Jamie Vardy

City Play Out Goalless Draw With Wolves

Leicester City produced only their fourth Premier League draw of the 2020/21 season following a stalemate with Wolverhampton Wanderers at a bitterly cold Molineux Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
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Following Wednesday’s 2-0 win away at Fulham, manager Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged starting XI, while there was also a spot on the bench for striker Jamie Vardy, who was fit enough to be included among the substitutes after a hernia operation saw him miss City’s last four games in all competitions.

A series of direct passes from the Leicester midfield could only find the head of Wolves skipper Conor Coady inside 10 minutes, however that proved to be an indicator of City's intent to utilise Nigeria international Kelechi Iheanacho as a focal point for their forward play against Nuno Espírito Santo's side.

The Foxes knew Wolves would be a dangerous outfit to come up against, and they showed exactly that on 11 minutes, when a corner flicked on by Adama Traoré fell to Rúben Neves, who slammed his fierce effort over Kasper Schmeichel's crossbar.

A superb challenge from the ever-impressive James Justin followed on the quarter-hour mark, when the full-back threw himself in the way of Traoré's drive after good work from Pedro Neto down the left flank.

Both sides showed creativity to carve out opportunities at Molineux Stadium, with the in-form Harvey Barnes having a shot blocked on 17 minutes, and Iheanacho hammering over Rui Patrício's bar not long after.

Patrício was on hand to parry and then collect a James Maddison free-kick on 29 minutes, while Ayoze Pérez had the ball in the back of the net shortly after, however play had already been stopped after Maddison, who had two shots blocked by Jonny, was deemed to have fouled João Moutinho in the build-up.

Neves fired a free-kick into the City wall eight minutes before the interval, before Maddison side-footed a 20-yard shot into the arms of Patrício after being teed up by Iheanacho, bringing to an end a goalless first period.

After the break, Neves drilled over from range while under pressure from Leicester's back line, while Hamza Choudhury was in the way of Neto's 25-yard effort with 52 minutes on the clock.

A left-footed strike from Maddison followed, but after dummying his way past Coady, the No.10 couldn't generate enough power, and Patrício was able to gather on his goal line.

The Wolves attack continued to threaten City's goal, with Neto unable to convert from a Traoré cross just before the hour-mark, and Moutinho lifting a strike over just moments after Vardy and Marc Albrighton were introduced in place of Iheanacho and Pérez with a little under 30 minutes of normal time remaining. 

A huge chance for the visitors came on 73 minutes, only for Academy graduate Barnes' attempt to deflect wide after the winger played a neat one-two with Justin before advancing into the Wolves area.

Nélson Semedo then saw his effort fly wide, via the heel of Çağlar Söyüncü, before a crucial intervention from Schmeichel, who saved with his foot, prevented substitute Fábio Silva from tucking the ball into the net after it fell to him from the resulting corner.

Further attempts from Youri Tielemans and Albrighton followed with around 10 minutes to play, only for them both to sail off target, as Leicester went in search of a winner in the West Midlands. 

Wolves shared the same ambitions at the opposite end of the field, with half-time substitute Ki-Jana Hoever harmlessly bending the ball round Schmeichel's left-hand post with only a few minutes of the game to play.

But it was Vardy, who sprinted away from Semedo and Leander Dendoncker, who came closest to pinching all three points for Leicester in the second minute of injury time, only for him to flick his header from an Albrighton cross just wide.

Major moment

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel spreads himself wide to deny Fábio Silva an opener for the home side.

A largely uneventful second period saw both sides cancel out each other's attacks, but it was a decisive save from Kasper Schmeichel that ultimately prevented Wolves from clinching all three Premier League points. 

The ball broke to Fábio Silva on the right-hand channel, and after eyeing up the bottom corner, he found the Denmark international's foot in the way.

Replays showed only the slightest of touches from Schmeichel, however the attempt would have undoubtedly rippled the net were it not for his vital save.

Who impressed?

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Hamza Choudhury
Hamza Choudhury

Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury's determined work in midfield was praised on LCFC Radio at full-time.

Speaking on LCFC Radio live from Molineux Stadium, Matt Elliott said: “There wasn't too many stand-out performances. For me, this encapsulates the way the game has gone. In the latter stages of the game, Hamza Choudhury caught my eye, purely from his vital defensive midfield work. Whether it was in tandem with Youri Tielemans, or helping the full-backs or centre-halves, generally, he played a big role in the game."

Where do we stand?

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

The Foxes manager gives a word of encouragement to his side at Molineux Stadium.

City retain third position in the Premier League table after collecting their 43rd point of the 2020/21 campaign.

Coming up…

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy came off the bench in the second half after a spell on the sidelines.

Leicester will next contest an Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round tie with Brighton & Hove Albion at King Power Stadium on Wednesday (7:30pm kick-off), before facing Liverpool on home soil in the Premier League on Saturday (12:30pm kick-off).

All times GMT.

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