a clinical finish with an astonishing header after 32 minutes, a typical situation in a game like this, but they had already also hit the bar a few minutes earlier, so Newcastle looks the sharper team.
Leicester had to leave the field after first half without scoring and not really being too difficult to keep quiet either, not able to find any space and good finishing as the last strike always were stopped.
Especially Harvey Barnes is now starting to look like that player that gets everything correct just before his final touch and misses a lot of clear chances and his poor finishing can’t continue if he is to become the player Brendan Rodgers trust in this position.
City had the ball and played around the park, but with five men put together in defense by Benitez it all looked like a very difficult situation. Newcastle was also fighting like dogs and their counter attacks, especially from Rondon and Perez were really dangerous.
Brendan Rodgers waited a while before he made his first substitutions, but the introduction of Kelechi Iheanacho and Papy Mendy never really made any type of change that the manager was looking for.
In the last minutes of the game Marc Albrighton entered the field, nice to see him back after such a long time on the sidelines, but his passes from the flank looked a bit “rusty” and had no clear cut.
Jamie Vardy came close in the last minutes of the game, but his attempt with a direct shot want far over and it was not his day either.
With the best header on the field, Harry Maguire, standing still in defense for the last quarter, you start to wonder what type of game plan Brendan Rodgers had for his team when everything he tried didn’t work.
It would have been great to see Maguire in a role up front played up in the air and hopefully being able to head the ball down to either Vardy or Maddison, and with Tielemans and Albrighton both out there that could have worked.
- Albrighton back in action
- Trying to break down Newcastle for 90 minutes
- Kasper Schmeichel playing to his best
- Not able to break down Newcastle
- Not pushing Maguire up in the last quarter to fight in the air
- Rodgers not able to go to plan B or even plan C
- Vardy not clinicial enough, had the chances to score
- Maddison vasting free kicks and not the player to trust in games like this
- Player Ratings: Schmeichel 7. Pereira 5, Chilwell 6, Morgan 5, Maguire 6, Ndidi 5, Tielemans 6, Barnes 5, Vardy 5, Maddison 5, Gray 4, Subs: Iheanacho, Mendy, Albrighton
Match Stats: H/A
- Possession: 67 / 33
- Corners: 2 / 3
- Shots on target: 5 / 4
- Shots wide: 4 / 4
- Fouls: 6 / 10
- Offsides: 3 / 4