Marc Albrighton

Leicester Conclude Pre-Season With Blackburn Draw

A 66th-minute header from Daniel Amartey saw Leicester City’s final fixture of pre-season end in a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers at King Power Stadium on Saturday.
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With several first team stars away on international duty, including Kasper Schmeichel, Çağlar Söyüncü, James Justin and Youri Tielemans, a much-changed XI started the fixture at King Power Stadium.

Young goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk made his first senior appearance for the Football Club, while Brendan Rodgers welcomed back Wilfred Ndidi, who partnered Josh Knight in the centre of defence, and 2019/20 Premier League Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy captained the side.

Midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, also benefitting from pre-season action, was the first Fox to go close to opening the scoring on Filbert Way after striking the side-netting on four minutes, while Vardy sent a strike into the arms of Andrew Fisher not long after.

A brace of efforts from winger Demarai Gray followed, while Blackburn’s Bradley Johnson blasted over, Joe Rankin-Costello couldn’t hit the target with a wayward header from six yards out and Adam Armstrong came close to connecting with a low cross.

After a goalless first period, Stolarczyk was tested on 49 minutes after getting down well to produce a solid save to prevent Rankin-Costello’s powerful drive from finding the back of the net.

Harvey Barnes and Dewsbury-Hall then both had strikes blocked, and Vardy had a penalty appeal turned down before Hamza Choudhury lifted over the bar as City upped their intent around the hour mark.

Shortly after, Rodgers rotated his centre-back pairing as Daniel Amartey – making his first appearance at King Power Stadium since October 2018 – and Darnell Johnson came on for the remaining 30 minutes plus stoppage time.

The opener finally arrived on 66 minutes, when substitute and Ghana international Amartey positioned himself perfectly to head home from a corner following a mistake from Blackburn stopper Fisher.

More substitutions followed for the hosts, as Spanish attacker Ayoze Pérez made his maiden appearance of pre-season, while Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho were also introduced in the closing 20 minutes.

Blackburn drew level just moments later, though, after defender Derrick Williams flicked Jacob Davenport’s corner into the back of the net at the near post with 10 minutes to go at King Power Stadium.

Albrighton, who scored in the 2-0 success over Birmingham City last month, thought he had netted the winner with two minutes of normal time remaining, but fellow substitute Iheanacho was flagged offside in the build-up and his strike was chalked off.

Major moment

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Daniel Amartey

The Ghana international scored for the Foxes in pre-season against Blackburn Rovers.

After over an hour of goalless action, Daniel Amartey found himself in the right place at the right time to convert a corner at the back post.

However, City were unable to defend their lead, and conceded their first goal in 260 minutes of pre-season action after Derrick Williams scored a header of his own.

Who impressed?

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has now played in all three of City's pre-season matches.

Speaking to LCFC TV at full-time, Gerry Taggart said: “I like Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. He floats round the pitch and looks comfortable on the ball. He understands the game for a young player, and he understands the management side of football. He’s always trying to play the right ball. You’ve got a real player in the making."

Coming up…

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Wilfred Ndidi

The Nigeria international midfielder played over an hour during his first appearance of pre-season.

Following three pre-season outings, Leicester City begin their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with a visit to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion in eight days’ time (2pm BST kick-off).

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