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FA Cup Player Ratings: Leicester City 2-2 Derby County

Let’s go round again

Derby County v Leicester City - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

A side as close to full strength as that should have had little trouble putting away a Championship team, even in a derby game. Instead, Leicester City are in the hat for the 5th round only because their opposition couldn’t quite hold onto a lead, and so we’ll have a replay early next month.

While the return to 4-4-2 was expected, the selection did surprise me. Chilwell is good going forward, for a defender, but he’s not a winger. That, alongside hard workers in Marc Albrighton and Shinji Okazaki, rather than the creative players on the bench, suggested Derby were being given too much respect. We should have pushed on after a frankly lucky goal, but instead dropped off and invited a come back.

Kasper Schmeichel - 6

Didn’t have a lot of saves to make, but the two that beat him were well placed. Seemed fairly assured under crosses and his long kicks found their target more often than a lot of games.

Danny Simpson - 5

The defenders didn’t have a great deal to do, in part because we held a lot more possession than we’re used to. Mistakes were still made for both goals, though. Darren Bent is not a big striker and had three men around him. There’s no way he should have been first to that cross.

Wes Morgan - 6

A mixed bag for the captain again. Yes, he came up big with the late goal, but he was also very slow to get across, leaving a huge space in the box for the second Derby goal.

Robert Huth - 6

No obvious mistakes for Huth, no implication in either of the goals, but again there was a problem with clearing the ball effectively and Huth was part of that. He loves an aimless long ball, even if it’s to Vardy and Musa in the air.

Christian Fuchs - 5

Another who was marking Bent for the first goal. Other than that he had very little to do, before being sacrificed for an attacking style we should have adopted from the start.

Marc Albrighton - 5

Didn’t make a great case for himself. Gave the ball away a lot more often than you’d expect and crossed exactly as often as you’d expect, but rarely found a target.

Danny Drinkwater - 6

Some of the team seemed a little confused to have more of the ball than their opponents, but Drinky took to it fairly comfortably, taking the most touches in the game by some way. Passed well, but without any real incision.

Andy King - 5

His short passing again was good for possession, but never looked creative. He defended well for most of the game, but his attempted tackle in the build up to the Derby second was awful.

Ben Chilwell - 5

Made some good runs, and put in a couple of crosses, but showed he’s not really a winger. Did fine defensively in the second half, but (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) was also marking Darren Bent for his equaliser.

Shinji Okazaki - 4

Maybe I’m blaming a team-wide problem on one player, but there was no creativity in the side and, if he’s not taking chances, he has to be providing them. His defensive work wasn't really required and he failed to ever really affect the game.

Jamie Vardy - 5

I’m torn on Vardy. On the one hand, he’s absolutely feeding on scraps right now, but at the same time he’s hardly helping his suppliers. Get in the box, run the channels, make something happen for yourself.

We didn't play with Slimani with Ulloa and I said play on the floor it's much better - the manager’s half time talk centred around playing to the strikers’ strengths.

Demarai Gray - 7

I’ve said before he looks like the only one who could make something happen, this time he looked like the only one even trying to. Call him greedy if you will, but someone has to shoot at some point.

Riyad Mahrez - 6

He was...fine. Not the same player as last year, but capable of playing the ball along the deck, which is what our smaller strikers need.

Ahmed Musa - 4

Struggling from a similar affliction to Vardy; his teammates seem to have him confused with Leo Ulloa. Still, when he had the ball, you could see why they weren’t trying that hard to get it to him.

If our finishing had been up to scratch, or if we’d played with the intent of the second half all game, we might now be looking forward to a last 16 featuring the likes of Wolves and Lincoln over Liverpool and Everton. Instead we have to play another game. My Man of the Match is Demarai Gray because he takes the ball towards the goal and actually shoots. Who was yours?