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Match Recap: Leicester City 1-1 Norwich City

The Foxes were not at their best today.

Leicester City v Norwich City - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Leicester 1 Norwich 1

To be this bummed after a well deserved draw just goes to show how much we’ve improved under Brendan Rodgers. Daniel Farke did his homework and drilled his Canaries hard because they were the better team for much of this match. By far this was the weirdest match I’ve seen in a long time, so get ready for a ride.

First Half

The Foxes started off like they normally do, passing the ball around, feeling out the other team and trying to make the most of some early possession. Around the five minute mark, Kelechi Iheanacho got an early chance but Tim Krul made the first of several easy saves today. Norwich then started their first attack down our flanks by overloading the obvious space given to them behind Ricardo Pereira and won an early corner. It was dealt with somewhat comfortably. Then came the 10 minute mark which both sets of fans setting aside their differences and applauding Sophie.

Shortly after both sides exchanged a couple of chances with Teemu Pukki and Youri Tielemans coming close to scoring the first goal of the game. Then came Farke’s bit of brilliance. He clearly had told Pukki to play off the shoulder of Çağlar Söyüncü and it paid off in the 25th minute when Pukki easily ran beyond Cags and tucked it past a despondent Kasper Schmeichel. The counter had come quickly as Wilfred Ndidi was wildly out of position, thanks to the formation, and it was two quick passes, bang, goal.

Leicester City v Norwich City - Premier League
Perfect Pukki.
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

It was in the 32nd minute when the match turned to full shithousery. Norwich put the ball out for their player who was down, I won’t say injured, but on the floor from a tackle. Leicester throw the ball into Iheanacho who decided to attack instead of kicking the ball back. He was cleaned out and the Norwich players swarmed him on the ground. There was a VAR check to see if any of their actions deserved a red, but that wasn’t the case. The ref restarted the game, not as a free kick to Leicester, but as the ball to Norwich like he wanted before. Kelechi only lasted 6 more minutes and was subbed off for Demarai Gray.

Leicester City v Norwich City - Premier League
One of many petulant moments from Norwich.
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Travel back just a few minutes before Nacho’s sub, Leicester earned a very valuable corner. James Maddison tee’d up a beauty of a ball to the near post and Jamie Vardy flicked his header on and into the back of the net it went. The Premier League would check the goal and eventually gave it as a Tim Krul own goal, essentially ending Vardy’s run to 9 in a row. The half would shortly come to an end and it looked like Leicester would need the break to regroup and find their offensive flair again.

Second Half

Had Brendan not rewarded the squad who got the result last week and started with our normal wingers, minus Gray perhaps, I think we would’ve fared much better. But, that wasn’t the case, and he tried to fix it by substituting Dennis Praet for Harvey Barnes, and it almost worked.

The first moment of real action came from Jamie Vardy trying to reclaim his goal as he broke on the counter and was chased by Krul. The net was slightly gaping, but the angle was well covered by the defender and his shot struck the post.

Vardy was the focal point once more a few minutes later when he linked up in a 1-2 with Ben Chilwell, but his flicked shot didn’t have the pace to get past Krul. Cags once again had a chance from a corner shortly after, but his header flew past a whiffing Todd Cantwell and Krul smartly grabbed it, saving his defender’s blushes.

Leicester City v Norwich City - Premier League
Wilf was everywhere again today.
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

It was a real shame Wilfred Ndidi didn’t have his shooting boots, or whatever the relevant descriptor is for headers, because he had space on offense but could not finish. In the 67th minute he had another of his wide open chances from set plays and his header completely missed the goal and went out for a goal kick.

The dying minutes of the second half is best defined in these four potential game winning chances. The first was another counter that lead to a Pukki chance. He’d broke past Cags but Ricardo was clever enough to take the ball and not the man. Harvey Barnes was next, and if it wasn’t for the ball that was whipped in from the corner falling to an unkowing Canary, Barnes would’ve had a tap in. Next was Pukki once more. I think offside would have been given if he’d scored, but Cags was strong in his slide to block the shot and concede the corner. Harvey Barnes had whiffed from a similar area on a corner kick early in the match, but a clearance fell to him that could have been the match winner. It was right at the top of the box and you could only think he was putting his shot low for potential deflection, but it rolled past everyone including the empty goal and out for a goal kick.

Reflection

This was not Leicester’s best performance, but it is call back to those earlier games in the season where Rodgers went away from the formula we all know works best, two wingers. He can’t fully be blamed for today as the amount of passes and general lack of desire early in the match to win second balls went a long way towards this result. Neither side were lucky enough to take all three points, and I think a draw is a fair result. We go again in the cup against Everton on Wednesday.