Leicester City saw off Tranmere Rovers by a score of 2-0 on Tuesday evening at Prenton Park in the second round of the League Cup. The Foxes bossed possession in a goalless first half, but Rovers had more efforts on target.
Manager Enzo Maresca made four changes at the half, leading to goals from Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy in a four-minute period. Rovers tried to mount a comeback but couldn’t find a way through the Leicester back-line.
This was the first time this season that the Leicester City’s formation felt a little more fluid than in past matches. At times, the midfield was more of a double pivot with a four-man line between them and the lone striker. The passing wasn’t quite as incisive as what we saw against Rotherham, but City still managed to keep it tidy and (at long last) break down a determined back line.
The victory does nothing for us on the table, but our sixth win on the trot puts us in tomorrow night’s 3rd round cup draw. We host Hull City this Saturday when we return to league action. We get a week off before travelling to the coast to face Southampton at the St. Mary’s.
Leicester City: Jakub Stolarczyk, Hamza Choudhury, Wout Faes, Callum Doyle, James Justin, Harry Winks (Wilfred Ndidi 46’), Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Ricardo Pereira 46’), Cesare Casadei, Marc Albrighton (Wanya Marçal), Stephy Mavididi (Yunus Akgün), Jamie Vardy (C)
Tranmere Rovers: Joe Murphy, Jordan Turnbull, Tom Davies, Dan Pike, Josef Yarney, Regan Hendry, Christopher Merrie, Kieron Morris, Connor Jennings, Samuel Taylor, Josh Hawkes
Key Moments and Notes
1’ - It’s absolutely mad that Joe Murphy is in goal for Tranmere. He was the keeper for Rovers in the Worthington Cup final against Leicester back in 2000. In the intervening years, Murphy has played for West Brom, Walsall, Sunderland, Scunthorpe, Coventry, Huddersfield, Chesterfield, Bury, and Shrewsbury before returning to Prenton Park in 2020.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) August 29, 2023
The last time we played Tranmere in the League Cup... pic.twitter.com/ArGD9kkceq
Also, if you never saw him, you probably can’t appreciate just how good Steve Guppy was.
20’ - After that last match when the pace was just unreal and both teams were pouring forward, the pace today is much more deliberate. The Foxes have had 70% of the ball and Rovers are allowing Albrighton to pump crosses into the box. Even with the lack of ideal targets, there’s a limit to how often one can get away with that.
29’ - Nice period of play for the hosts, as they get three shots (two on target) in rapid succession. City are a little too comfortable right now.
35’ - Best chance of the match for the Foxes as Albrighton delivers a free kick that picks out Casadei’s run perfectly. Under no pressure at all, the Italian gets clean contact but puts it just over the bar.
42’ - A Leicester corner is cleared as far as Faes on the edge of the area. The Belgian catches it on the volley, but his contact is more “NFL” than football as it comfortably clears the roof of the stand. Not that Faes saw it. He turned around in disgust as soon as it hit it.
That...wasn’t much of a half, was it? There was a lot of decent passing and it was purposeful passing, but the Tranmere defence forced us to settle for high balls into the box. That is very much the way Rovers want us to attack.
46’ - The gaffer didn’t waste any time in changing things up, making four changes at the half. Albrighton, Winks, KDH, and Mavididi came off for Wilfred Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira, Wanya Marçal, and debutante Yunus Akgün.
48’ - Our own Courtney notes that our central midfield is awfully defensive now. Presumably, it’s Wilf, Ricardo, and...Hamza? She’s not wrong. Anyway, Tranmere are having a good spell here.
55’ - GOAL. Ndidi’s cross towards Vardy takes a slight deflection and floats into the top corner. He looks almost apologetic in his celebration, but they all count. He’s now our joint-top scorer.
59’ - GOAL. Wilf gets it right this time. His cross finds Vardy unmarked in the area and he gives us a proper celebration. A goal and an assist for our midfield destroyer in four minutes time. #MarescaBall4Eva
71’ - Tranmere are trying to get numbers forward on the break, but they’re a little out of practice and getting caught offside almost every time. They’re looking more dangerous and, you guessed it, more vulnerable. Nothing like a goal or two to make a match more interesting, eh?
80’ - It’s all Foxes now as the Rovers' renaissance seems to have run out of steam. Akgun goes close after a nice passing move, but he can’t quite finish it.
82’ - Ben Nelson comes on for Justin. Nice day at the office for Justin, who is still shaking off a considerable amount of rust.
90’ - Five minutes to be added on. The match feels over. Tranmere haven’t thrown in the towel, but the Foxes look to be coasting.
95’ - That’s that. It was comfortable, but not exactly dominant.