Leicester City picked up their first win of the season this weekend against Swansea City. You can read our full match report here, but now it’s time to reflect on the quality of the performances we saw.
As a team, the first half was fantastic. If last week’s draw against Arsenal was a return to the Leicester style that we’re used to, this was a showcase of what this team looks like at it’s best.
Our first half was outstanding. We played very well and we deserved more than one goal. It’s okay. At the end we complicated the match a little when we missed a penalty and they scored a goal - Claudio Ranieri
They pressed, won the ball in midfield, played fast, direct football and created lots of chances. It was frenetic game to match the weather, which covered for some lack in quality. It dropped off towards the end, but I think that was understandable once the water on the pitch reached ankle high.
Kasper Schmeichel - 8
First and foremost, he’s not injured too badly. A big relief because I thought he was excellent today. With the team pushing forwards and controlling the game, he didn’t have many saves to make, but did do a good in a sweeper keeper role that he isn’t often asked to do.
Danny Simpson - 7
Good defensively again from Simpson. Rarely beaten and made some important far post clearances.
Wes Morgan - 7
Not a difficult chance, but he took it emphatically to give us a 2 goal cushion that we’d need. Pretty good at the back but beaten by a great jump and header for their goal.
Robert Huth - 7
Same old same old from Big Bob. He’s a rock at the back and played mistake free defensive football. A shame to see him get booked so soon after returning from suspension though.
Christian Fuchs - 7
Another unremarkable performance from the fullback (dramatic shots in the downpour aside). But then, if you don’t hear a defenders name, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Riyad Mahrez - 7
He’s getting there. The soggy conditions obviously played against his dancing feet, but he was still able to make an impact with some impressive one touch football, notably in the build up to the goal, but in plenty of other attacks. This penalty thing needs to get sorted though. he’s missed 3 of his last 4.
Danny Drinkwater - 9
Absolutely vital to the first half performance. Our style doesn’t lend itself to keeping the ball, so maintaining pressure when we’re on top can be a difficulty. Drink water mopped up seemingly every ball Swansea cleared and brought it forward to keep that pressure up. His long balls over the top seem almost ho-hum by now, but today’s was a thing of beauty.
Daniel Amartey - 8
Three players in three games have now auditioned for this place and I have to say the Ghanaian’s was the most impressive of the bunch. In particular, when it came to energy and ball winning he was...can I say Kanté-like? He and Drinkwater did drop off some in the second half, which allowed Swansea to come into the game more.
I can play everywhere, so if they give me the opportunity I have to play my best - Daniel Amartey on getting a chance in midfield today
Marc Albrighton - 7
Solid again. Still not producing as many chances as you’d like to see, but his work does seem to be holding the midfield together better than any of the other options here.
Shinji Okazaki - 9
Maybe I’m going over the top here, but I though he was fantastic. Most Shinji discussion revolves around his energy and unseen contributions, but today he had everything (except a goal). The energy and pressing were still there, but so were the great touches that rivalled Mahrez, runs off the ball that looked like Vardy and even a stinging drive from outside the area.
49’ - How can you not love every single thing about Shinji Okazaki? The hustle, the touch, the hair, the smile. All brilliant.— Fosse Posse (@TheFossePosse) August 27, 2016
Excellent point, Shane.
Jamie Vardy - 8
So so dangerous. After he drew an early free kick you could see the defenders were afraid to even try to tackle him. His blistering pace will always make him a menace and he never looked like missing that chance today. Hopefully this is him back in form.
He is a complete player. Not only his pace, but technically and tactically - Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin
Ron-Robert Zieler - 7
Didn’t have much to do, other than the goal, but did it well. Not to blame for the goal, it was just a great header.
Ahmed Musa - 6
Interesting that his role off the bench appears to be as a winger, rather than the weekly Shinji sub. Thanks to the rain, the game was already coming apart when he came on and he didn’t have much of a chance to make an impact.
Leo Ulloa - 6
Came on 9 minutes later today and, like Musa, didn’t have much of a chance late in a weather affected game.
Swansea City - 5
Until a second half storm, which came far too late, they never really looked in the game. It could’ve been much worse than 1-0 at half time.
Man of the match for me has to be Shinji Okazaki, but I could certainly see an argument Drinky or Amartey too. Which performance were you most impressed by?