Sport Soccer

Friday 20 September 2019

Leicester held by Burnley on emotional return to King Power Stadium

Moving tributes were paid to late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Leicester’s late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was remembered on Saturday. (Joe Giddens/PA)
Leicester’s late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was remembered on Saturday. (Joe Giddens/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, Press Association Sport

Leicester were held at home by Burnley in an emotional first game at the King Power Stadium since the death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Fans, players and staff remembered the Foxes’ late chairman before, during and after the 0-0 draw with the Clarets on Saturday.

A host of tributes were paid following the helicopter crash which claimed his life, and that of four others, two weeks ago.

On the pitch, Rachid Ghezzal hit the bar and Matt Lowton cleared off the line from Jamie Vardy as the Foxes, who dominated for long spells and remain 10th, tried without success to find a winner.

Chris Wood wasted Burnley’s best chance when he shot over unmarked from 12 yards, with Sean Dyche’s men winless in five Premier League matches.

A poignant video of Srivaddhanaprabha was played ahead of kick-off and his son, and vice chairman, Aiywatt laid a wreath ahead of a two-minute silence, also for Remembrance Sunday.

The club also honoured Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz who also died in the crash, while a tearful Aiywatt and the squad saluted the fans from the pitch after the game.

Harry Maguire, James Maddison, Andy King and Hamza Choudhury, none of whom featured against Burnley, had led a march of fans from the city centre to the stadium ahead of the match.

After the emotional start Leicester began strongly, with Joe Hart turning Wilfred Ndidi’s skidding effort wide before penalty shouts were rejected when Charlie Taylor’s upper arm blocked Marc Albrighton’s cross.

Fans on a tribute walk to the King Power Stadium ahead of the match (Joe Giddens/PA).

The Foxes almost opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Hart failed to grasp a cross and Vardy’s drilled strike was cleared off the line by Lowton.

Ghezzal rattled the bar soon after and Hart denied Albrighton as Leicester turned the screw.

Burnley struggled to contain the hosts and needed Hart to produce a fine save after 27 minutes, blocking Demarai Gray’s effort after Vardy slipped the winger through.

Leicester’s Rachid Ghezzal was denied by the crossbar (Joe Giddens/PA).

The Clarets offered little, but Johan Gudmundsson’s free-kick was turned wide by Kasper Schmeichel six minutes before the break.

Hart again saved from Albrighton after the re-start, while Vardy and Ndidi saw efforts blocked.

Burnley rarely threatened, but Wood should have done better when, unmarked, he guided a half-volley over from 12 yards with 18 minutes left.

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, son of late Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha applauds the fans after the match with Burnley (Joe Giddens/PA).

The majority of the Leicester squad travelled 12,000 miles to Bangkok and back to attend Srivaddhanaprabha’s funeral, returning to Leicester on Tuesday.

Mentally, emotionally and physically the past two weeks will have taken a toll and the Foxes began to show signs of fatigue.

Burnley, who are just a point above the relegation zone, saw more of the ball, but Wood and Ashley Barnes never had enough quality to make a breakthrough.

Shinji Okazaki almost won it for Leicester in injury time, but his header dropped inches wide.

PA Media

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport