A draw was probably the fair result from Leicester City’s clash with Chelsea on Sunday, but very little of the game looked even. Frank Lampard’s side blew us away early on, but Brendan Rodgers made the adjustments and the Foxes dominated the second half. He’s what we can take away from that.
1. Maddison. Through. The. Middle.
James Maddison was the most impressive creative force on the pitch, leading the game in xA and finishing 2nd in xG to N’Golo Kanté (no, seriously). Madders had an assist, 3 key passes and even created a greta chance for himself. All in the 2nd half.
⭐️ Man of the Match, @LCFC’s James Maddison— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) August 18, 2019
6 touches in opposition box (most in match)
Completed 24/36 passes
3 chances created, assist for Ndidi’s equaliser pic.twitter.com/n5GshBvtch
I think I’m inventing this turn of phrase, but this was certainly a “game of two halves”. What made it especially strange was that Rodgers turned the game around without substitutes.
The biggest tactical shift was moving Hamza Choudhury (and later Dennis Praet) over to the left and letting James Maddison play through the middle. He controlled the game from there and made it clear that he should be central whenever possible.
2. Ndidi can handle the midfield alone
Wilf made a big mistake early on, but his bounce back was excellent. He led a game featuring N’Golo Kanté in tackles and interceptions, passed fairly effectively and scored the equaliser.
Even away from home against a team who finished 3rd last season, Ndidi’s play made Hamza Choudhury look unnecessary.
We’re not here to compete, we’re here to contend. All of the guys have a good spirit and we know what we want this season. Getting this point, we’re not really happy, we’re kind of sad because we dominated the second half which could have brought a better result for us - Wilf spoke to LCFC.com after the game
Choudhury was instead pushed out to the left, which is not the best use of his talents. Dennis Praet replaced him and was pretty good, but it’ll be interesting to see how they change things for next week.
A lot of people would like to see Harvey Barnes given a chance on the left, especially against newly promoted opposition.
3. Christian Fuchs still has it
Ben Chilwell was ruled out at the last minute though a previously undisclosed thigh injury and was replaced at LB by Christian Fuchs, as very capable backup.
As much faith as we have in the Austrian, I was concerned to see him play without a genuine wide player in front of him. Chilwell has the skillset to cover the whole left side of the pitch, but I wasn't confident Fuchs could do that.
He had a rough start, but really picked up, including a excellent recovery to prevent Kanté from sticking away the best chance of the game.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuchs!— Leicester City (@LCFC) August 20, 2019
Commitment from @FuchsOfficial pic.twitter.com/p5HgVNZKxu
He might never be Ricardo Pereira going forward (few are), but Fuchs was still pretty impressive in attack as well, collecting a couple of key passes and making some strong runs.