Leicester City fell to Wolverhampton Wanderers by a score of 2-1 at Molineaux on Sunday afternoon. An early Ruben Neves goal was cancelled by an Ademola Lookman strike in the first half. Daniel Podence’s controversial effort from range was the only goal in the second period, as the Foxes were left to rue their poor finishing in an otherwise dominant performance.
What's a "clean sheet"? https://t.co/HOOJcubgUY— Jake Lawson (@karmadrome) February 20, 2022
Whoever tweeted this was a genius.
Manager Brendan Rodgers had some new injuries to deal with, but perhaps not the ones we would have expected given the end of the match against Randers. Harvey Barnes was unavailable and James Maddison could only make the bench, but the back four were relatively unscathed: Kasper Schmeichel (C), Ricardo Pereira, Daniel Amartey, Çağlar Söyüncü, Luke Thomas, Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Marc Albrighton, Ademola Lookman, and Patson Daka.
If you put a bet on the Foxes keeping a clean sheet, that wager was didn’t last the first ten minutes. The City defence dealt with the initial cross, but Raul Jimenez was able to knock down the second ball to Ruben Neves outside the “D”. He side-footed it on the volley and beat Schmeichel at the near post to give Wolves the early lead.
Leicester unleashed a flurry of attacks, coming close to scoring multiple times. Tielemans released a curling cross-shot that José Sá somehow parried between the onrushing Daka and Lookman and to safety. Sá did well to parry a Daka shot from the edge of the area and then was bafflingly allowed to pick up a back-pass in the six-yard box.
Everything was going right for the Foxes except for the bit about putting the ball in the net. Two crosses from the right found their way to Lookman at the far post, but he wasn’t able to get either effort on target. It was frustrating stuff, and Lookman let it get the better of him when he was scythed down by a Wolves player and then Daniel Podence kicked the ball back into the newly-minted Nigeria man. The winger got up and shoved Podence over and was perhaps fortunate to have only seen yellow for it.
The equaliser, which had been coming for half an hour, finally arrived. Tielemans did remarkably well to spot Sharky’s run in the channel. Albrighton picked it up deep in the box and slashed a low ball across the face of the goal. Lookman continued his run and got there first, tapping it home from close range to level the score right before the break.
Lookman goal pic.twitter.com/xIowCeJceL— George (@ManiaaSZN) February 20, 2022
Revenge is a dish best served on a plate by the G.O.A.T.
There were no changes in personnel to start the second half as the Foxes looked to keep up the pressure on the Wolves back five. Leicester had a reasonable penalty shout when Ricardo’s effort was pushed to safety by Rayan Aït-Nouri’s extended arm, but the referee determined the arm was in a naturally-extended position and City had to settle for a corner.
Wolves took the lead on the 65’ mark against the run of play. The referee nearly blew for a penalty in the Wolves box, thought better of it, and the hosts broke at pace. A cutback from the left found Podence outside the box. As he shaped to shoot from outside the area, Schmeichel tried to dodge around the offside Jimenez to see what was happening, but it was too late and the ball skipped inside the far post.
Rodgers threw the dice on 70’, introducing James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho for Ndidi and Daka. This marked the start of another dominant spell where the Foxes did everything but score. Maddison’s contribution was massive in creating chances, but he contrived to miss twice when scoring looked more likely.
Four minutes of time were added on for Leicester to try to an equaliser. The Foxes won a corner at the death and Schmeichel came forward, but I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that this is a Leicester City corner and, that being the case, the opponents are more likely to score from it than we are. With Schmeichel out of the goal, Pedro Neto shot wide from distance and the whistle went.
I don’t know how you can blame Rodgers for this one. We did everything but finish. The tactics worked a treat. We had two-thirds of the ball, a huge lead in both shots and shots on target, but we couldn’t get the ball in the net. Even if you leave out the questionable decisions by the referee, we should have won this one comfortably.
Wolves (0.57) 2-1 (1.59) Leicester— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) February 20, 2022
Yep, that’s about right.
The defeat leaves us on 27 points from 23 matches, and 11th on the table. It’s just not happening for us, is it? Our next match sees us travel to Denmark on Thursday to face Randers in the second leg of our Europa Conference League tie. After that, we return to Premier League action against Burnley on Tuesday, 1 March.