Harvey Barnes

Extra-Time Talking Points: City's First-Half Excellence & Looking Ahead To Slavia

Iwan Roberts and Gerry Taggart - two popular former Leicester City stars - joined presenter Dan Bates for an hour of football chat on LCFC Radio's Extra-Time show on Monday night.
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- LCFC Radio's Extra-Time show features Iwan Roberts and Gerry Taggart this week
- The two former Leicester City stars spoke for an hour alongside presenter Dan Bates
- Sunday's win at Aston Villa and Thursday's upcoming European tie were on the agenda
- The Foxes host Slavia Prague in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday (8pm kick-off)

As well as analysing Sunday's 2-1 Premier League triumph at Aston Villa, which kept the Foxes third in the Premier League standings, this Thursday's UEFA Europa League Round of 32 home tie against Slavia Prague (8pm kick-off) was also previewed...

City's first-half excellence

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans and his team-mates created several opportunities for the Foxes at Villa Park.

Iwan Roberts said: “I would say the first half was probably the best 45 minutes I’ve seen from Leicester this season. From the very first whistle, they were at it. The tempo, intensity, movement… they never wasted a ball. Going forward, they always looked a threat. Defensively, they looked solid. The two early goals take that pressure off you as well. I was so impressed, especially when you think that they played on Thursday night in Prague.”

Ricardo's impact on the flanks

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Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira

Ricardo Pereira contests a high ball with Villa full-back Matt Targett.

Gerry Taggart said: “Obviously, before the teams have been picked, there may have been a reason for him putting Ricardo [Pereira] in there (in a more advanced position) and that was possibly to help deal with the threat of Jack Grealish. I don’t know if Brendan [Rodgers] knew before the game that Grealish was unfit, but we’ve seen Ricardo play there. He’s just as good going forward as he is working defensively. He’s the complete modern full-back.”

Digging deep late on

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

The Foxes manager applauds the efforts of his players at full-time in the West Midlands.

Iwan Roberts said: “In the second half, it was good too. Villa got back in it after three minutes of the restart, but the way Leicester reacted to that setback, it never really phased them. A lot of teams would have panicked away from home, but not Leicester. They just carried on playing their football. [Youri] Tielemans didn’t waste a ball, [James] Maddison was at his best, Harvey Barnes tortured the Villa defence and young Luke Thomas was excellent.”

Thomas' rise in defence

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Luke Thomas
Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas faced up well against lively attacker Bertrand Traoré.

Gerry Taggart said: “Keep an eye on Luke Thomas. He’s 19 and is nowhere near his full potential, but he’s already pretty good. He’s already showing he can be relied on. Defensively, you can rely on him, which in this day and age, is a rarity. I can only see more improvement from someone like Luke Thomas. He’s out of the Christian Fuchs mould. He’s got that left foot, where we can swing early crosses in, and he’s a real threat as well.”

Looking ahead to Slavia

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Last Thursday's first leg tie was Leicester's maiden competitive clash with a Czech outfit.

Iwan Roberts said: “From now until the end of the season, they’re all big games. They’re in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, they’re flying high in the Premier League and then there’s Europe. If Slavia approach the game in the same way they did last week, with both full-backs bombing on, I think the gaps they leave will invite the likes of Harvey Barnes, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy to punish them.”

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