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Match Report: Leicester City 2-0 Leeds United - Foxes off the bottom, Whites go down with a whimper
Friday, 21st Oct 2022 07:56 by Lumo Michalik

Leeds are now winless in seven matches; the disastrous Jesse Marsch experiment is surely coming to an end.

Leicester City were the Premier League’s bottom side. Brenden Rodgers was under pressure after a poor run of form. He was in desperate need of a victory and without key players James Maddison, Wilfried Ndidi, Caglar Soyuncu and club captain Jonny Evans. Good then for the Foxes that Leeds showed them such generosity.

This game had disaster written all over in bold bright red. What is Diego Llorente next to Junior Firpo but a recipe for catastrophe? The decision to relegate the out-of-sorts Jack Harrison to the bench made more sense; the one to drop Liam Cooper much less.

Robin Koch’s own goal, the parting of the white sea that allowed Harvey Barnes the freedom of the city to double the lead, Jesse Marsch’s opting to respond by hooking two of his best players, the slovenliness, the flatness, the hopelessness. This was the most dismal of defeats. No wonder the travelling fans booed them off. No wonder they sang the name of the man the board threw under a bus for this.

The game was bitty and scrappy and neither side played well. Leicester accepted United’s gifts; they were otherwise torpid. Crysencio Summerville and Luis Sinisterra were Leeds’ only remotely threatening players. Everyone else did their best to make it comfortable for the hosts. Llorente and Firpo looked like they’d won their places in a raffle. Then there was Patrick Bamford. He looked weak and malnourished and desperate as he fed off scraps.

Leicester took the lead in the 16th minute. Llorente picked a poor pass and put Marc Roca in trouble. The Foxes picked his pocket and Dennis Praet sent the ball into the box and Koch put it past his own keeper. A fine mess all round.

The second was little better. The BBC described it as the product of “a flowing four-man move”. It was more the result of farcical Leeds defending. You could have parked lorries in the gaping holes they left Leicester to exploit. Barnes popped the ball through Illan Meslier’s legs for his umpteenth goal against Leeds. Insouciant, infuriating, indefensible.

Sinisterra hit the bar; Summerville fluffed wide; Cooper drew a low save from Danny Ward. At no point though did Leeds ever look like they’d turn this around. Jeers and anti-Marsch chants greeted the American’s withdrawal of Sinisterra and seemed to fill the second half.

Before long the referee gave his whistle a final blast and the visiting fans a last chorus of disquiet. Marsch ran away. The more experienced players left it to 21-year-old Brenden Aaronson to front up. What are we to make of it all, the dysfunction, the disaster?

Marsch is United’s Liz Truss. Two points from 21. Winless in seven matches. Goalless in three of the last four. The experiment has failed. Crackpot coaching has made for woeful watching. There’s no vision, no spark, no sign that it’ll get better, that this is the right course. It’s now a matter of time. You’d think Fulham leaving Elland Road on Sunday with three points would bring this to a close. What then? Nothing good, if Victor Orta has anything to do with it, nothing good at all.

Leicester (4-1-4-1): Ward; Castagne, Amartey, Faes, Justin; Soumare (Mendy 64’), Praet (Perez 70’), Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Barnes (Iheanacho 85’), Vardy (Daka 64’).

Unused substitutes: Iversen, Vestergaard, Thomas, Braybrooke, Wormleighton.

Leeds (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Kristensen, Koch (Cooper 45’), Llorente, Firpo (Klich 82’); Roca (Rodrigo 45’), Adams; Summerville, Aaronson, Sinisterra (Gelhardt 75’); Bamford (Harrison 65’).

Unused substitutes: Klaesson, Ayling, Greenwood, Gnonto.

Match Statistics and Facts: (Leicester / Leeds)

Possession: 47% / 53%

Shots: 5 / 14

On target: 1 / 2

Corners: 2 / 9

Fouls: 15 / 11

Man of the Match: Daniel Amartey.

Referee: Peter Bankes (7/10)

Attendance: 30,814

Photo: Action Images

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