In hindsight, there was only one way Leicester City could follow up their second straight big win, over champions Manchester City, and that was to come crashing back to earth, at home against relegation threatened Cardiff City
Kasper Schmeichel - 6
He didn’t have a great deal for a lot of the game, and then suddenly there wasn’t anything he could do to stop the winner.
Ricardo Pereira - 8
Ricardo’s ability to impact the game, at both ends, from his RB position is very impressive. Led both teams in touches, tackles, interceptions and shots, while chipping in with 2 key passes.
Çağlar Söyüncü - 7
A quiet day defensively, for the most part, but he chipped in with some keys tackles, interceptions and blocks. Was also involved in plenty of passing and kept possession moving well.
Harry Maguire - 6.5
Gave the ball away a little more than you’d like, but otherwise it was a good display, though less involved at both ends than his partner.
Ben Chilwell - 6.5
Decent defensively, and chipped in with a key pass at the other end. Harsh to mark him down for this, but it just wasn't quite what we’ve been used to recently.
Nampalys Mendy - 5.5
Barely involved in most of the game; his passing is consistent but not very creative, so he struggles to get involved when opponents sit back. Seriously needs to start closing down shooters from 25 yards out.
We need all the characteristics and attributes against a team playing deep. Hamza is a winner of the ball but isn’t the creative player. I am happy about Hamza but we need to find solutions against a strong defensive unit - Puel tells BBC Radio Leicester his midfield plan (it did not work).
Wilfred Ndidi - 6
Defensively, he was as impressive as ever. Maybe more so, winning 11 aerial battles. On the ball he struggled more than usual, to the point of slowing down and breaking up attacking moves.
Marc Albrighton - 6
Boundless energy has always been his calling card, so a third game in a week was always asking a bit much. Couldn’t break down a deep defence, and his crosses too often find an empty box.
James Maddison - 5/8
Sure, it’s a hedge, but how else do you rate a game like this? His teammates turned to the no. 10 to create when they couldn’t and he was pretty successful, he tested the keeper three times, came up with 3 key passes and won the penalty. But he also took that penalty, and it’s hard to ignore that 0 on the scoreboard.
Demarai Gray - 5
Didn’t get on the ball anywhere near as much as you’d want, and mostly wasted it when he did; whether that be lost possession or shooting from 30+ yards.
Jamie Vardy - 6
Another tired looking performance, struggling to impact the game much. He did still get a couple of chances inside the box, but he’s struggling to take them
Rachid Ghezzal - 4
This could have been such a different rating; he came so close to creating chances, but they all just missed their mark, as did his shots, failing to work the keeper on three attempts. oh, and almost singlehandedly at fault for the goal, dribbling it out of his own box.
Kelechi Iheanacho - 4.5
Boy, I so want it to work, but 7 touches (and 0 shots) in 23 minutes isn’t going to do it.
Shinji Okazaki - 5
Managed more touches than Iheanacho in less time, but managed no shots and completed just two passes.
*all stats courtesy of whoscored.com
At least this game didn’t produce any new problems we weren’t previously aware of. We could always sit back and counter with the very best teams in the world, but can we break down a team that sits backs and let’s us play? Well, no, not this time at least.
Some of the Foxes playmakers actually performed well, oddly, but we just couldn’t get the ball in the net. Maddison and Ricardo Pereira looked the most promising and, with the combination of Madders’ missed penalty and Ricardo’s excellent defensive contributions, it should be clear the Man of the Match is Ricardo Pereira...again.