Leicester City's Development Squad

City Settle For A Point In PL2 Bout With Chelsea

Leicester City's Development Squad played out a 1-1 draw with Chelsea Under-23s in a highly competitive Premier League 2 Division 1 encounter on Saturday evening.

There was a fresh look to the starting XI at LCFC Training Ground with a total of five changes made from the defeat at Manchester City a week ago, including a first start of the season for Josh Eppiah.

First team pair Filip Benković and Papy Mendy were also included, while there were recalls for goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk and Will Alves in attack, as the Foxes remained in a 5-3-2 formation.

The only attempts of note during a tight opening 10 minutes came courtesy of Wanya Marcal-Madivadua, who struck a low shot narrowly wide of the post, and the experienced Lewis Baker blazing over at the other end for Chelsea.

Foxes captain Vontae Daley-Campbell then went close to breaking the deadlock via a sweetly struck effort that flashed past the far upright, following McAteer’s endeavour to try and work a shooting position on the edge of the box.

Though clear-cut first-half chances were limited, the visitors did break away shortly before the interval and, when Harvey Vale cut the ball back across the box, Ben Nelson managed to divert the ball behind.

A clever routine from the resulting corner saw George McEachran find Baker free on the edge of the box and the midfielder clipped the top of the crossbar, representing the closest either team had in the first 45 minutes.

After a strong start to the second half from the Blues, Leicester grew back into the game. Braybrooke’s floated free-kick eventually fell for Nelson sliding in at the back post, but he was unable to get a clear connection on the ball and trouble Lucas Bergstrom in the Chelsea goal.

McAteer soon showed his attacking qualities, cutting inside from the left and threading the ball through for half-time substitute Jake Wakeling, though he could only strike the side netting.

City would come to rue those missed chances almost immediately. From Baker's free-kick, Xavier Mbuyamba saw his shot saved by Stolarczyk, but the ball fell kindly for Norwegian forward Brian Fiabema to rifle home on the follow up.

The away side’s lead lasted just six minutes, however. Braybrooke picked out Marcal-Madivadua with a sensational aerial pass and the midfielder did the rest, volleying into the top corner, with the ball clipping the bar as it went in.

Bayli Spencer-Adams glanced Braybrooke’s free-kick wide of the target as Leicester sensed an opportunity to go and grab the three points, before Daley-Campbell cut inside and forced Bergstrom into a smart diving save.

Wakeling’s header was then held by the increasingly busy Chelsea shot-stopper, though the visiting side had opportunities of their own. Baker’s shot was tipped wide by Stolarczyk, ahead of the ‘keeper making a diving stop to keep out Vale’s header, while Jayden Wareham’s drive also had to be palmed past the post.

Chelsea late dominance almost paid off from Baker’s free-kick, which was pushed away by the initially unsighted Stolarczyk, before Vale’s follow-up was deflected over. There was still time for Joe Haigh’s cross to be flicked over the crossbar by Wareham, though Leicester held on to secure a hard earned point.

Major moment… 

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Wanya Marcal-Madivadua
Wanya Marcal-Madivadua

Wanya Marcal-Madivadua scored a stunning equaliser for the Foxes in Seagrave.

Equalising so soon after going behind was a real confidence booster for the Foxes youngsters and they might have snatched the win, creating a flurry of chances after Wanya Marcal-Madivadua’s superbly taken goal.

Who impressed?

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Sammy Braybrooke
Sammy Braybrooke

Sammy Braybrooke has featured in all eight of City's PL2 fixtures so far this term.

Sammy Braybrooke produced an impressive display in the middle of the midfield alongside Papy Mendy. His vision to pick out Wanya Marcal-Madivadua for the equaliser was sublime and mirrored his all-round performance, which included a series of dangerous set pieces.

Where does it leave us?

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Kasey McAteer
Kasey McAteer

Kasey McAteer tries to thread the ball through during the second half in Seagrave.

Leicester’s Development Squad are currently 10th in the Premier League 2 Division 1 standings following matchday eight, level on nine points with ninth-placed Chelsea.

Coming up… 

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Jakub Stolarczyk
Jakub Stolarczyk

Jakub Stolarczyk had to make some smart stops in the closing stages.

Returning to Premier League 2 action on Monday 1 November, the Development Squad will host West Ham United Under-23s at LCFC Training Ground (7pm GMT kick-off).

The details…

City: Stolarczyk; Daley-Campbell (c), Brunt, Benković (Spencer-Adams 61’), B. Nelson, McAteer; Mendy, Marcal-Madivadua, Braybrooke; Alves (Maswanhise 65’), Eppiah (Wakeling 46’).

Subs not used: Odunze, Ewing.

Goal: Marcal-Madivadua 68’.

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