Wilfred Ndidi

Season Review: Tragedy Overshadows Football In October

Leicester City played three Premier League matches during October, but it was a month which will be remembered for an outpouring of affection off the field.
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The Foxes were beaten by Everton and Arsenal before securing a hard-fought point against West Ham United on Filbert Way on Saturday 27 October. 

Later that evening, our Chairman, Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among five people to lose their lives when a helicopter crashed outside King Power Stadium.

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Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi

Leicester City 1 Everton 2
Saturday 6 October, 2018
Premier League
King Power Stadium
Ricardo 40'; Richarlison 7', Sigurdsson 77'

Leicester City suffered a narrow 2-1 Premier League defeat to Everton at home on their first matchday of the month.

Claude Puel named an unchanged starting XI from the side that beat Newcastle United 2-0 at St James’ Park last weekend.

The Foxes fell behind with just seven minutes on the clock, as Richarlison combined with fellow Brazilian Bernard to put visitors ahead.

After some fine work from Ben Chilwell, Jamie Vardy had an opportunity to level matters shortly after, but couldn’t hit the target with a close-range header.

Upping their tempo, City grabbed a deserved equaliser just before the break as Portugal international Ricardo Pereira twisted and turned before firing past Jordan Pickford.

First Team

Goals: Leicester City 1 Everton 2

Watch the goals from the Foxes' 2-1 defeat to Everton at King Power Stadium...

Then, Chilwell, impressive throughout, darted inside and hammered a powerful right-footed effort just wide of Pickford’s upright.

After Kasper Schmeichel did well to deny Everton attacker Theo Walcott, City were reduced to 10 men after skipper Wes Morgan received a second yellow card on 63 minutes.

Daniel Amartey slotted into the centre of defence while Ricardo went to right-back as the Foxes attempted to weather the incoming Everton attack.

Schmeichel then did brilliantly to first deny Walcott before turning Toffees skipper Tom Davies’ placed strike away, before Sigurdsson’s effort was also turned behind by the Dane.

However, City’s stopper could do nothing about Sigurdsson’s next effort, as the Iceland international found the top corner with a sensational strike from distance.

Puel’s men rallied as James Maddison first sent a drive wide before Amartey headed substitute Rachid Ghezzal’s corner just inches wide in injury time, but there would be no leveller for the hosts.

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James Maddison
James Maddison

Arsenal 3 Leicester City 1
Monday 22 October, 2018
Premier League
Emirates Stadium
Özil 45', Aubameyang 63', 66'; Bellerín og 31'

Despite a spirited showing at Emirates Stadium, Leicester City were defeated 3-1 by Arsenal in the Premier League during a Monday night fixture. 

Returning to action after a busy international break, Claude Puel started the game with a 3-5-2 stratagem against the Gunners, deploying a back line of Jonny Evans, Harry Maguire and Daniel Amartey.

In the absence of the suspended Wes Morgan, Kasper Schmeichel skippered the Foxes in the capital, but it was opposition stopper Bernd Leno who was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half.

After seeing an attempt deflect wide off Arsenal defender Rob Holding inside the opening two minutes, Kelechi Iheanacho was denied by Leno four minutes later as City burst out of the blocks. 

Puel’s men then had a penalty shout turned down after Holding – booked for an initial challenge on James Maddison – handled the ball in the area. However, Leicester’s claims were waved away and Holding remained on the pitch.

England international Harry Maguire was next to test Leno, as his header nearly found the bottom corner, before Schmeichel held Shkodran Mustafi’s tame effort at the other end.

First Team

Goals: Arsenal 3 Leicester City 1

Watch all the goals as the Foxes faced the Gunners in a tight contest at Emirates Stadium on Monday night.

City capitalised on their early pressure soon after, though, as Ben Chilwell, having signed a new long-term deal over the weekend, saw his cross deflect off Héctor Bellerín and into the back of the net.

Schmeichel then tipped Granit Xhaka’s free-kick over the bar, before parrying Alex Iwobi’s effort out of play. The visitors looked to have weathered Arsenal’s attack, but on the stroke of half-time, their back line was breached.

A flowing move resulted in Bellerín – making amends for his own goal – setting up playmaker Mesut Özil, who side-footed in off the base of the post to haul his side level heading into the interval.

Buoyed by their leveller, Arsenal were much improved after break as Henrikh Mkhitaryan twice threatened, but couldn’t hit the target.

Meanwhile, City were attempting to restore their lead and came just inches away from doing so, as Wilfred Ndidi hammered the crossbar with a powerful header on 58 minutes.

A frantic period followed, as the game turned in Arsenal’s favour. Emerging from the bench, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in the space of four minutes to put his side 3-1 up with just over 20 minutes to play.

Puel introduced Shinji Okazaki and Rachid Ghezzal to add to City’s attack, but they couldn’t break down Arsenal’s defiant back line in the closing stages.

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Vicente Iborra
Vicente Iborra

Leicester City 1 West Ham United 1
Saturday 27 October, 2018
Premier League
King Power Stadium
Ndidi 89'; Balbuena 30'

Wilfred Ndidi struck an 89th-minute equaliser for Leicester City to secure a 1-1 draw with West Ham United at King Power Stadium.

Hammers defender Fabian Balbuena gave the visitors an early lead, being alert to the rebound of his own header, to send it past Kasper Schmeichel on 30 minutes.

Before the half-time break, however, the visiting captain, Mark Noble, was dismissed for a late challenge on Ndidi.

Despite the one-man advantage, City were frustrated by an effective defensive performance by the Hammers, with goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański in fine form.

Initially named as a substitute, Jamie Vardy came on at half-time and offered more of an attacking threat, narrowly missing a header and forcing a strong save from Fabiański.

Just as it seemed that West Ham would emerge from King Power Stadium with three points, Ndidi went for goal from distance with one minute of the match remaining.

Video

A Minute’s Silence & Tributes Paid At King Power Stadium

His low drive deflected off Balbuena, beyond Fabiański and into the Hammers' net, giving Leicester their 13th point of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign. 

Following the match, the Club's beloved Chairman, Khun Vichai, was one of five people who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash outside King Power Stadium.

The Carabao Cup fixture against Southampton, scheduled for the following Tuesday night, was postponed as the Club's players, staff and supporters mourned their Chairman.

Over the days which followed, the Club was overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection and love which was displayed outside the stadium by Foxes supporters and members of the public.

Thousands of tributes were laid as the city of Leicester and the wider football community remembered Khun Vichai with the values of love and respect he instilled in us all.

October in numbers

LCFC goals: 3
Top scorer: Ricardo & Ndidi (1 goal)
Premier League standing: 12th

Leicester City Crest

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