Leicester City overcame a tenacious Bristol City side by a score of 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at the King Power. The Foxes dominated the first half but were unable to find a way through the ten-man Robins’ defence. Midway through the second period, Wilfred Ndidi won a penalty and Jamie Vardy converted it to give Leicester a narrow but eminently deserved margin of victory.
The visitors sought to kill the game off by defending deep from the opening whistle. Enzo Maresca’s charges were kept at bay for long periods of time, with the combination of Abdul Fatawu and Wilfred Ndidi on the right looking the most likely avenue for a goal.
Speaking of the Nigeria man, his conversion to an attacking midfielder has been nothing less than stunning. You now expect him to beat his man, and his runs behind the defence have been brilliant.
Kudos to the back line for their second clean sheet on the trot. This wasn’t the sternest test they’ll face this year, but their confidence and understanding is growing. The Foxes are now top of the table without yet playing a really complete match. You can see it coming and it’s going to be scary when it does.
It's time to have a serious discussion about Jannik Vestergaard— (@LCFCshitposting) September 23, 2023
You cannot ignore his importance in where we currently sit at the top of the table, Enzo has him playing very well in his system & credit is due pic.twitter.com/DMjjRvIgxz
Vestergaard is tidy on the ball and can ping a pass across the pitch. This is what happens when a manager takes advantage of what a player can do instead of getting hung up on what they cannot do.
The victory gives Leicester 21 points from 8 matches, which, as I mentioned, puts us at the top of the Championship table. It’s off to Anfield midweek to face Liverpool in the League Cup. We return to Championship play on the 1st of October, travelling to Lancashire to face Blackburn Rover.
Leicester City: Mads Hermansen, Ricardo Pereira, Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, Callum Doyle, Wilfred Ndidi, Harry Winks, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Abdul Fatawu, Stephy Mavididi, Jamie Vardy (C)
Bristol City: Max O’Leary, Kal Naismith, Robert Dickie, Cameron Pring, George Tanner, Jason Knight, Joe Williams, Matty James (C), Nahki Wells, Sam Bell, Mark Sykes
Key Moments and Notes
1’ - Yeah, seeing Nige, Matty, and Kingy back at the King Power brought a tear to my eye. For the newer fans, that might seem to be a bit much, but it’s hard to overstate just how much Andy King means to some of us. Seeing the youngster who helped get us out of League One lift the trophy in 2016 remains unmatched in my experience. He deserves all the applause and then some.
14’ - It’s all Foxes right now as the visitors are trying to absorb the early pressure. O’Leary hasn’t had a lot to deal with in goal aside from a Doyle header from a KDH cross. This is the pattern you would have expected coming in, so no surprises thus far.
25’ - Not much happening right now. Nigel Pearson’s charges are defending deep and not giving the Foxes any space to operate. Right as I’m saying this, Fatawu cuts inside onto his left foot and shoots. It’s really moving, but it’s right at O’Leary who parries it in self-defence as much as anything.
34’ - Leicester are starting to look a little frustrated. Ricardo, Wilf, Winks, KDH, and Mavididi all turn the ball over trying to beat multiple defenders. Maresca won’t care for this.
43’ - The Robins have a little spell of possession in the Leicester half but they don’t really look more like scoring than when they’re playing 10 men behind the ball.
45+1’ - The very moment I write the above note, Bristol get the ball into the box and chaos ensues. Vestergaard hits the deck, and the ball rolls over him, but it somehow avoids both hitting his arm and falling to an attacker. At the other end, O’Leary takes a full 30 seconds to take a goal kick. The referee blows for half-time instead of showing him a card.
HALF-TIME: Leicester City 0 - 0 Bristol City
46’ - The gaffer makes one change at the half, withdrawing Doyle in favour of James Justin. Don’t know if this is a tactical switch or if Doyle picked up a knock.
47’ - Close! Ndidi plays a brilliant ball across the goal. Vardy flicks it on and it falls to Mavididi, who pulls it back for KDH. His close-range shot is deflected out for a corner which comes to nothing.
50’ - This Ndidi kid might be alright. He shows fabulous footwork to skip past three Robins and Joe Williams is forced to pull him back by his shirt. The pressure is building...
55’ - Closer! Ndidi and Fatawu combine on the right. The Ghanaian stands it up for KDH, who heads down towards the corner. O’Leary parries it to Mavididi and then blocks the follow-up. It’s coming...
60’ - The Robins take their first shot of the match! Justin blocks it, but the match is opening up a little.
66’ - GOAL! Ricardo plays a perfect through ball to find Ndidi’s run. The Nigeria man turns his defender inside out and wins perhaps the most obvious penalty you’ll ever see. Vardy takes it and it’s perfect: High and to the right, finding the inside of the side netting just under the bar. #Deserved.
70’ - Gerry Taggart notes that his watch has just warned him that he’s in a “loud environment” that could damage his hearing. The crowd are really into it now.
75’ - Close! The Robins have their best chance of the match. Bristol City scythe through the Leicester midfield and get deep down the right flank. The ball is pulled back for Jason Knight on the edge of the area. His shot goes over the bar, but it wasn’t that far off target.
78’ - Kasey McAteer comes on for the impressive Fatawu. We are suddenly spoilt for choice on the right wing and that is something I haven’t said in a very long time.
84’ - Close! Bristol City get forward and Hermansen spills a shot directly to Ephraim Yeboah just a yard from goal. Justin throws himself in front of the shot to preserve the Leicester advantage. That really should have been a leveller.
87’ - Ndidi gets into the box again and again he leaves his defender on the ground. He shoots with his weaker left foot and it’s easily saved. Should he have tapped it to Vardy? Of course. Did we all want him to score? Absolutely.
88’ - Maresca introduces Cesare Casadei and Kelechi Iheanacho for Ndidi and Vardy.
90+4 - In the fourth minute of injury time, Yeboah wins a free kick off Vestergaard on the edge of the area. It’s a dangerous spot in the shade with Hermansen staring straight into the sun. The ball goes through the wall, but Hermansen collects it and that’s that.
FULL-TIME: Leicester City 1 - 0 Bristol City
If it were possible to stop the march of time for one player...