Joe Wormleighton

Leicester’s Under-23s Secure Battling Man City Draw

Leicester City’s Development Squad produced a valiant defensive display to earn a goalless draw against league leaders Manchester City Under-23s at LCFC Training Ground on Monday evening.

Making just one change from the side that drew with Arsenal Under-23s a week ago, Shane Flynn replaced Will Alves, who dropped to the bench, moving Leicester into the 4-2-3-1 system that they finished with against the Gunners.

It was a fast-paced opening in slick, wet conditions as both sides looked to impose their game. Tawanda Maswanhise made a strong run into the area but was unable to find the final ball, while Kayky saw a shot blocked wide at the other end.

For all of their possession, the visitors’ first shot on target did not arrive until the half-hour mark when James McAtee cut inside and curled an effort that deflected off Liam Delap and into the arms of Brad Young in the Leicester goal.

The home side’s next foray forward, meanwhile, involved a neat move down the right, with Wanya Marcal-Madivadua sprinting onto Oli Ewing’s long cross-field pass and combining with Joe Wormleighton, who managed to get a low cross in that Cieran Slicker claimed at his near post.

Kayky soon saw another strike blocked in the box, but there was no way through for either side in an opening half that was devoid of meaningful chances.

While it was very much backs to the wall in the first 45 minutes, Leicester came out positively for the second, creating the first opportunity when Marcal-Madivadua cut inside onto his left and tried to pick out the far top corner, seeing his strike flash wide.

And after Juan Larios struck the post for the Citizens, Thanawat Sunegchitthawon had two chances to break the deadlock. Marcal-Madivadua was involved again, putting in the low cross which led to the Thailand international striking the upright himself via a deflection and then dragging his next shot narrowly wide.

When the Foxes failed to take advantage of those openings, there was always the threat of a sucker-punch. Half-time substitute Carlos Borges looked to provide it, but chipped the ball straight to Young when clean through on goal. The lively Kayky soon twisted and turned on the edge of the box - before shooting off target.

The hosts introduced Will Alves and Terell Pennant into the fold to add a different dimension to their attacking play, but it was Man City who were looking more dangerous as the game entered the final quarter of an hour. McAtee was the latest player to find space for a shot on the edge of the box, firing off target.

Leicester almost snatched all three points in stoppage time when Ben Nelson rose highest to meet Ewing’s delivery, seeing it tipped over by Man City ‘keeper Slicker, leaving both sides to settle for a draw despite late pressure from the visitors.

Major moment…

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Shane Flynn
Shane Flynn

Defender Shane Flynn was brought back into the starting XI for the clash against the Citizens.

For all their possession, PL2 champions Man City were not able to breach the stubborn Leicester backline, but it was not just the back four who put in a hard-working display to keep the league’s most potent attack quiet throughout the 90 minutes. It was very much a team performance from front to back.

Who impressed?

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Lewis Brunt
Lewis Brunt

A captain's performance from Lewis Brunt at the heart of the Foxes' defence.

Choosing his Man of the Match, LCFC TV’s co-commentator Matt Elliott said: “I could have given it to anyone in the back four, but I’ll go for Lewis Brunt. A real captain’s performance from him tonight. He’s held the ship together, marshalled the defensive line well and kept a cool head with well-timed blocks.”

Where do we stand? 

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Wanya Marcal-Madivadua
Wanya Marcal-Madivadua

Wanya Marcal-Madivadua looked to find an elusive opening for the home side.

The Foxes move up to seventh in the Premier League 2 Division 1 standings, on 27 points from 19 games, and have now stretched their unbeaten run to five matches.

Coming up... 

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Khanya Leshabela
Khanya Leshabela

The Development Squad have a mini break from action before their next competitive outing.

After a week’s break from Premier League 2 Division 1 action, the Foxes youngsters make the short trip across the Midlands to meet Derby County in a 1pm GMT kick-off at Pride Park Stadium on Sunday 13 March.

The details…

City: Young, Wormleighton, B. Nelson, Brunt (c), Flynn; Braybrooke, Ewing; Marcal-Madivadua, Leshabela (I. Hughes 82’), Suengchitthawon (Alves 71’); Maswanhise (T. Pennant 77’).

Subs not used: Odunze, Fitzhugh.

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