James Maddison

We Had A Hunger To Defend, Says Maddison

After grabbing an early goal at Stamford Bridge, James Maddison says Leicester City had to show their defensive qualities to earn a Premier League point away to Chelsea on Thursday night.
More on this story...

- James Maddison reflects on Leicester City’s Premier League draw away to Chelsea
- The match finished 1-1 after Maddison and Marcos Alonso struck at Stamford Bridge
- City's No.10 now has 17 goals for the season in all formats

The Foxes No.10 converted after only six minutes in the capital, firing home a fine goal to take his tally to 17 for the season across all competitions.

Marcos Alonso levelled with an impressive strike of his own in the first half, and while further opportunities fell to the hosts, City always looked sturdy in defence and saw out the draw.

“I thought we defended brilliantly,” he said. “European champions, you have to soak up pressure, they have dominance, they have pressure, they have quality players all over the pitch and they’ve spent a lot of money.

“Away from home, that’s what’s going to happen, you’re going to give up possession sometimes and respect the other team, but also with that hunger to defend.

“We showed that, putting bodies on the line with a lot of blocks, saves and [we were] better from corners. We’ll take the point, a fair point I think, and move onto the last game.”

First Team

Fine Maddison Effort In Leicester's Draw At Chelsea

The two goals from Stamford Bridge - including a brilliant hit from James Maddison - in Leicester City's 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

Maddison delivered another productive performance in midfield, assuming defensive duties when called up after netting in the opening stages.

“I was in midfield today as an eight on the right side of a three,” he said. “Papy [Mendy] was just behind me and Ki (Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall) to the left. Out of possession, you sometimes get shifted over to the right, sometimes you get shifted centrally as you’re shifting across to try and block space, so I was a bit all over, tracking back, putting tackles in, but that’s what you have to do for the gaffer.

“That’s what the gaffer wants, that’s what the team requires, especially away from home. That’s the sort of performance that you’ve got to give – a resilient performance with that defensive aspect. Obviously, we conceded the one goal, but we defended on the whole brilliantly as a team.”

His goal started with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who lifted the ball out to Timothy Castagne down the right. The Belgium full-back then worked it to Maddison, who drove towards the Chelsea net before slamming home emphatically.

“It was a long ball from Kasper and it got knocked down and fell to me in a good area,” he said of his strike. “I picked up the second ball and Thiago Silva came out put some pressure on me.

We’ll get back to King Power Stadium on Sunday and hopefully give them a good send-off for the summer.

James Maddison LCFC TV

“I shifted it past him onto my stronger right foot and that’s what I’m best at, that’s what I practice all the time – that quality from outside the box. It hit the post and went in, so I’m really happy, yes. It’s definitely up there.

“Against a big club like Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge, a historic stadium, it came off my boot beautifully and as soon as I hit it, I knew I hit it with real pace. It just couldn’t have been more perfectly placed, off the post and in, so it gives the ‘keeper no chance. It doesn’t always come off like that, but when it does, it’s a nice feeling.”

Maddison is looking forward to concluding the 2021/22 Premier League campaign in front of the Blue Army on Sunday against Southampton, knowing a win could potentially see them finish as high as eighth in the table.

He added: “It’s always nice when the last game is in front of our fans, they’ve been brilliant again today. They were so loud in the away end, especially when you come to a team like Chelsea, who are going to have a lot of possession, which they did tonight, to still hear them at the end cheering us on and singing away, it’s brilliant.

“We’ll get back to King Power Stadium on Sunday and hopefully give them a good send-off for the summer.”

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