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ICC 2016 Finale: Barcelona 4-2 Leicester City

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An absolute cracker of a preseason game ends in another loss for the Foxes, but there’s plenty of positives to be taken.

International Champions Cup 2016 - Leicester City v Barcelona Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images

Try not to worry about the first half too much. Yes, down 7-0 on aggregate against PSG and Barcelona, it was hard to deny there was a gulf in class. But don’t let that make you think Leicester played badly, those are just 2 fantastic teams.

Starting in the same 4-4-2 shape that struggled against the French champions, City looked much improved. In particular, the return of Vardy and Drinkwater were key, bringing the energy and pressing needed to make that style work.

The mistakes were still there, however, and we’ve learned for sure now that at this level they will be punished.

Barcelona opted against names on the shirt, so I’m not sure who their blonde haired no. 10 was, but the Foxes defensive lapses made him look like Leo Messi at times.

In all seriousness, those star players were the clear difference in the first half. Simpson lost focus for half a second and Messi found Munir for an easy first. Suarez magic made the second.

Barca had 71% of first half possession and we spent a lot of time chasing. Combine that with the long flight and it was clear that some players were out of gas by the end of the half, as Munir got the third.

But that second half.

Oh boy that second half.

Musa came on and he was an absolute terror. His first action was to turn a defender on the halfway line, carry the ball into the box, beating two tackles and finished it wonderfully.

Comfortably Leicester’s man of the match, the new record signing replaced Vardy, so we’ll have to wait further to see them together, but they will be a defender’s worst nightmare.

Slowly we're getting better. We need more fitness, but we looked more grown up compared to the PSG match - Claudio

He also succeeded the Leicester City way. Not just on the counter, but the constant pressing and energy that made Vardy so successful. Schlep, Okazaki and Drinkwater were also great at this, with Jeff winning it high up the pitch to set up Musa for his second.

The game petered out a bit in the last 10 minutes, and Leicester were caught out for a 4th, but all in all it was an impressive performance.

I can’t finish this without mentioning what a fantastic game that was. Comfortably the most entertaining preseason game I’ve watched. This should be another fantastic season to be a Leicester City fan.