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

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Leicester came up to St James Park as favorites for todays game with a good run of games under their belt. Newcastle and Rafa Benitez has a bit of a crisis and were also without their top target man Jose Rondon.

As always Tcf is not in line with the team selection of Puel and as we had predicted Wes Morgan was back, partnering Harry Maguire, who had been under a bit of criticism, had his rest against Wolves, and was back to his very best.

Pereira was pushed forward, giving space for Daniel Amartey at right back and today against a team like Newcastle, Amartey functioned as an alternative to the right, but again Puel has a bit of problem with the right back position.

The game was relatively open in the first 30 minutes without really being a very entertaining affair. In the 30th minute Harry Maguire went up for a challenge in the Newcastle penalty area and a handball from Yedlin results in a penalty

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Jamie Vardy is the preferred penalty taker and he converts, City are in the lead. Vardy’s shot is down in the left side corner and it’s a good penalty never really any doubt about the outcome. Leicester controls the situation and goes into half time with a secure lead.

Newcastle looked pure, just pure, during the game and it’s easy to see that Rafe Benitez is struggling to find a solution, and again not able to put almost no pressure on Kasper Schmeichel and Leicester City during 90 minutes.

2nd half is again very much Leicester City and to see the team in this way is great, 59 % ball possession and really tearing Newcastle apart. The 2-0 goal was a beauty from Harry Maguire going so high in the air that you would think he would come down again.

James Maddison’s corner is also perfect for Maguire to hit, high above the birds, and so well placed that the Newcastle goalkeeper Dubravka has no chance to save it.

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Leicester dominated this clash after 2-0 and full control as earlier said against a Newcastle team without spirit, but that is not Claude Puels concern. To see this team today, not as Tcf would have seen the line-up, is encouraging and all credit to Puel who shows that he was right in his team selection.

No one is wrong in selection when you win a football game, and as long as Claude Puel win games, then no one can complain. When you win 2-0 away and also have more possession than your opponent, you are immune.

The defense today looked solid and especially the partnership between Wes Morgan was one working well, but again this Newcastle team was weak and without any striking power at all, looked totally toothless.

  • Positives:
    • Winning away is always a bonus, great credit to the manager and team
    • Maddison and Maguire running the show, great performance
    • Vardy scoring from the penalty spot, good taken penalty
    • Keeping a clean sheet, solid defensively
    • 12 points, just three points behind a top 4 spot
    • Puel a bit out of the pressure zone, hopefully he will get things right
    • To keep possession and also scoring goals is showing solidity
  • Negatives:
    • Knocks on Vardy and Maddison, hopefully nothing serious
  • Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6. Amartey 6, Chilwell 6, Morgan 7, Maguire 9, Mendy 7, Ndidi 7, Vardy 7, Iheanacho 6, Maddison 8, Pereira 6, Subs: Albrighton, Iborra,

Match Stats: H/A

  • Possession: 41 / 59
  • Corners: 5 / 9
  • Shots on target: 3 / 3
  • Shots wide: 2 / 4
  • Fouls: 10 / 5
  • Offsides: 1 / 0

 

Wolves 1, Leicester 3, positives and negatives, player ratings and match report

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We all knew that Claude Puel would do changes to the team that won at home in the Premier League v. Huddersfield and so he did. A difficult tie away to Wolves, and in the Carabao Cup you never really know what you are up against. Mercury duo Tanner and Sharpe both believed that Turkish defender and new signing Caglar Soyuncu would be starting, but instead Wes Morgan was back alongside Jonny Evans, giving a well deserved rest to Harry Maguire. Jamie Vardy started up front, would have thought Kelechi Iheanacho would have been given a new start, but no, Puel selected Shinji Okazaki.

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The first half was a bit dull, with few chances to both sides and not really setting Danny Ward in any difficulties, in front of his defense who were Pereira, Evans, Morgan and Fuchs, all proven professionals who would cope with this type of Wolverhampton side.

Marc Albrighton was also starting in a midfield who had Silva, Iborra and Ghezzal alos featuring. A solid midfield and as always you know what you get, good passes solid defensive work and probably not too much creativity without a resting Jamies Maddision in the site. Ndidi and Mendy were not either involved.

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City looked the stronger team through out the game, and both Albrighton and Evans came close, but couldn’t convert. A great save from Ruddy on the attempt from Albrighton and Evans header was just wide.

We all had to see the game ebbing out in a 0-0 draw. Surprisingly this time it was no extra time played and it all went straight to a penalty shoot out. Always a gamble and a riddle to find out how that can end.

Danny Ward became the Leicester hero as he started to save and he just continued, three saves from four penalties was fantastic, and he shows that he is a quality goalkeeper the Wales international. Leicester scored three times, Ghezzal, Iborra and finally Iheanacho netted, with Choudhury missing with an awful attempt, but again Leicester are through to the 4th round, which will be drawn tomorrow.

Leicester have a solid squad of players, probably too solid, and they can field a reserve team almost as strong as the first 11, so no need to worry, and of course exciting to see who Leicester will draw next.

For the first time Tcf has given a 10 in the player ratings, to save three penalties and keep a clean sheet, it must be a clear 10’r for Danny Ward.

  • Positives:
    • A well balanced team, players in their best positions
    • Resting Maguire, Morgan and Evans getting a chance to gell
    • Giving a number of not playing players game time
    • Ward saving three Wolves penalties, just great
    • Into the 4th round, always positive to win football games
    • Puel getting more confidence and hopefully will build on that special win
    • Mental strength for Iheanacho scoring a vital goal under pressure
    • Great to hear the Leicester fanbase in the stands, they made good noise
  • Negatives:
    • Not able to score from great chances
    • Caglar Soyuncu not getting his debut, sorry for him
    • Yellow cards to Evans and Morgan
    • Vardy not able to be the difference this time
    • Demarai Gray picks up what is believed to be a bad injury

Player Ratings: Ward 10. Pereira 6, Fuchs 6, Evans 6, Morgan 6, Silva 6, Iborra 6, Vardy 6, Okazaki 6, Albrighton 7, Ghezzal 6, Subs: Gray, Iheanacho, Choudhury

Match Stats: H/A

  • Possession: 48 / 52
  • Corners: 6 / 4
  • Shots on target: 2 / 5
  • Shots wide: 2 / 8
  • Fouls: 8 / 12
  • Offsides: 2 / 1

 

Leicester 3, Huddersfield 1, positives and negatives, player ratings and match report

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Few would have thought about the line-up being played against Huddersfield, and as always Claude Puel is in with a few surprises. We knew that Wes Morgan was out and to see Jonny Evans from start was clearly a right decission. Pereira never impressed against Bournemouth and again time for Daniel Amartey. Kelechi Iheanacho was given the chance on top and pushed Demarai Gray to the bench. Iheanacho deserved his chance, but the system played was a new one. Not really understanding it and after five minutes everything looked totally out of order, with a throw in finding Mathias Jorgensen who scored on his Danish countryman Kasper Schmeichel.

Again it started badly for Puel and his preferred team and system, like it was a new way of playing and that not all players were familier yet with this. But things started to click a bit better and after 19 minutes on a wonderful counterattack Vardy found Iheanacho who converted with a good strike on the floor. The pace became a key today and it all worked wonders in the end. A couple of more chances was there in the first half, but it all ended 1-1.

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Puel kept faith in Rachid Ghezzal but not more than one half as he struggled to find his place in this type of system. Demarai Gray came on and he again showed that he was hungry and eager to go.

Jamie Vardy could have scored from a James Maddison free kick, but missed the chance and his shot on volley went wide, not as the one last season against West Bromwich, who was a simular shot, but then he scored.

Leicester kept momentum and pushed Huddersfield to make several errors, one of them ended in a free kick to Leicester after 66 minutes. A fantastically well place hurdling shot above the Bournemouth wall and into the goal, 2-1.

Huddersfield, who has not yet won a game in the Premier League this season, had a number of great chances to come back, but when Vardy was well played forward by Kelechi Iheanacho and just lifted the ball above Lossl who had no chance.

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Claude Puel must be very satisfied with his group today and the work ethic was 100 %. The reaction from the squad after the changes made was also there to see, despite being behind at an early stage. Huddersfield were a treath but the quality in the Leicester City squad is at a higher level than The Terriers, so on 9 out of 10, City should be able to win.

Shinji Okazaki and Mark Albrighton both came on, and contributed and Okazaki came close to score a goal, and Albrighton is a better passer than most players and his calm is great to have in the late stages of the game.

The changes made worked, but still not convinced about the right back position, to play Maddison in a wide free role, and not really any big day for Rachid Ghezzal who had to leave the field after the first half.

  • Positives:
    • Coming back and winning the game convincingly
    • Iheanacho and Vardy playing a great game together
    • Vardy going deep and really working like a horse in all 90 minutes
    • Evans looks good alongside Maguire
    • 9 points from 6 games, 8th position, not bad
    • Puel getting it right with a huge gamble
  • Negatives:
    • Puel not really showing confidence in Pereira
    • Amartey needs to practice on throw in’s
    • Yellow cards on Ghezzal and Ndidi
    • Not really keeping momentum from start
    • Vardy could have scored more, need him even more clinical

Player Ratings: Schmeichel 7. Amartey 4, Chilwell 7, Evans 6, Maguire 6, Mendy 7, Ndidi 7, Vardy 8, Iheanacho 9, Maddison 8, Ghezzal 4, Subs: Gray 6, Albrighton, Okazaki

Match Stats: H/A

  • Possession: 54 / 46
  • Corners: 3 / 1
  • Shots on target: 5 / 1
  • Shots wide: 6 / 4
  • Fouls: 10 / 16
  • Offsides: 1 / 0

 

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