A rotated Leicester City side were overwhelmed defensively at the weekend, falling 4-2 to Everton in a thrilling encounter. Craig Shakespeare took his first calculated gamble as a manager, resting a number of key players ahead of the Champions League quarter final. We won't know until after the game whether it paid off or not, but it’s worth noting that our opponents (and in fact all other remaining teams) played a full 24 hours earlier than the Foxes.
On the pitch, the difference was clear. With three of the starting back four out, along with our best defensive midfielder and Shinji, who puts in a lot of defensive work for a forward, things didn't look right at the back. Whether from open play or set piece, things were disorganised and it was easy for the Toffees to chew us up (sorry).
Kasper Schmeichel - 7
Made one outrageous save to deny Ross Barkley one-on-one. It probably gets a bit lost considering we conceded from the following corner.
Daniel Amartey - 5
Post AFCON calls to bring him into the starting line up might have been premature. He’s useful in multiple roles off the bench, but not a starter right now.
Yohan Benalouane - 4
Has looked fine in an established and confident back line, but not this time. Was particularly bad a set pieces, where he consistently failed to track his man.
Benalouane's had a shocker today. Nowhere near Jagielka.— Jason Bourne (@JasonBourne1986) April 9, 2017
Robert Huth - 5
Also struggled from set pieces. In open play, he was regularly faced with pacy players running right at him. That rarely ends well.
Ben Chilwell - 6
Won more aerial battles than anyone else. Probably says more about his teammates than his own performance, which was fine, but nothing special.
Marc Albrighton - 7
There’s argument over whether it was intentional or not, but we score so few direct free kicks that I’m happy to accept it.
Yep. - was it on purpose, Marc?
Danny Drinkwater - 6
There’s was nothing obviously bad about the central midfield performance, it just didn’t seem to work. Drinky put himself about, won the ball, but ultimately couldn’t shield the weak back line behind.
Andy King - 5
Did just as well defensively as his partner, but didn’t do as much with the ball. This pairing just never seems to get it done.
Demarai Gray - 7
See, when he learns to pick out the right pass, good things happen.
Islam Slimani - 7
Only got one chance, and it wasn't as clear cut as it looked, but he took it very calmly and very well.
Hottest day of the year, good to see Slimani with his gloves on.— Secret Footballer (@TSF) April 9, 2017
Jamie Vardy - 6
His work rate put the Everton defence under pressure and forced some mistakes, but he didn't look to have the cutting edge.
Riyad Mahrez - 6
Made a couple of dangerous looking breaks, and got involved in chasing the game, but just couldn’t quite make it happen.
Ahmed Musa - 3
I’m not for cutting all ties. It takes a lot of good players time to settle in a new league (Vardy and Drinkwater come to mind), but he shouldn't be playing right now. He’s not good enough right now.
Leonardo Ulloa - 5
Only had limited time, but he never really got involved. Picked up one great chance from a corner, but couldn’t put it away.
Ultimately, it was a bad performance, but hopefully not one that’ll jeopardise the confidence and form the team was showing before. The attack was still dangerous obviously, and it was the makeshift defence that created problems. Fuchs, Simpson and Ndidi will hopefully slide back in and we’ll see them playing well again. My Man of the Match is Demarai Gray. He couldn’t do it consistently, but was as dangerous as any player on the pitch at times.