Stoke City made it a bit of a difficult day for Leicester City in this fourth pre-season game of the season. At the same time a number of other players played Rotherham United, so it was two good teams out to perform, subs mainly players from the U.23’s.
Kasper Schmeichel made a number of errors in the first half with sloppy passes into the feet of Stoke City players, but nothing converted. Stoke were also rewarded a penalty, but that weak shot from Sam Vokes was well saved by Schmeichel, who made of for som pretty big errors earlier.
Leicester City played with belief and we can see that the team have great quality, but maybe lack a bit of pace in special places, but again nice to see quality players not giving away too much in the first half.
Leicester City came out in the 2nd half with an unchanged team, but changing strategy a bit with a more pyramid like midfield. Albrighton, Vardy and Perez combined well up front but had difficulties penetrating the Stoke defense.
Mark Albrighton made the difference after 60 minutes with a great volley shot from a Ricardo Pereira pass. Leicester City showed the quality needed to take the lead, but a blunder a few minutes later made a “lucky strike” from Nick Powell to find goal and the ball went above Schmeichel and into the goal, Stoke were level after 70 minutes.
A great pass from Jamie Maddison to Jamie Vardy could have earlier given Leicester City the lead and that perfect combination was just a few inches from going in, impressively kept out by England international Jack Butland in the Stoke goal.
Leicester City did have the ball more than Stoke and with Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira both being eager to go forward, it was obvious that more chances would appear, and it was exactly what happened with Youri Tielemans was last on the 2-1 winner.
Playing through the field on the floor up to Chilwell on the left and a pass to Tielemans who stirked with a well placed shot “on grass” made this a well build play with a brilliant finish. great to watch.
Stoke City didn’t have enough power up front to threaten Leicester City, with attackers not able to convert either from the penalty spot or from set play. Once or twice they were close but Afobe and Vokes are probably a duo who will not convert enough this season, with as few five goals to their names together in a Stoke City shirt.
Stoke City also had to see one of their best players leave the field with an injury, it looked bad for Ryan Shawcross, and hopefully manager Nathan Jones can find solutions if Shawcross needs surgery or being out for a longer period of time.
Leshabela made a sub appearance for Leicester City and was the only one of those on the bench to play. Leshabela came on for goalscorer Marc Albrighton and showed a few skills that could see him as an option next season.
Gerry Taggert, the expert on LCFC.com, did mention Ricardo Pereira as the best Leicester City player, but missed out on Hamza Choudhury who did a fantastic job in that defensive midfield role and it will not be easy for Brendan Rodgers to leave him out of team.
Leicester City are on the right course and today they showed a solidity that makes TCF positive of what is to come. To let Harry Maguire leave now, would be a suicidal decision with him partnering Jonny Evans and looks as the preferred pairing in the back.
No report from the Rotherham game, ending 2-2 at New York Stadium, but to see Kelechi Iheanacho scoring both goals might have been the highlight from that game.
To sum it all up,
- Scoring twice, winning the game
- Great penalty save from Kasper Schmeichel
- Albrighton goal, so well positioned and placed
- The team looked settled and compact, good performance all over
- Ball possession showed a total dominance
- James Maddison back on track, Gareth Southgate should follow him closely
- Schmeichel making silly mistakes that could have cost
- Letting in a sloppy goal
- Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6. Pereira 7, Chilwell 7, Evans 6, Maguire 7, Choudhury 7, Maddison 8, Tielemans 7, Albrighton 7, Vardy 6, Perez 6, Subs: Leshabela
Match Stats: H/A
- Possession: 33 / 67
- Offsides: 5 / 0