Leicester City are unlikely to be relegated, but would you take a mid-table finish if it meant the last 16 of the UCL? For the second time in a row, the Foxes head into a European encounter on the back of a hiding, this time at the hands of Manchester United. Two data points is coincidence, not a pattern, but it is certainly worrying.
The obvious standout of the game was Leicester’s awful defending from corners, gifting their opposition three goals.
However, the quality of their opposition was telling throughout the first half; they passed with much more precision and their touch was considerably better than ours. If United had kept their foot on the gas, I think they’d have scored more than one from open play.
Ron-Robert Zieler - 6
He conceded four, but didn’t really do anything wrong. None of the goals were ones he should have saved, and if his team chose not to defend corners there’s not much he can do, is there?
Danny Simpson - 5
One of those caught napping for the third goal as he lost Rashford in the box. Looked to hold his own on the right for most of the game, but the damage was done.
Wes Morgan - 5
Beaten by Mata for the second goal, but that’s not a contest we should be trying to set up. In fairness, he was on Ibrahimovic for corners and kept him quiet. On the other hand, he’s the captain and defensive leader of a team that conceded from three corners.
Robert Huth - 5
Out-jumped by Smalling for the first goal and, much like Morgan, takes a hit for the other goals by virtue of the fact that he should know better by now.
Today we conceded three goals from corners. It’s strange too because we switched off. We lost our confidence and strength. We started to try to do something but alone, not as a team. Now I want to speak with the players to understand what happened - Claudio was understandably concerned
Christian Fuchs - 4
Involved in all four goals, which is impressive in a way. Particularly disappointing to be beaten at the near post for the fourth goal, although I’m not sure I could blame him for giving up before then.
Riyad Mahrez - 5
Even during Leicester’s good spells, he was fairly anonymous. Hard to blame the smallest man on the pitch for set piece defending though, and he was rested for the second half.
Danny Drinkwater - 6
Not a bad performance, given the scoreline. The midfield two found themselves overrun for a lot of the first half but he put the effort in and they appeared to have the game in hand shortly before the first goal.
Daniel Amartey - 5
He earned a 6 for his play throughout the match. It was a decent performance. He was, however, the primary culprit for the Rashford debacle and he’s lucky I didn’t take two off for that.
Marc Albrighton - 6
Another solid but unspectacular performance. Put the ball into dangerous areas occasionally, but it’s hard for him to create if the team doesn’t have the ball.
Islam Slimani - 7
One of few to come out of this game with any real credit, again displaying the non-goalscoring qualities he brings. His touch let him down a few times, as it did for the whole team, but his running and pressing were impressive and he kept up the energy long after the game was done.
Jamie Vardy - 6
Ran with some intent early on, which separates him from Mahrez, but he never really got a chance to get going. if we don’t ever give these players the ball, what can they do?
Demarai Gray - 8
Leicester’s chase to sign Gray began in earnest after a spectacular preseason goal, where he cut in off of the left wing and found the far top corner with a powerful right footed drive. This one was similar but even better. And he nearly did it twice. I’ll be watching it on repeat until the next game kicks off and I suggest you do the same.
Reasons to be cheerful, part one: Gray will be a cracking player.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 24, 2016
Andy King - 6
The game was over before his introduction. I know I’ve said that before, but not for a player that came on at half time. Switching to a three man midfield seemed to help, but the opposition weren’t really trying anymore.
Jeffrey Schupp - 6
He was fast, he was strong, he often didn’t look like he knew why he was there. All very normal for Schlupp and did anyone even care by this point?
If you’ve read this far after that performance then I’m afraid you have a problem, but thanks anyway. Demarai Gray is Man of the Match because there has to be one and his 10 seconds outshone anyone else’s 90 minutes. Except for the fans, of course, who comfortably held their own, as ever.
Credit btw to #LCFC fans. Dreadful 1st half, OK 2nd (pride wise), but visiting supporters sang for 90m like it was their side who scored 4— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) September 24, 2016