Riyad Mahrez

Season Review: Spurs Victory Caps Off November

Leicester City enjoyed a memorable 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the end of a frustrating November in 2017/18.
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After winning three on the spin in October, Claude Puel's Foxes went into the following month riding a wave of optimism...

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Shinji Okazaki
Shinji Okazaki

The Japan international attempts to convert a chance at bet365 Stadium.

Stoke City 2 City 2
bet365 Stadium
Premier League
Saturday 4 November
Shaqiri 39', Crouch 73' / Iborra 33', Mahrez 60'

Leicester City had to settle for a 2-2 Premier League draw with Stoke City on Saturday, despite twice taking the lead at bet365 Stadium.

For the weekend’s early kick-off, Claude Puel made just one change to the side that beat Everton 2-0 on Sunday, as Shinji Okazaki came in for the injured Ben Chilwell.

The game yielded plenty of goalscoring chances, with the first dropping to Jamie Vardy, who couldn’t latch onto a loose ball that Stoke defended well.

Dangerman Xherdan Shaqiri fired wide shortly after, while Kasper Schmeichel pulled off a brilliant low save to deny forward Maxim Choupo-Moting.

The Foxes began to gain a foothold in the game and deservedly broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark.

Riyad Mahrez’s corner was nodded down by Harry Maguire into the path of Vicente Iborra, who converted from close range to net his first goal for the Club.

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Stoke City 2 Leicester City 2

Watch the best of the action from bet365 Stadium where the Foxes drew 2-2 with Stoke City on Saturday...

A flurry of chances followed as Iborra had a shot blocked from a similar distance, while Jack Butland produced a fine save to turn away Okazaki’s header.

City couldn’t capitalise, though, and Stoke drew level just before the break. Choupo-Moting played in Shaqiri, who curled in off the post in front of the Boothen End to make it 1-1.

Algeria international Mahrez continued to threaten after the break and while his 25-yard drive was tipped over by Butland, the Stoke stopper could do nothing about his next effort.

The Foxes’ No.26 latched onto Wilfred Ndidi’s clearance and beat Kevin Wimmer before firing low beyond Butland to restore the Leicester advantage.

But just as the Potters had done before the interval, they grabbed an equaliser, this time through substitute Peter Crouch.

The former England frontman headed home Shaqiri’s delivery to haul his side level.

Kelechi Iheanacho then had an effort disallowed for offside with two minutes to play, while Schmeichel, who had earlier denied Ryan Shawcross, did well to turn away Kurt Zouma’s header in injury time.

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Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire

City had their visitors on the rocks for long periods on Filbert Way.

City 0 Manchester City 2 
King Power Stadium 
Premier League 
Saturday 18 November 
Jesus 45', De Bruyne 49'

Leicester City’s unbeaten run came to an end following Manchester City’s 2-0 Premier League win at King Power Stadium.

Claude Puel made one change to the side that drew with Stoke City last time out, as birthday boy Marc Albrighton came in for Shinji Okazaki.

The Foxes made a lively start to the game and when Jamie Vardy was hauled down by Vincent Kompany, the Man City skipper looked like he would be sent off after just three minutes, but only received a yellow card.

On the 15-minute mark, Kompany came close to turning the ball into his own net.

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Leicester City 0 Manchester City 2

Watch the best of the action from the Foxes 2-0 defeat to Manchester City at King Power Stadium on Saturday...

Riyad Mahrez glided past Fabian Delph and after delivering, the Algerian’s cross nearly crept in, only for Ederson to make a save.

After first holding onto a tame Kevin De Bruyne effort, Kasper Schmeichel pulled off an excellent stop at the front post to deny David Silva shortly after.

Silva sent an effort over just before the break and while the Foxes looked good value for a first half shutout, Gabriel Jesus struck on the stroke of half-time after being teed up by Silva.

The second period started as frantically as the first ended. Harry Maguire’s deflected strike hit the post but just 30 seconds later, the Citizens doubled their advantage.

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Man City cleared their lines and surged forward, as German international Leroy Sane advanced down the left before finding De Bruyne, whose powerful effort flew into the top corner.

Silva and De Bruyne – two of the Citizens’ playmakers – sent efforts off target shortly after, while Schmeichel was on hand to punch away a Jesus shot with just under 20 minutes to play.

Puel introduced Okazaki, Kelechi Iheanacho and Islam Slimani inside the closing 10 minutes, but Pep Guardiola’s high-flying outfit retained possession well to nullify City’s forward line.

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Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

Wes Morgan congratulates opening scorer Marc Albrighton.

West Ham United 1 City 1
London Stadium
Premier League
Friday 24 November
Kouyaté 45' / Albrighton 8'

Leicester City shared the spoils of a 1-1 draw with West Ham United in the Premier League at London Stadium.

The unchanged Foxes started brightly in the capital and their early industry was rewarded when Marc Albrighton applied a neat finish to Jamie Vardy’s cross after just eight minutes.

However, the Hammers, in David Moyes’ maiden home match as manager, restored parity before half-time when Cheikhou Kouyate rose highest to nod it beyond Kasper Schmeichel in the City net.

Up until that point, Claude Puel’s men had carried a considerable attacking threat with Algerian international Riyad Mahrez and Vardy both going close in quick succession.

After a penalty appeal from Albrighton was refuted by referee Martin Atkinson, following a clumsy challenge from Arthur Masuaku, Mahrez turned play over swiftly, galloping up-field.

The 26-year-old twisted and turned on the periphery of the hosts’ box, before forcing England shot-stopper Joe Hart to make a smart save.

It was turning into an evening defined by decision-making. Vardy looked to make the right call on 42 minutes when he elected to shoot instead of pass, but it glided just inches wide.

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West Ham United 1 Leicester City

Watch the best of the action from the Foxes visit to London Stadium to face West Ham in the Premier League on Friday night...

Kouyate’s leveller changed things. The Hammers appeared a more confident outfit from thereon as both managers prowled their expansive technical area, imploring their sides to attack.

After 51 minutes, Spanish midfielder Vicente Iborra thought he had spotted a direct route to goal as he launched a stinging drive from 30 yards.

Although it seemed at first to take a deflection, City’s momentum was lost when he fired it wide of Hart’s net, in front of 3,000 members of the Blue Army in the stands.

As the clock ticked down, the match started to get bogged down in a midfield quagmire. Wilfred Ndidi and Iborra, however, remained as determined as ever in the middle of the pitch.

Late on, the pendulum almost swung back in West Ham’s favour. Second-half substitute Andre Ayew was the beneficiary of a frantic scramble in the Foxes area.

It fell to him with seconds to spare. Fortunately for the visitors, though, the Ghana international's corkscrewed attempt flew over Schmeichel’s bar in the final minutes.

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Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

City's two heroes celebrate Riyad Mahrez's strike.

City 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1 
King Power Stadium
Premier League
Tuesday 28 November
Vardy 13', Mahrez 45+1' / Kane 79'

Flashes of brilliance from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez inspired Leicester City to a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on a thrilling night under the lights at King Power Stadium.

With a cacophonous Filbert Way crowd behind them, City climbed to ninth in the Premier League with a performance worthy of joining a long list of vintage nights on Filbert Way.

Harry Kane narrowed the arrears for Spurs with 11 minutes remaining, but Claude Puel’s Foxes dug deep to shut the visitors from north London out and seal all three points.

On a night of landmarks, Wes Morgan delivered a captain’s display on his 250th outing in a Foxes shirt while Hamza Choudhury made his Premier League debut from the bench late on.

Puel opted for two changes from the side who secured a point at West Ham United on Friday night, with Ben Chilwell and Shinji Okazaki coming in for Christian Fuchs and Demarai Gray.

Fuchs was away following the birth of his daughter, while Okazaki returned to his duties as City’s man in the hole behind Vardy in an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference on Monday afternoon, Puel stated his wish to see further progress in his new side’s all-round play.

First Team

Leicester City 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Watch the best of the action from the Foxes' 2-1 victory over Spurs at King Power Stadium on Tuesday night...

Within minutes of the first whistle, it was clear that Leicester wanted to exhibit what they've learned under his stewardship.

Danny Rose was forced to clear it off the line after eight minutes, following Morgan’s looping header, during a frenetic, end-to-end opening. Four minutes later, though, the hosts led.

Marc Albrighton chipped it over the Spurs backline, into the path of Vardy. The England man looked like he was about to take it down, but he elected to shoot first time.

It was audacious attempt, although he was repaid for his ambition by watching it glide over Hugo Lloris and into an empty net. A narrow, but deserved, advantage was Leicester's.

City had their fair share of nervous moments, too, but Moussa Sissoko, Christian Eriksen and Kane were all denied by a mix of last-ditch defending and sterling goalkeeping from Kasper Schmeichel.

One minute into added time at the end of the first half, Algerian wizard Mahrez reached into his box of tricks to send it roaring past Lloris from distance, making the score 2-0 at a perfect time.

Kane scored what has become his annual goal against Leicester in the 79th minute, but it proved inconsequential for Puel’s men, who stood tall to make sure of the result at the very end.

Their chances were helped by late misses, both in front of gaping goals, from Eriksen and Fernando Llorente, but City had already done more than enough to warrant their win.

November in numbers:

LCFC goals: 5
Top scorer: Mahrez (2)
League standing: 9th

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