Leicester City earned three points for the first time this season in a difficult affair at Bramall Lane. On paper it looked to be a relatively easy win for the Foxes, but Sheffield United provided a healthy challenge. The 2-1 scoreline was a fair one, but it took some individual brilliance to get there.
Kasper Schmeichel - 7
Saved one of the only shots on target when a volley flew into his chest. Later on he made a world class save that seemingly preserved City’s lead, but the offside flag would have ruled the shot offside anyway. His passing was also solid, as usual.
Ricardo Pereira - 7
Significantly less involved than in the first two games, especially in attack where he contributed very little. He did, however, make four tackles and six clearances.
Jonny Evans - 6.5
Mostly solid with his positioning. He didn’t register a tackle or interception, but he did register eight clearances, many of which came late in the game as the Blades sent in countless crosses.
Çağlar Söyüncü - 7
Guilty of two dreadful passes that put the team in danger, but otherwise a solid performance. He tallied four tackles, two interceptions, eight clearances, and six aerial duels won. He also technically registered an assist on Harvey Barnes’ winner, though it wasn’t exactly of the intentional variety.
Christian Fuchs - 6
It was a reserved performance for the Austrian. He made two tackles and one clearance, and came relatively close to scoring on a free kick from distance.
Hamza Choudhury - 8
He often dropped between the center backs to provide an outlet and played safe passes, but completed 89% of them. He also was seemingly everywhere mopping up messes, especially in the second half when he was immense. He totaled one tackle, six interceptions, four clearances, and two blocked shots. Many of these defensive interventions also came at potentially pivotal moments.
Youri Tielemans - 6.5
Not at his most influential, but still somewhat involved. He provided two key passes and chipped in defensively with two interceptions and one clearance. Still, he didn’t seem to be able to link with Vardy and Madders as well as he has in the past thanks in part to his positioning on the right side of a pseudo-diamond midfield.
Dennis Praet - 5
Made his full debut after an inspiring cameo last week. Unfortunately, he struggled to insert himself into the game and was sloppy on occasion when doing so (two bad touches and a few misplaced passes). He finished with just 27 touches, the least of any City starter, and was subbed off in the 63rd minute.
James Maddison - 7.5
He pushed the Foxes forward and created more danger than any other player on the team. He completed four dribbles, drew five fouls (the Madders Special), and provided a sensational assist to Vardy. He did misplace a few passes, however, as he was always looking to break lines. He completed just 58% of his 26 passes.
Ayoze Perez - 6.5
Good defensive work (two tackles, one interception, and one clearance) salvaged an otherwise shaky performance. A good bit of pressing by him freed the ball to Maddison en route to the opening goal. He also completed two key passes and two dribbles, but was dispossessed frequently.
Jamie Vardy - 8
Got himself into good areas frequently, and clinically finished one of his chances with a powerful left-footed strike from a tight angle.
Harvey Barnes - 8
Subbed on for Praet in the 63rd minute and pressured the defense with good running. He won the game for the Foxes with a thunderous goal-of-the-season caliber volley that left the keeper flat-footed.
Harvey Barnes. Consider our jaws dropped. pic.twitter.com/hou5jZ33Mw— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 24, 2019
Wes Morgan - 7
Came on for Ayoze in the 77th minute to add another body to the backline. In his limited time he somehow managed to make five clearances and win two aerial duels.
Nampalys Mendy - N/A
Subbed on in the 88th minute. His most notable intervention was giving away a free kick in a dangerous area, but it was unfair as it looked to be a result of a dive.
*all stats courtesy of whoscored.com
Three points put the Foxes up to fourth in the Premier League table after Matchday 3, and kept them unbeaten on the season. The only other Premier League sides who remain unbeaten are Manchester City, Liverpool, and Wolverhampton. This is good company to be in for a club with lofty ambitions.
While the team wasn’t at its sharpest, the individual performances were mostly decent. A few select players even stood out in a positive way including James Maddison, Jamie Vardy, and Harvey Barnes. The best of them all might have been Hamza Choudhury whose timely challenges were enough to earn him the Fosse Posse Man of the Match. In fact, Men of the Match may be a more accurate title because the only plausible explanation for his second half work rate is that there’s actually more than one of him.