Wilfred Ndidi

City Thwarted By Defiant Southampton

Leicester City were defeated 2-1 in the Premier League by the 10 men of Southampton on Saturday, despite dominating proceedings in the second period at King Power Stadium.
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Claude Puel made eight changes to the side that faced Newport County last weekend, while there was also a spot on the bench for Academy graduate Harvey Barnes, who on Friday was recalled from his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.

The Saints were ahead on 11 minutes as James Ward-Prowse was on target from the spot after midfielder Papy Mendy fouled striker Shane Long in the City area – goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel unfortunate to concede after getting a hand to the penalty.

Schmeichel then had to palm away Dale Stephens’ header just before the half-hour mark, while Harry Maguire nodded wide at the other as the Foxes continued their search for an equaliser.

With 10 minutes of the first half to play, City came just inches away from finding the back of the net as skipper Wes Morgan saw his low strike cleared off the line by Poland international defender Jan Bednarek.

Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time after Yan Valery received his second booking of the game, handing the Foxes a huge opportunity to turn the clash around.

However, two minutes into first-half stoppage, Long shrugged off the challenges of Mendy and Ricardo Pereira before finding the bottom corner to give Southampton a two-goal advantage heading into the break.

Academy graduate Barnes – making his first appearance of the season in Leicester colours – and winger Demarai Gray were both introduced by Puel for the second half as City set out to mount a comeback.

After efforts from Maguire, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy, the hosts finally found the back of the net. Good work from Ricardo down the right flank saw him find Wilfred Ndidi, who converted from close range to score his second goal of the campaign.

City had the Saints pinned in their own half for the majority of the second period, with Vardy and Barnes going close before Maddison curled just off target with 12 minutes to play on Filbert Way.

Vardy, Maddison and Ndidi all had wayward attempts in the closing stages, but the Foxes could not break down Southampton’s determined back line, as the South Coast outfit returned home with all three points.

Major moment

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Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire beats two Southampton men to the ball at the back post.

After right-back Yan Valery was sent off for two bookable offences, the Foxes appeared to have been handed a significant opportunity to respond to James Ward-Prowse’s early penalty.

But Republic of Ireland frontman Shane Long struck just two minutes after Valery’s dismissal to score what would eventually be the winning goal on Filbert Way.

Who impressed?

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Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi

Wilfred Ndidi pulled a goal back for Leicester City against the Saints.

In the right place at the right time to convert Ricardo Pereira’s pass and halve Southampton’s advantage just before the hour mark, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi gave Leicester hope of a comeback.

This season, he has completed the most successful passes for City, making 901 in total, while he also made the most tackles of any Leicester player, completing 52 dispossessions – emphasising his importance in midfield.

Where do we stand?

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes delivers from the left flank after coming on for the Foxes at half-time.

Leicester City drop one position to eighth in the Premier League table following Watford’s 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on the same afternoon.

Coming up…

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Wes Morgan
Wes Morgan

Wes Morgan shows his appreciation at the full-time whistle following the loss to Southampton.

Claude Puel’s outfit make their way to Molineux Stadium on Saturday for a lunchtime kick-off to face Nuno Espírito Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.

Leicester City Crest

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