Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Leicester Beaten For First Time In 2023/24

Leicester City's perfect start to 2023/24 came to an end on Saturday after a frustrating 1-0 defeat by Hull City at King Power Stadium.
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A solitary effort from Liam Delap would be enough for Hull to move into the top six and knock Leicester off top spot in the process. City are only a point off the Sky Bet Championship summit as they head into the international break with four wins from five league outings under their belt.

“In the first half we probably started well in the first 10 minutes until they scored and then once they scored, we went wrong in the way we were pressing," said Enzo Maresca. “We changed some things in the last 10 minutes of the first half and in the second half we were very good off the ball, and on the ball we created some chances, but it just didn’t happen."

In a bid to maintain his side’s 100 per cent record across all formats, Manager Maresca made one change from Leicester’s last league fixture away to Rotherham United, and seven from the win at Tranmere RoversYunus Akgün came in to make his full debut for the Club, replacing Stephy Mavididi on the wing. Summer signing Abdul Fatawu, meanwhile, was named on the bench.

Hull set about to frustrate the Foxes from the first minute, with both Alfie Jones and Lewis Coyle going into the book for pulling back Kelechi Iheanacho and the returning Kasey McAteer respectively. City did not waver in their attacking intent though, with Yunus driving through before captain Ricardo Pereira flashed a half-volley over the bar.

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Enzo Maresca

The Italian passes on instructions from the touchline during City's 1-0 loss.

Hull grew into the game, however, and struck on 15 minutes through Delap. The England youth international cut in from the left and saw his curling effort flick off Jannik Vestergaard and past Mads Hermansen. Not for the first time this season, Leicester would have to come from behind to earn all three points on Filbert Way.

The Foxes had plenty of the ball, however Hull were defending in their numbers when required and their threat now came through the counter-attack. Maresca co-ordinated from the sideline as his outfit sent scything passes through the Hull midfield - a flowing move on 36 minutes resulted in McAteer and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall combining, with the latter locating Iheanacho, whose touch and shot could not find a way through.

After Harry Winks had lifted an attempt over from distance, another booking came Hull's way after Iheanacho was brought down 25 yards from goal by Jean Michaël Seri. The Nigeria international shook off the challenge and was able to continue. Not long after, Dewsbury-Hall's penalty appeals were waved away as he went down in the Hull box, before Wout Faes blasted high and wide with his left boot. Into time added on, Iheanacho, later flagged offside, was denied a clear-cut goalscoring opportunity by Regan Slater's well-timed intervention. City were probing, but it was the men in orange who would enter half-time with a one-goal advantage.

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Kasey McAteer

Kasey McAteer was back in the starting XI having scored twice at Rotherham United last weekend.

Starting the second 45 with intent, only a good sliding challenge from Jacob Greaves prevented Iheanacho from converting at the near post from a McAteer delivery. Good goalkeeping from Hermansen at the other end saw him dive onto a cross that was intended for Aaron Connolly at the far stick.

Leicester still couldn't cut through and that prompted Maresca into making a triple change. Mavididi, Fatawu and Cesare Casadei were introduced, with McAteer, Yunus and Wilfred Ndidi the men to make way in the Leicester sunshine. Seri, already on a booking, kicked out at Winks not long after, but it was the Leicester No.8 who would be shown a yellow card for his protest. 

Summer recruits Fatawu and Casadei combined and the Italian sent a low cross into the box. Dewsbury-Hall was waiting and took it onto his left boot, only to fire straight at Matt Ingram. More good work from Fatawu down the right led to arguably City's biggest chance of the match as he whipped a low strike onto the inside of the post.

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Cesare Casadei

The Foxes No.7 had a number of goalscoring opportunities in the defeat by the Tigers.

The Tigers remained dangerous throughout as Hermansen was called into action to palm over substitute Cyrus Chirstie's left-footed attempt. Just before the corner came in, Jamie Vardy replaced Iheanacho to add renewed impetus to his side's attack. Fellow substitutes Fatawu, Mavididi and Casadei all looked to create, with Mavididi's cross falling to Ricardo, who hammered a first-time strike just wide.

The flowing moves continued to come from Maresca's men, with Casadei eventually scooping over a Dewsbury-Hall cross in front of the south stand. With eight minutes remaining, Mavididi won and took a free-kick, however his dead-ball attempt hit Jones and did not threaten Ingram in goal. A minute later, Fatawu charged down the right and found Vardy, whose flick was blocked in the six-yard box.

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Abdul Fatawu

The Ghanaian looked lively after coming off the bench and operating on the right wing.

Leicester now had Hull pinned in their half, with a short corner to Winks being flicked wide by the narrowest of margins by Vardy. Fatawu was a menace down the flank and won another corner - this time, Casadei climbed highest, only for the Italian to nod Dewsbury-Hall's set-play the wrong side of the post. 

The fourth official's board signalled only three added minutes for City to wrestle a result from a frustrating fixture. Fatawu's shot 90 seconds into injury time was an example of that frustration as he smashed over from 25 yards out. Hull were to further City's disappointment by keeping hold of the ball in the closing stages, inflicting a first defeat of 2023/24 upon the Foxes. Next comes the international break ahead of a trip to Southampton on Friday 15 September (8pm BST kick-off) at St. Mary's Stadium.

Leicester City Crest





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