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F365’s Premier League club-by-club season review: Leicester
Best player: Jamie Vardy
This a close call – and we’re still not convinced it’s the right one. Jonny Evans has been outstanding at the back, probably worthy of the spot next to Virgil van Dijk in the PFA Team of the Year, should they ever get around to deciding upon one.
Ricardo Pereira, Leicester’s reigning Player of the Year, and Wilfried Ndidi would also be deserving of this title. But in a crowded Premier League field of top-class strikers Vardy, aged 33, leads the Golden Boot and was on course to match his most prolific season ever.
Vardy has done that despite going through a two-month drought between Christmas and February that coincided with five of Leicester’s eight defeats, which highlights the importance of the veteran to the Rodgers grand plan to storm the Champions League.
Biggest disappointment: Youri Tielemans
The Belgium midfielder is merely a victim of his own exceptional standards set last year during his loan spell at the King Power Stadium.
Tielemans snubbed the advances of grander clubs to sign permanently for the Foxes after scoring three goals and creating another five while on loan from Monaco for the second half of last season. He has matched that tally once more – but in more than double the number of matches.
Rodgers sat Tielemans on the bench for a couple of games in January – defeats against Southampton and Burnley – and the 22-year-old admits he had “a bit of a set-back" with his form. He wouldn’t be the first foreign talent to suffer in that difficult second season and the fact he is being picked on at all only highlights the quality throughout Leicester’s squad. No one has stunk the joint out. Except perhaps Demarai Gray.
Best performance: Southampton 0-9 Leicester
There’s no point trying to be contrary – the Foxes demolition of Saints was one of the Premier League’s most ruthless-ever performances.
Scoring nine equalled the division’s biggest ever win, a record previously held by Manchester United when they pulled Ipswich’s pants down at Old Trafford. But Leicester should take the record with the tie-breaker being that the Foxes enjoyed their rout away from home. Indeed, it was the biggest ever victory by an away side in the top flight in the 131-year history of the Football League.
“I’m very pleased how we defended," said Rodgers, somewhat burying the lede. “And we were ruthless. We were ruthlessly simple in our game."
It helped that Saints were mind-bogglingly sh*te. Leicester mustered up 25 shots, of which 15 were on target. Only two sides have had a better shot conversion rate in any game this term – one of them is Leicester themselves when they tonked Newcastle 5-0.
Worst performance: Leicester 1-2 Southampton
Although Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted they weren’t motivated by revenge – come on, Ralph – Southampton reclaimed some of their pride by taking back three points from their trip to Leicester in January.
Rodgers’ side looked heavy-legged from the off, which is perhaps not surprising since they had played nine matches in 28 days before Saints came to the King Power. The visitors were thoroughly good value for their victory, having peppered Leicester’s goal with 16 shots, 10 of which were on target, while the hosts could only conjure up five efforts.
After back-to-back home defeats for the first time under Rodgers, the manager admitted it wasn’t good enough: “The performance probably didn’t merit anything from the game," he said. “We didn’t press the game strong enough, or well enough, and then when we had the ball, we made too many mistakes when we had the ball.
“So, it looked like up until the end, it was going to be a draw, which we would have taken because we didn’t play well. However, they played through our midfield too easily and then they get in and get the goal, so a disappointing result for us."
Biggest VAR moment: Kelechi Iheanacho’s winner against Everton
That defeat to the Saints might have been a draw were it not for VAR after Evans’ 90th-minute equaliser was ruled out for offside. But Leicester had their fun against Everton back in December.
It was typical of Marco Silva’s luck for his side to hold the Foxes into injury-time as they edged towards a creditable point. It seemed that Everton had escaped a hammer-blow defeat when Iheanacho was flagged offside after a ruthless finish past Jordan Pickford, but the officials in the Stockley Park cupboard dropped Silva deeper into the mire when they adjudged the Leicester substitute to be onside by a cat’s c*ck hair.
The linesman’s decision being overturned kept the Foxes on a seven-game winning run and it was celebrated as joyously as any goal at the King Power this term.
Interesting article on Leicester
I found this interesting on F365, a good article