Leicester City came away with a point after a difficult visit to the bet365 Stadium, though they may have hoped for more. Stoke City fought back from a one-goal deficit on two occasions, resulting in this bittersweet feeling for the Foxes.
For much of the match it felt like Leicester was on the front foot and had many of the star performers on the pitch:
Kasper Schmeichel: A goalkeeper topping a list like this is usually a sign of a struggle. This game, however, was different. Stoke did not overwhelm with the volume of their chances, but a few quality attempts did elicit some of Kasper’s best work. Not long ago I put him on the opposite end of this list because of a what I considered a failure to live up to his lofty standards. This match was a reminder of why I felt that way. The Dane was called into action on a couple of occasions and showed the incredible talent that makes him one of the best keepers in England.
Wilfred Ndidi: Wilf appears to be growing into the season and becoming more comfortable alongside his new midfield partner. The man brought in to do the impossible - replace N’Golo Kanté - is a force of his own when he plays the way he did at Stoke. He bossed the midfield by having the most touches of anybody on the pitch, completing nearly 82 percent of his passes, winning six aerial duels, and making three tackles and seven clearances. To cap off his all-around performance, he contributed a magical clearance-turned-aerial-through-ball to Riyad Mahrez to assist the second goal.
Demarai Gray: After such a long period of mere flashes of brilliance, it appears Gray may finally be breaking through. He has two starts in two games under Puel and has made the most of both appearances. He didn’t contribute with a quasi-forced-own-goal or a barnstorming run that served as a hockey assist like he did last week, but he still shined. Once again it was Gray who seemed like the biggest threat on the pitch for the Foxes in the first half. He repeatedly turned defenders (especially Kurt Zouma) inside out and whipped dangerous balls into the box, which was a welcomed development as he previously seemed reluctant to pass at times. This resulted in three key passes - the most of any Leicester player. He did, however, appear to be burned out in the second half which may be a trend to watch. Perhaps a Shinji-esque substitution pattern awaits him.
Harry Maguire: I’m beginning to realize his play-style lends itself to volatile performances. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as what he brings to the side is unique and irreplaceable, but he may find himself fluctuating between opposite ends of this list. At Stoke he wasn’t terrible, but a couple mistakes cost the Foxes two points. He was nowhere to be found for Xherdan Shaqiri’s opening goal, and he struggled to make his way around teammates to mark Peter Crouch on the corner that resulted in Stoke’s second. Even in a substandard performance like this one, he still provided an assist on Vicente Iborra’s opener.
Marc Albrighton: I feel like I might be piling on by placing him here again, but he was nonexistent in his short time in the game. Granted, it is normal for a player to need time to get into the flow of a game, but he literally made one contribution to the stat sheet for his entire appearance and it was just one touch; no passes, no tackles, no blocks, no clearances, and not even one cross. For me, he has been the most disappointing player of the campaign for the Foxes, as he is still a valuable player whom much is expected of. The quality just hasn’t been there yet.