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Match Report: Leicester City 1 - 1 Ipswich Town (When a draw feels like a defeat)

Foxes left to rue missed chances as the Tractor Boys earn a late draw

Leicester City v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Recap

Leicester City were forced to settle for a draw on Monday evening against Ipswich Town despite dominating most of the match. Leif Davis turned Stephy Mavididi’s shot into his own net to give the Foxes the advantage at the break. Substitute Jeremy Sarmiento pounced on a loose ball in the area to level the score for the Tractor Boys in the 89th minute.

I don’t often pick opposing players as my Man of the Match, but it was the excellent Václav Hladký who kept the visitors in this match and gave them an opportunity to snatch the draw. On another day, the Foxes would have carried a 2-3 goal lead into the final minutes, but I have to give credit where it is due: Hladký was excellent tonight.

That’s not to say City’s domination was complete. Perhaps due to the fact that the manager was serving a touchline ban and there were some unfamiliar faces in unfamiliar roles, the Foxes often looked as though they weren’t quite on the same page. Our best player was, unsurprisingly, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. He took a tremendous clattering tonight and, given that he had to pass a late fitness test, his availability for the FA Cup tie on Saturday is questionable.

The draw gives the Foxes 66 points from 28 matches and leaves our 7-point edge over the Tractors Boys unchanged. Of more concern is that the gap over 3rd place Southampton is now just 8 points. Our next match is the aforementioned fixtures against Birmingham City in the FA this Saturday. After that, we host Swansea City on Tuesday to close out our January schedule.

Lineups

Leicester City: Mads Hermansen, Ricardo Pereira (C), Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, James Justin, Hamza Choudhury, Harry Winks, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Kasey McAteer, Stephy Mavididi, Tom Cannon

Ipswich Town: Václav Hladký, Sam Edmundson, Luke Woolfenden, Leif Davis, Harrison Clarke, Conor Chaplin, Massimo Luongo, Lewis Travis, Kayden Jackson, Marcus Myers-Harness, Wes Burns

If only this was the only thing we bottled...


Key Moments and Notes

2’- Cracking start to this one. The Foxes concede a corner on 13 seconds but it’s a poor one. At the other end, a deflected pass finds Cannon just outside the area. He squeezes between two defenders but he’s denied a chance to shoot by a last-ditch challenge. I was already nervous before kickoff and this isn’t helping.

6’- Referee Josh Smith is letting a lot go early in this match. It looks like it’s a matter of just letting play continue if the foul doesn’t break up the flow, which is a reasonable approach to game management. Still, it bears watching.

12’- If you were curious about the shape, bear with me because this is an odd one. Justin is the right back. Hamza’s on the left and swapping into midfield when in possession. Ricardo is the #8 on the left with KDH on the right. Oh, and Faes and Vestergaard have swapped their regular positions, with Faes moving out to the left in possession.

16’- Not quite close! Ricardo steals the ball in midfield and the Foxes are off to the races. KDH and Cannon switch lanes and Ricardo pulls it back for Dewsbury-Hall. He tries to tap it into Cannon’s path, but the striker halted his run on the right side. If KDH had looked up or Cannon continued his run, it’s a goal.

18’- Another almost close! Cannon gets in behind the defence and tries his luck from a tight angle. It was the wrong choice as McAteer was all alone in front of the net begging for the ball.

25’- Close! Leicester move the ball smartly and it falls to Choudhury on the edge of the area. He lets fly and it’s a beauty, bound for the top right corner. Hladky reacts well and pushes it around the post with his fingertips, but that was very, very close.

32’- GOAL! Mavididi plays a 1-2 with Ricardo and shoots from close range. Hladkly parries it into the path of defender Leif Davis, who bundles the ball into his own net. The move was worth a goal regardless of who got the final touch.

Leicester City v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship
C’mon and claim that goal, Stephy. You deserve it.
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

37’- Close! The Foxes win a corner on the left. Dewsbury-Hall loops it toward the back post and Vestergaard gets his considerable forehead to it but it’s straight at the keeper.

38’- Close! A chip into the Ipswich box is cleared by Woolfenden, but only as far as Ricardo. The Portuguese defender has a clear sight of goal, but he snatches at his shot and puts it wide.

44’- Close! Wout Faes is such a menace bringing the ball forward. He plays a give-and-go with Mavididi and might have had a penalty if he hadn’t slipped on his own but hey, at least he was honest about it. Instead, the ball falls to Cannon, whose dipping drive is well-parried by the harried Hladky.

HALF TIME: Leicester City 1 - 0 Ipswich Town

46’- No changes for the Foxes at the half, but some good news on the Sky feed: Wilfred Ndidi was on the show and said he’d be playing again in a few weeks. Here’s hoping that’s realistic. That would be huge.

Leicester City v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship
Kaiden Jackson trying out for the Olympic Diving Team.
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

49’- Close! The Foxes surrender a fistful of corners and almost pay for it. A weak clearance comes back to Burns in full flight and his drive is going in until Hermansen tips it over the bar with his fingertips.

56’- The Foxes lay siege to the Ipswich with their own succession of corners. There’s a melee in the box with each one, but the ball seems to go in all directions except goalward.

65’- Luongo is a lucky boy. Dewsbury-Hall closes him down from behind and Luongo turns and catches him across face with an elbow. It’s a yellow, probably because he knew nothing about it, but...oof.

69’- It’s Davis’ turn to get away with one. He goes flying in two-footed on KDH and only sees yellow. VAR would have taken a long look at that one.

75’- Close! The game is wide open now. This time it’s at the Ipswich end and it’s Cannon with a raking effort from the edge of the box. Once again, the excellent Hladky gets a hand to it and turns it wide.

81’- Maresca..er, not Maresca as he’s serving a ban, but we know it’s really Maresca... makes his first changes, sending Jamie Vardy and Yunus Akgun on for Cannon and Dewsbury-Hall. Yunus nearly makes an immediate impact, winning the ball in midfield and trying to tee up McAteer, but his pass is just a little too close to Hladky.

89’- GOAL! Luongo tries his luck from distance and it takes a little deflection that forces Hermansen to parry it directly in front of the goal The Leicester defence are caught flat-footed and Jeremy Sarmiento pounces to tuck home from close range.

90’- Marc Albrighton comes on for McAteer. For some reason, Choudhury ignores the wide man and tries to cross it himself. The result is not pretty.

FULL TIME: Leicester City 1 - 1 Ipswich Town