Disappointed Leicester Can’t Solve Southampton
Leicester City and Southampton played to a physical and fiercely competitive scoreless draw on Sunday afternoon. Scoring opportunities on both sides were unable to be finished off and the Foxes will be disappointed to not find a much needed victory.
Southampton enjoyed much of the possession in the first half, as forward Charlie Austin’s excellent strike in the 17th minute was inches away from giving the Saints an early lead. A perfectly timed run up the right flank gave Austin a tough angle, but he was able to turn on the ball and rattle the far post.
Leicester saw their own scoring opportunity in the first half missed as well. A poor backpass from Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk allowed striker Jamie Vardy to get one-on-one with goalkeeper Fraser Forster. But Vardy could not convert, as Saints midfielder Oriol Romeu completed a breathtaking sequence to keep the score level with three blocked shots in clearing out the danger.
A TOUGH DAY FOR VARDY
Jamie Vardy endured a long day at the office, as the Southampton defence kept him in check during most of the match. Romeu contributed greatly in defensive midfield and the backline was more than ready for his moves heading forward.
The England international lost possession several times and could not find a goal when a great chance arrived in the first half from a van Dijk miscue.
Subbed off in the 66th minute, Vardy and manager Claudio Ranieri will be frustrated by his lack of contribution. However, Ranieri was quick to dismiss concern on the subject during postmatch comments.
Without a goal for the past six matches across all competitions, Vardy may be dealing with a dip in confidence. The international break arrives at the perfect time for both him and Leicester City to regroup and refocus.
STRONG DEFENSIVE SHOWING FROM SOUTHAMPTON
Southampton have only allowed six goals in their first seven Premier League matches, and that form was on display yet again on Sunday.
The backline communicated well and Forster turned in another strong day in goal. Romeu, Steven Davis and Dusan Tadic all tracked back on defence when needed and kept Leicester from consistently threatening to take a lead.
CHARLIE AUSTIN ALMOST GIVES THE SAINTS A VICTORY
A strong defensive performance from both sides made converting chances important, and Austin almost gave Southampton a crucial away win with a darting run past the Leicester backline.
Leftback Christian Fuchs was beaten by a pinpoint longball that Austin caught on the volley. Despite Kasper Schmeichel’s best efforts to shut down the chance, Leicester were fortunate to see the ball deflect off the post.
A danger throughout much of the contest, Austin’s work rate and determination in front of goal complements the Saints’ organised defence. They will need to see more of these chances converted in the future, as their third draw in seven matches sees them tenth in the league table.
Now tied for 11th place, Leicester City and Ranieri look forward to a massive match at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea on October 15th.
LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Amartey, Drinkwater, Albrighton (Gray 66’), Slimani (Ulloa 78’), Vardy (Okazaki 66’)
Unused subs: Zieler, Hernandez, King, Schlupp
SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Soares (Martina 27’), Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand, Hojbjerg, Romeu, Davis, Tadic (Long 71’), Redmond, Austin (Ward-Prowse 83’)
Unused subs: McCarthy, Yoshida, Clasie, Olomola
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson
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