Leicester 0, Arsenal 2, positives and negatives, player ratings, and match report

Brendan Rodgers fielded a team with players that so far have had limited chances to play in the PL games and it was no surprises in the line-up really, good to see James Maddison back from start as he got vital minutes to get back to full fitness.

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Arsenal did also field a team with fringe players, but they have a good and competitive squad, so this was a team that would be difficult to defeat as Leicester City surely experienced. First half was dominated by Arsenal but Leicester City did have a number of great chances and could have taken the lead with a great attempt from James Maddison, but unfortunately the ball hit the post.

Brendan Rodgers had changed his entire midfield with Hamza Choudhry, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and James Maddison playing in a pyramid with two defensive and one offensive midfielder, and it worked ok, probably not pace up front as Marc Albrighton did appear in midfield and not as a third option up front, with Demarai Gray covering the other flank.

Leicester City came out second half with a positive attitude, but it was Arsenal again who ran the show with better controll and passing and early on Christian Fuchs was unlucky and scored an own goal, Arsenal was 1-0 up after 56 minutes. A bit later Arsenal was again close with an attempt saved by Wes Morgan in a miraculous way, heading the ball of the goal line,

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Brendan Rodgers replaced James Maddison with Dennis Praet and also took of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and put on Ayoze Perez, strangely not using his third sub with Harvey Barnes on the bench, not really understanding why on earth he didn’t use that card.

Leicester City had some sort of a soft push to try to score, but instead in the final minute of the game Arsenal scored a sloppy goal after totally hopeless defending, letting Nketiah just take the ball and push it over the line, bad work from goalkeeper Danny Ward as well, who could have just picked up the ball.

A dull and uninspired game by Leicester City and again we just waited for something to happen, which it didn’t, and cannot figure out either Kelechi Iheanacho or Demarai Gray, who both again was not really part of the game in the 2nd half, fading out.

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Leicester City who have in the previous seasons had good runs in the EFL Cup, will not have to consentrate on their Premier League form and also hope to do their best in Europe and maybe a blessing in disguise as it will still be many games to play.

  • Positives
    • Giving another group of players a chance to get minutes of action
    • Wes Morgan showing he can still cope with this level
    • Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the starting line-up
    • James Maddison showing his quality and was close to score
  • Negatives:
    • Bad defending and goalkeeping in vital situations, letting in sloppy goals
    • Brendan Rodgers not fielding all of his subs, and keeping a game changer like Barnes on the bench
    • Out of a competition that could have given a number of fringe players more game time
  • Player Ratings: Ward 4, Amartey 5, Fuchs 4, Morgan 6, Dewsbury-Hall 6, Choudhury 5, Maddison 6, Albrighton 5, Iheanacho 4, Gray 5, Perez 6 Subs: Praet, Perez
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  • Leicester City, Man of the Match
    • James Maddison

Match Stats (H/A):

  • Possession: 49 / 51
  • Corners: 1 / 7
  • Shots on target: 2 / 4
  • Fouls: 5 / 8

Leicester City and Brendan Rodgers on “broken” players, would love to hear his verdict on some of his own?

Newly signed Cengiz Under has experienced the same treatment at Roma as several players have under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City. You can only pick eleven for your starting line-up and often a number of players are getting a role or stamp in one place and seen totally different at others.

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Brendan Rodgers inherited a lot of difficulties but has certainly also brought a few in himself, with both Dennis Praet and Ayoze Perez not really been shown the confidence needed to be able to perform to their very best.

Perez and Praet were certainties and stars at their former clubs and Praet often seen as captain and the leader of the pack at Sampdoria and Anderlecht. Perez and Praet at their best have abilities, as we have surely seen, to win football games on their own, and they are highly classy players, but they have yet to prove themselves in the games against those heavy opponents and might not been ready for such tasks when given the job.

Hamza Choudhury is a player that has made his best performances against those top teams able to use his best skills in tackling and breaking down opponents and just be there as the killing battler and just show that vitality when you need it the most, but failing to show the same flair playing in a team that should win with possession.

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There are a great number of examples of players that have failed at Leicester City, but shined other places and no one bothers anymore, you can almost win the World Cup if you like, Andrej Kramaric did that, but as Adrien Silva, Islam Slimani and Rachid Ghezzal, you really don’t fancy them back any of them, they are all Leicester City history, and their time at the club judge them as players and not what they have done elsewhere.

Looking at Fousseni Diabatte’s performance against CL finalist PSG for Amiens last season is also something that would probably see a manager forget Cengiz Under and just call for Fousseni to return instantly, but why is that not happening? Because everything is settled in the minds of us all and it takes more than one game to win us all over, Fousseni is not good enough for Leicester City, period, but look at the faces of the famous PSG bench warmers as Fousseni scores.

If you look at those great managers of the past and also those who bring the best out of their teams today they have a special gift of seeing those small details that makes things thick and that is why TCF believe that Arsenal are going to have a happy life under Mikel Arteta. Far away in the league last season, but being able to win trophies and that is a great sign as you are progressing, and so far Brendan Rodgers haven’t shown this ability but hopefully be able to both balance his squad and get full harmony in his ensemble and get those surplus out.

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There is always a time for everything and probably selling Ben Chilwell this summer might have been the greatest move ever, the same could be said about Harry Maguire moving to Manchester United, but maybe with Riyad Mahrez, he should probably had been given a chance to leave earlier and the club should not be afraid letting players leave when they are unhappy, to try to change those heads might be difficult.

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Demarai Gray and Kelechi Iheanacho are two players that might have to be sold, they looks without a future and will not be satisfied without getting regular first team football, and should be given a chance to leave, gamble on Eppiah or Muskwe if injuries strikes as the two showed that they can be alternatives if they need to play.

Mendy and Praet together with Choudhury are three midfielders that would have played in almost any team in Europe, as they are all Premier League quality and used in their best position, fantastic players, at Leicester City they will be bench warmers when everyone is fit to play, so it could be that at least one of the three should be sold, with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall also one to consider.

The “broken” men at Leicester City are many and they will continue to grow in numbers if Brendan Rodgers can’t find out how to get the best out of them.

Leicester 4, Burnley 2, positives and negatives, player ratings, and match report

Brendan Rodgers presented an unchanged team and even kept most of his bench as well, just replacing Luke Thomas with a fit and fresh Wes Morgan, who also late in the game made his first appearance of this league campaign, but it was Burnley who came best out of the starting blocks as they took the lead from a Chris Wood goal early on.

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Leicester City just pushed on and after 20 minutes everything was equal after a great run and turn from Jamie Vardy unselfishly passing the ball to Timothy Castagne who found Harvey Barnes with his pass and the latter converted with a nice placed shot down in the corner.

Leicester then had great domination and especially Harvey Barnes shined up front with Youri Tielemans doing well in midfield, but Burnley is a team that never gives up and they are just a great group of battlers so not easy to break down.

It was 1-1 at half time, but with so much Leicester City domination that we all believed in a win going into 2nd half. After 60 minutes it was time to get into the lead, and again it was Timothy Castagne in the main part, playing a ball towards Jamie Vardy, but the ball never reached him as Burnley defender Erik Pieters deflected the pass and outplayed the goalkeeper and in it went, great to finally see Leicester taking the lead.

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The domination was almost 100% at times, but it was difficult to tear down the Burnley defense even without their main central defenders Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, both out with injuries, but debutant Jimmy Dunne impressed and stopped most attempts together with their England goalkeeper Pope and also Bardsley, Taylor and Long battling on, trying to keep Barnes, Perez and Vardy silent, not very easy.

But after 61 minutes it was time for a Leicester City goal. A great attack rolled up with massive pressure and a lot of blue players inside the Burnley penalty box, James Justin was last on the ball as it crossed the line, great to see 3-1 lightening up.

But you should never underestimate Burnley, a team with players strong in the air, and it was with a header, debutant Dunne, found the net after 73 minutes. Leicester did play with high risk at times, but with such massive pressure you will get chances to score.

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Dennis Praet was the one this time, that killed it all, a great ball player that needs to play week in and week out, but that might not happen with everyone fully fit as it looks if Brendan Rodgers don’t really fancy Praet for a regular place, taking him off even when he scores a wonderful and cracking goal from distance, what a perfect shot, his goal settles the final score, 4-2.

Burnley is a team that comes to most arenas to try to spoil the party, using their bodies and muscles and trying to pass the ball up to Chris Wood and he came close a few times, even hitting the post, so that formula will give The Clarets a great number of points this season.

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Leicester are now top of the table, with the next PL clash away to Man City and before that a EFL Cup game v. Arsenal at home.

  • Positives
    • Again just going along with a 4-3-3 and keeping momentum
    • Timothy Castagne again brilliant
    • Youri Tielemans played with confidence and showing great leadership in midfield
    • James Maddison getting minutes and fantastic to be able to have such a great sub
    • Scoring four goals is always great
    • Going top of the table, makes you feel great, doesn’t it
    • James Justin scoring his first league goal for the club
    • Harvey Barnes just a blizzard out there this evening
  • Negatives:
    • Sloppy defending and passing at times, Burnley came close too often
    • Kasper Schmeichel doing errors in his passing, just kick the ball out
    • Mendy picking up a yellow card
  • Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6, Castagne 8, Justin 7, Ndidi 6, Soyuncu 7, Tielemans 8, Mendy 6, Praet 8, Vardy 6, Barnes 9, Perez 6 Subs: Albrighton, Maddison, Morgan
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  • Leicester City, Man of the Match
    • Harvey Barnes

Match Stats (H/A):

  • Possession: 68 / 32
  • Corners: 15 / 4
  • Shots on target: 14 / 16
  • Fouls: 11 / 13

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