Saturday 22 September 2018

Toothless Leicester miss Mahrez

Leicester City 1 Swansea City 1

Leicester City's Adrien Silva in action with Swansea City's Jordan Ayew. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters
Leicester City's Adrien Silva in action with Swansea City's Jordan Ayew. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Riyad Mahrez was nowhere to be seen and it was hard to escape the feeling that Leicester City were not the same team without their talisman. Jamie Vardy's early goal was no more than Leicester deserved after a bright start but Claude Puel's side lost their way in the second half and allowed victory to slip through their fingers as Federico Fernández punished some poor defending to earn Swansea City another precious point.

From Leicester's point of view it has been an extremely testing and disappointing week, dominated by the Mahrez saga. His value to this side is clear - Leicester have failed to win any of the four Premier League matches the Algerian has missed since the start of last season - and Puel must curse that moment when Manchester City came knocking on their door just before deadline day. As for Swansea, their upward momentum continues. They have now lost only once in six league games under Carlos Carvahal and this point lifts them out of the relegation zone.

It had been one-way traffic for the majority of the first half and the only surprise was that Leicester had just a solitary goal to show for their dominance.

Leicester's breakthrough arrived in the 16th minute. Harry Maguire's clever pass picked out Kelechi Iheanacho in space, about 25 yards from goal, and the ball broke kindly to Vardy after the Nigerian tried to get away from Fernández. With only Lukasz Fabianski to beat, Vardy opened up his body and steered the ball into the far corner.

Leicester City's Matty James (right) battles for the ball with Swansea City's Tom Carroll. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA
Leicester City's Matty James (right) battles for the ball with Swansea City's Tom Carroll. Photo: Simon Cooper/PA

Iheanacho then looked certain to double the lead but his shot was blocked by Alfie Mawson on the line.

Swansea had offered nothing as an attacking force prior to the interval, yet they levelled within eight minutes of the restart as Fernández escaped Christian Fuchs to headed home a corner.

The game was now much more open as Swansea started to play with a bit more belief. Leicester still looked dangerous on the break but ultimately lacked that little bit of creativity and imagination that Mahrez may well have provided.

Observer

Sunday Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport