Leicester City fell to Leeds United by a score of 1-0 on Friday evening at the King Power. An evenly matched first half ended goalless. Leeds nosed ahead midway through the second period via a Georgino Rutter tap-in. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had a chance to level it, but his header at the death was saved by Illan Meslier’s fingertips.
I have to say it: This was a fair result. Leeds played a fine match and KDH’s shot deep into injury time was our first one on target. I thought our wingers would eventually overwhelm the fullbacks, but they held firm.
As Jack noted, this system doesn’t really have a Plan B. We go like for like with almost every substitution. Leeds knew what we were going to do, they were prepared for it, and they stopped it.
On the plus side? Ricardo had a magnificent match. He understands his role and he’s exceptional at playing it. He can do a little bit of everything. For those of you who have never seen a fully fit Ricardo in his prime, this was as close as we’ve seen to it. Abdul Fatawu had another outstanding match. He’s a real terror already and he fits our system shockingly well. His crossing is improving, his workrate is excellent. Here’s hoping we make his deal permanent.
The defeat leaves us on 39 points from 15 matches. We remain top of the table, but if Ipswich win their two games in hand, they’ll pass us. A week from tomorrow, we’re off to Riverside to face Middlesbrough. After another annoying international break, we host Watford on 25 November.
Leicester City: Mads Hermansen, Ricardo Pereira, Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, James Justin, Cesare Casadei, Harry Winks, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Abdul Fatawu, Stephy Mavididi, Jamie Vardy (C)
Leeds United: Illan Meslier, Pascal Struijk, Joe Rodon, Sam Byram, Archie Gray, Joel Piroe, Ethan Ampadu, Glen Kamara, Georgino Rutter, Crysencio Summerville, Daniel James
Key Moments and Notes
2’- Close! The Leeds press is working better than Leicester’s. A loose pass sees Joel Piroe find some space in the Foxes’ box. He blasts his shot well wide from medium range. Moments later, Ricardo has to make a sliding challenge in his own box to prevent Summerville from getting a shot off.
17’- These two teams have a lot in common and they’re cancelling each other out at this point. Leeds are looking the more dangerous side, but it’s not by much. Both teams playing out from the back, both teams pressing. The visitors just have a little more energy at this point.
19’- Half-hearted penalty shout from Leeds as Kamara goes down in a tangle of legs. There was some contact before he went into the box, but he went down on his own and even caught Casadei in an awkward area with his own foot. No penalty.
25’- Bryam gets a richly deserved yellow for bringing down Fatawu after being left for dead. It’s the second time he’s done it, so he can’t have any complaints.
34’- Close! The Leicester wingers have the measure of the Leeds fullbacks. Fatawu gets in behind again and curls a peach of a shot around the keeper but off the bottom of the crossbar. Leeds break and they have another penalty shout. There’s so much traffic, I can’t tell who was allegedly fouled and who allegedly fouled them. No replays, no VAR...play on.
Fatawu's effort CRASHES against the bar! pic.twitter.com/6fO7iAH3Xh— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) November 3, 2023
37’- Saw the replay of the penalty shout. It was farcical. Ricardo made light contact with he attacker’s shoulder outside the area. Summerville then took two steps and collapsed in a heap after a poor touch.
45’- It’s been an absurdly well-balanced match. Leeds are probably edging the run of play, but the Foxes have had the best chance.
HALFTIME: Leicester City 0 - 0 Leeds United
46’- No changes for either side. No surprise.
52’- Close! Joel Piroe gets the first shot of the half (as is, apparently, tradition). It’s across Hermansen, but the Dane dives and pushes it to safety. And by “safety” I mean “directly to Dan James,” but near enough.
57’- Close! Rutter turns brilliantly and he’s in...or is he? Justin gets a toe to it and puts it out for a corner when you were all but sure he’d score.
59’- GOAL! Bryam gets a free header but directs it right at Hermansen. He parries, but the ball falls to Rutter who has an empty net to hit from 3 yards. He hits it.
61’- Kelechi Iheanacho comes on for Vardy. He was already preparing to join the fray before the goal, but now there’s a little more urgency to his introduction.
66’- Casadei departs for Hamza Choudhury. Not the most influential performance from the Italian.
75’- The Foxes are seeing a lot of the ball, but they’re not getting a lot done with it. Leeds seem to have their number defensively.
84’- Hamza Choudhury, take a bow. Summerville looks to be off to the races, but if you’ve followed Choudhury at all, you know what happens next. He outpaces the Leeds winger and slides in to nip the ball off his toes. It’s the cleanest of clean fouls, but Summerville isn’t impressed.
86’- The yellow cards fly as Choudhury wraps his arms around Summerville’s head and the winger retaliates with a two-armed shove. They both get cautioned because those are exactly the things a player should get cautioned for.
90’- Only six minutes of time added on. Disappointing.
90+4’- Close! The Foxes get their first shot on goal and it was so close to going in. Somehow KDH rises above Luke Ayling at the far post to meet Fatawu’s cross. The ball is going into the top corner, but Mellier gets a finger to it at full stretch. He still needs the post to save him, but it does so.
FULL TIME: Leicester City 0 - 1 Leeds United
You made it this far. Here are some happy memories: