Leicester City was once again dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Manchester City in a painful penalty shootout. The Foxes put forth a promising effort, but it just wasn’t enough to earn a semifinal appearance.
Danny Ward - 5.5
The Welshman had played the hero in previous Carabao Cup fixtures but couldn’t repeat his heroics. He was beaten at his near-post from a long-distance strike and failed to make any saves in the penalty shootout (unless you think he used telekinesis to make Raheem Sterling shoot a panenka over the bar).
Danny Simpson - 7.5
Perhaps surprisingly in a goof run of form. He still may not contribute much to attack, but his defensive work included four tackles, three interceptions, five clearances, and two blocked shots. He was busy.
Çağlar Söyüncü - 6
He did contribute three interceptions and five clearances, but didn’t always look confident. His penalty in the shootout may have been one of the worst in recent memory.
Harry Maguire - 7
Slabhead was once again a force on both ends of the pitch. He led the Foxes with seven clearances and added some positive passing. He also took his penalty with pure confidence.
Christian Fuchs - 6.5
Not quite as strong as his performance against Crystal Palace, but decent nonetheless. He contributed six tackles, two clearances, and two key passes, but tried to be too precise with his penalty and sent it over the bar.
Wilfred Ndidi - 7
Was his usual self in defense with three tackles and three interceptions, but added a beautiful assist with a long-ball over the top to Albrighton.
Vicente Iborra - 6
Did a little bit of a lot of different things, but without much to show for it. He could also possibly be blamed for not closing on Kevin De Bruyne before his goal from outside of the box.
Hamza Choudhury - 7.5
Immense in the defensive midfield for the Foxes. He tallied two tackles, three interceptions, and four clearances, many of which came at the absolute last moment. He made just one mistake with the ball at his feet that gifted a chance to the opponents, but immediately atoned with a goal-saving tackle. De Bruyne beat him with a smooth dribble before his goal, but it would be hard to blame him for De Bruyne’s brilliance.
Rachid Ghezzal - 5.5
Made small contributions - one key pass, one tackle, and drew one foul - but didn’t make much of an impact. He was subbed off in the 52nd minute as a result.
Kelechi Iheanacho - 5.5
Continued a poor run of form. He was caught offsides four times and made a number of poor decisions in dangerous areas.
Demarai Gray - 7
Say what you will about Gray, but he always seems to be trying to push the team forward. He was a constant threat with the ball as he completed three dribbles and was fouled three times. He also completed one key pass and had a shot on target pushed away by the keeper.
James Maddison - 6.5
Came on for Ghezzal and made his mark on the proceedings. Completed about 92 percent of his passes and they weren’t necessarily of the easy variety. He completed two key passes in his limited minutes. Unfortunately, his attempt at a penalty was a poor one.
Marc Albrighton - 7
Came on in the 60th minute, made three tackles, and scored a stunner to equalize. Couldn’t ask for much more.
What a goal by Marc Albrighton ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/ZlItD9SuWT— Leicester City News (@_LCFCNEWS) December 18, 2018
Ricardo Pereira - 6
Was subbed on in the 80th minute to try and add a boost to the attack. His energy was felt, but he didn’t get much of a chance to make any decisive moves.
Wait, how’d he get in here? Old habits die hard, I guess.
*all stats courtesy of whoscored.com
This loss could be a tough one for Leicester City supporters as it means one less thing to root for this season. The team’s Premier League form isn’t particularly promising and the Carabao Cup could have been a good opportunity to make this a memorable season, but a loss to the reigning league and cup champions is hardly a bitter disappointment.
There were also a number of players who did enough to provide some life to the club. Demarai Gray was a threat in attack, Marc Albrighton scored a stunner, and Danny Simpson was dominant in defense. Still, the most promising development was the performance by the 21-year-old Hamza Choudhury, which was enough to earn the Fosse Posse Man of the Match designation. Perhaps it will earn him some more playing time moving forward.