Leicester 3, Villareal 2, positives and negatives, player ratings, and match report

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Brendan Rodgers did play his best eleven to his disposal at this moment, maybe Soumare and Daka will challenge for one of those starting places, but all in all a very competitve first eleven for the last pre-season game and the only at home and again in front a lively crowd, good to see the supporters back, hopefully it will stay like this going forward.

Leicester did start the game with the upper hand, being set up as a 3-5-2, playing Maddison alongside Vardy up front, but movement was absolute as the line up did see switching of places all around the field especially giving Bertrand the freedom to go forward, and other players dropping down in the open gaps, though the set up from the official site said this, according to other websites Leicester did played a flat four, and they did at times as Pereira just dropped down and moved like a train on a track, interesting to watch.

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Leicester had their chances but it wasn’t before the 40th minute that they actually managed to score from a set piece. A free kick taken by new signing Ryan Bertrand and a nice header from Caglar Soyuncu opened it for Leicester.

Jamie Vardy had come close early on and with a new good pass through from Ryan Bertrand just before half time, Harvey Barnes sprinted towards the goal and made a clear and clinical finish, seeing Leicester 2-0 up at half time.

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This was a great first half from Leicester, with Villareal a bit weakened by the fact that a number of players were absent, some been involved in the Euro’s and one player still in the Olympics and also others absent. Rulli *, Albiol, Torres *, Foyth, Cappou *, Parejo *, Trigueros, Pedraza *!, Yeremi Pino, Bacca *S, Moreno, was the starting line-up v. Man Utd in the final of the Europa League. Today new signing from Real Betis, Mandi was in the starting line-up, Manu Morlanes was also in the team from start, a new signing from Almeria, but their new profile signing from Stade Reims, forward Boulaye Dia was missing. Carlos Bacca that started the Europa League final has moved to Almeria. The players marked with a * were all missing this game, Pedraza came on as a sub.

Vardy, Schmeichel, Ndidi and Tielemans left the field after first half, being replaced with new signings Daka and Soumare, also giving minutes from that time to Ward and Dewsbury-Hall all just pushing on as Leicester did have momentum and continued with their pressure and possession.

Leicester scored their third goal after 51 minutes with good work from Dewsbury-Hall and Daka that finally reached Ayoze Perez who just pushed the ball over the line and suddenly Leicester are 3-0 up, and everything looks perfect and fantastic. Really the first great pre-season performance by Leicester, it looked really really good.

Then in the 59th minute Wesley Fofana goes down after being horribly tackled. It looks grim and ugly as this could be a serious injury and it could see Fofana sidelined for a long time. We just have to wait and hear from the official report. Ben Nelson another young prospect, just 17, took Fofana’s place in defence, he came on in the 64th minute.

A number of substitutions were made just minutes after, fielding Amartey, Benkovic, Thomas, Albrighton, Praet and Iheanacho, taking off Bertrand, Pereira, Barnes, Maddison, Perez and Soyuncu.

There were a bit of confusion as the Leicester team was juggled and Villareal who also made a number of substitutions were able to score twice before the final whistle, the first one after 76 minutes from Nino and after 83 minutes Millan striked, two players that neither were involved in the Europa League final v. Man Utd.

We did see another game with a bit of experimental stuff, but the first half indicated some sort of a line-up that would look like a starting eleven.

  • Positives
    • Scoring three goals again, great strikes from Soyuncu, Barnes and Perez
    • Momentum and a clear vision was set from start in this line-up
    • Schmeichel back, gives a total different calmness in the team
    • Soyuncu strong and making his mark with Evans absent, Fofana also brilliant
    • Bertrand with two assists and showing he can be part of a back three
  • Negatives:
    • Letting in two goals towards the end
    • Fofana injury, what a massive blow

Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6, Pereira 6, Fofana 8, Soyuncu 8, Bertrand 8, Maddison 6, Nididi 6, Tielemans 6, Barnes 7, Vardy 6, Perez 6, Subs: Ward 5, Soumare 6, Albrighton, Amartey, Benkovic, Nelson, Dewsbury-Hall 7, Iheanacho, Thomas, Daka 6

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  • Leicester City, Man of the Match
    • Caglar Soyuncu

Match Stats (H/A):

  • Possession: 56 / 43
  • Corners: – / –
  • Shots on target: 4 / 2
  • Fouls: – / –

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