Leicester City left Portman Road with a single point after leading Ipswich Town for the majority of their Boxing Day match. Stephy Mavididi opened the scoring for the Foxes in the first half with a fantastic curling effort. His goal looked to have been enough, but Jannik Vestergaard headed a deflected Sam Morsy effort into his own net deep into injury time in the second period, meaning the teams had to share the spoils.
Full credit to the Tractor Boys: You can see why they’re second on the table after this match. The Foxes struggled to impose their will on the match as their opponents outshot them 19 to 5. Sure, most of the shots were of poor quality, but as the last one proved, sometimes even a poor shot finds the net. A draw was a fair result from this match and one that Leicester probably would have (grudgingly) taken before the match started.
Mavididi was, once again, probably our most impressive player with Dewsbury-Hall right behind him. It was an unusually uncomfortable night for Winks and a rare ineffective one from Fatawu. Both players worked hard, but it just wasn’t happening for them on the ball.
It was a bit of an off night for the manager. The substitutes produce much, which is unusual. The decision to invert Dewsbury-Hall and Ndidi didn’t work out either. I’m sure there was a tactical consideration that I’m not grasping, but this was a rare case of his fiddling not having the desired effect.
OK, calm down now. The worst thing about this result is that it feels like a loss and Ipswich feel like they won it, but that’s not how the table works. A draw at Portman Road keeps the Tractor Boys from gaining any ground on us at their stadium. Feel the anger and disappointment and then let it go. This is not a bad result.
Not at our best in the second half but very poor from the referee. Ipswich should have been down to ten men and we had a nailed on penalty denied. Point away at your biggest rival is always a positive though. On to Cardiff. #lcfc— Jonathan (@JonathanLCFC) December 26, 2023
I agree with the conclusion that mistakes were made, but that’s the price of doing business in the Championship and we’ve benefited from it as well (see: Daka’s Penalty Last Match)
This terrible los...er, I mean, draw, gives City 59 points from 24 matches. We remain top of the table, 6 points clear of Ipswich and 11 above of third-place Southampton. On Friday night, we face Cardiff City in Wales and then return home on New Year’s Day against Huddersfield Town to close out the festive period.
Leicester City: Mads Hermansen, Ricardo Pereira (C), Conor Coady, Jannik Vestergaard, Wout Faes, Wilfred Ndidi (Cesare Casadei 55’), Harry Winks, Kiernan Dewsbury Hall (Yunus Akgun 80’), Abdul Fatawu, Stephy Mavididi, Patson Daka (Kelechi Iheanacho 60’)
Ipswich Town: Václav Hladký, Harry Clarke, Luke Woolfenden, Cameron Burgess, Leif Davis, Sam Morsy, Jack Taylor, Wes Burns, Conor Chaplin, Marcus Myers-Harness, George Hirst
Key Moments and Notes
7’- The Tractor Boys started well but it’s been the Foxes who’ve had the better openings. A better first touch from Fatawu from an Ndidi cross or better contact from Ndidi from a Fatawu cross could have caused some problems.
16’- Been a bit scrappy so far. George Hirst goes down in midfield, stretching his hamstring to try to reach a pass. He cleverly clutches his head to get the referee to stop play. Not sure it really should have been stopped.
19’- Hirst tries to continue but goes straight back down after coming back onto the pitch. Kayden Jackson is coming on for him.
21’- The hosts appeal for a penalty when a ball bounces through the box, but Coady did well to turn and there was no contact.
24’- GOAL! Oh, that was nice! Daka turns his man in midfield, steps forward, and finds Mavididi in acres on the left. He has all the time in the world to step inside onto his right foot and curl the ball inside the far post. No chance for the keeper.
⚽️ GOAL | Leicester 1-0 Ipswich | Mavididi— Tekkers Foot (@tekkersfoot) December 26, 2023
WHAT A GOAL FROM MAVIDIDI!!!!pic.twitter.com/IbpLf2X78S
That seems like an awful lot of space for a player as dangerous as Mavididi. But, what do I know?
28’- Penalty appeal! KDH gets behind the Ipswich defence and looks to have a free run on goal. Burgess tracks back and makes a desperate last-ditch tackle and he gets the ball. That was a fair tackle, or at least, fair enough.
33’- This Ipswich press is good. They know what they’re doing but they haven’t manufactured much from it.
38’- Close! A loose ball in midfield falls to Mavididi. He finds Daka’s diagonal run but Hladky does well to come out and smother the ball before the Zambian can lift it over him.
43’- Sometimes the ref just gets one wrong. From an Ipswich corner, Jackson gets a toe to the loose ball just before Hermansen arrives and it bounces off the keeper’s face. The ref blows his whistle, but there was nothing wrong with that challenge.
45+1’- Brilliant from Faes! Myers-Harness is away on the left and he curls a low cross into the area that’s just in front of Jackson and bound for Burns for a tap-in, but the Belgian does well to get between man and ball and clear the danger.
HALF TIME: Ipswich Town 0 - 1 Leicester City
46’- No changes for either side at the half. The Tractor Boys win an early corner, but Burgess puts it well over.
50’- Close! Mavididi stands up a lovely cross for Fatawu outside the far post. The Ghanaian goes for a spectacular scissor-kick shot and succeeds in creating a truly epic divot in the turf. He may have had time to attempt something a little less spectacular.
55’- Maresca makes his first change, sending on Cesare Casadei for Ndidi. The Nigerian was on a yellow so that may have influenced the gaffer’s thinking. Ricardo is the next into the book for a late challenge. He can’t have any complaints but that doesn’t stop him.
62’- Chaplin picks up a loose ball in midfield and tries to beat Hermansen from distance. The keeper is well off his line, but the shot is both wide and too close to the keeper.
63’-Kelechi Iheanacho is on for Daka. In the meantime, Harness is doing everything he can to end his own evening early. After picking up a yellow, he plows into Fatawu long after the ball has gone and then hauls back Winks when the midfielder was away. The referee keeps his card in his pocket, but surely he’s teetering on the tightrope right now.
70’- Close! Chaplin finds space just outside the area and his shot is travelling. Hermansen does well to parry wide. He gets another bite of the apple when Davis heads back into the mixer, but he puts it over. Davis was offside, but without VAR, it would have counted.
75’- Another penalty shout. Mavididi tries to slip it to KDH between two defenders. He gets past them but then tumbles to ground before he can slot home. Replays show Burgess just went through Dewsbury-Hall’s back and shoved him down. I don’t think the referee got that one right.
80’- The Foxes play keep-away for five minutes which will surely bring a smile to Enzo Maresca’s face. When there’s finally a stoppage, Ipswich make a triple substitution and Dewsbury-Hall comes off for Yunus Akgun.
87’- Turnovers by Winks, Mavididi, and Yunus are keeping the Foxes under pressure. Credit to Ipswich Town, though. They are relentless. The Tractor Boys carve the Foxes open right down the centre, but substitute Nathan Broadhead slips before pulling the trigger and the ball rolls out for a goal kick.
90’- Five minutes of time will be added on. Omari Hutchison gets the better of Faes for the first time and he cuts it back for fellow substitute Massimo Luongo. His close-range effort is blocked by Casadei.
90+3’- GOAL! Morsy picks up the ball in midfield and drives towards goal. His speculative effort comes off Ricardo’s toe, onto Vestergaard’s forehead, and loops into net past the stranded Hermansen.
90+6’- The Foxes win a throw deep in the Ipswich half but dawdle for so long that the whistle goes.
FULL TIME: Ipswich Town 1 - 1 Leicester City