Slimani winning the AFCON, Mahrez add new trophy on top of English treble

Islam Slimani came on late in the final against Senegal and helped Algeria to a 1-0 win in a dramatic final as VAR took away a Senegal penalty. Riyad Mahrez added another trophy to his tally of three English winners medals this season.

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Slimani and Mahrez might have seen this as a chance to shine with the former Leicester City winger and now Man City bound, Mahrez showing skills we all remembered so well from the time he spent at King Power Stadium.

Islam Slimani a previous record signing when he joined from Sporting Lisbon back in 2016 for a fee in the region of £28million has never shined as much as everyone would have liked, and spent the last two seasons on loan at Newcastle United and Besiktas.

The two Algerian internationals were never joined by fellow countryman Rachid Ghezzal who had to sit and watch his nation winning that special trophy while performing for Leicester City in the pre-season campaign.

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Ghezzal missed out and never got the chance to add more caps to his tally of 16, but hopefully would see this is an incredible achievement as this was the nations second win in this tournament, the last one as far back as 1990.

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Riyad Mahrez showed his quality in all games captaining his side to this great victory and might have benefited a lot by being rested so much in his first season at Man City, not always getting the amount of play time that he probably would have liked.

For Islam Slimani this must have been a great victory, being able to score in the early stages and contributing as well as he did. The close future will be exciting either if he has any hope of a “look in” under Brendan Rodgers or will be loaned out or sold before the transfer window shuts.

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

 

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