James Maddison

'Another Tough Place To Go' – Maddison's Pre-Man City Thoughts

Leicester City's first-half performance at Liverpool on Wednesday and their victory at Etihad Stadium last term can give the Foxes confidence ahead of Boxing Day's clash at Manchester City, says James Maddison.
More on this story...

- James Maddison looks ahead to Boxing Day's visit to Manchester City (3pm GMT kick-off)
- Leicester City were beaten on penalties by Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup
- Maddison scored a stunning goal during the 3-3 draw in normal time
- The 25 year-old also discusses the difficulties of training and playing this winter

Following an enforced 10-day hiatus due to COVID-19 cases, City were back in action on Wednesday, losing out 5-4 on penalties to Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, after a 3-3 draw in normal time at Anfield. James Maddison's stunner came after a brace for Jamie Vardy.

Leicester led 3-1 at the interval on Merseyside, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's strike the only dent in the scoreline, before Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino rescued a draw for Jürgen Klopp's hosts. It was Jota who would eventually net the decisive spot-kick in sudden death.

Speaking immediately afterwards, such is the nature of the Foxes' fixture schedule at present, Maddison turned his attention to Sunday's visit to Etihad Stadium – another considerable challenge just four days after that Liverpool encounter and two before facing the Reds again in the league.

"It’s a nice easy fixture on Boxing Day, isn’t it?" he said in jest. "It's another tough place to go but we can take the positives from the first half [at Liverpool]. We can also take the positives from winning there (5-2 in September 2020) last season and try and get something from the game."

First Team

Maddison's Liverpool Reflections & Man City Preview

James Maddison analyses Leicester City's clash with Liverpool and looks ahead to their Boxing Day trip to Manchester City.

Reflecting on the shootout reverse at Liverpool, which included two stops from Caoimhin Kelleher to deny Luke Thomas and Ryan Bertrand, Maddison admitted it was a harsh end to an evening which promised so much for the visitors from the East Midlands.

"Penalties is a lottery," City's No.10 added. "You’ve got to just pick your spot. The ‘keeper will sometimes pick the right spot. I guess he’s got a 50 per cent chance of getting it right. The two lads that missed were brilliant in the game, Ryan coming in, Luke from the start. It’s just one of those things.

"They both scored when they were practising yesterday. It’s unfortunately one of those things, penalties is a cruel way to lose any game. I think it was a brilliant game for the neutral, a cruel end to a brilliant match of football. It’s really tough to take to be honest."

Leicester were brilliant from the off at Anfield. Their attacking football caught Liverpool unaware and they raced twice into a two-goal lead. As injuries and fatigue hit in the latter stages, Liverpool, buoyed by a raucous home crowd and experienced figures from the bench, were able to turn the tide. 

Losing on penalties is just one of those things. We’ll move on. There’s a lot of positives to take from the game.

James Maddison LCFC TV

"In the first half, we were really good," Maddison continued. "We looked a real threat on the counter-attack with the two strikers. In the second half, obviously, we were trying to shore it up with the extra body going in at the back and it’s one of them.

"We had to grind it out, absorb a lot of pressure, and hope you get that bit of luck. Kasper [Schmeichel] makes an unbelievable save. You just hope you can see it out and be happy with a 3-2 win, but it wasn’t to be. Losing on penalties is just one of those things. We’ll move on. There’s a lot of positives to take from the game."

Maddison's 33rd-minute was an instant Goal of the Season contender, half-volleying a bouncing ball from 25 yards out into the top corner. The 25-year-old offered an insight into the effort, but admitted it felt hollow after ending the night on the wrong end of a penalty shootout defeat.

"It’s in vain at the minute," he explained. "I’m really happy with the goal and assist as always, but it feels a lot sweeter when you win. Scoring at a brilliant stadium like this is always a nice feeling.

"I scored at that end as well and we went on to lose a game in the Premier League a couple of years ago, so I don’t want to make a habit of scoring here but losing. It was a really nice strike. It just fell to me. It was bouncing up nicely for me to hit it.

"The actual footballs in the Carabao Cup are different to the Premier League balls and they move all over the place. The ‘keeper struggled with the movement of the ball I think. It’s a really tough place to go. The crowd here is the best in England, I think, at getting behind their team and making it really tough.

"It’s relentless, the it’s constant pressure. They were shooting at the Kop end in the second half. We just fell short at the final hurdle."

First Team

Liverpool 3 Leicester City 3 (5-4 pens)

Extended highlights from Leicester City's 5-4 loss to Liverpool on penalties, with commentary from John Dunn and Gerry Taggart.

Leicester lost Ricardo Pereira and Çağlar Söyüncü during the 90 minutes to injury and some players went on in the game carrying issues too. It's a result of a broken training schedule and condensed fixtures, but Maddison says all Premier League teams are facing similar problems. 

"It’s different for everyone," the former Norwich City midfielder said. "Liverpool are one of the only teams who have kept playing, they’ve had no games postponed, but that’s the world at the minute. We had to obviously go away from the training ground for a few days.

"You can lose that rhythm, but it didn’t look like it in the first half, the way we started."

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