Leicester City 0-0 Burnley
Leicester and Burnley shared the points today in the Premier League clash at the King Power Stadium in an emotionally charged atmosphere.
The Premier League 2018 news has been dominated over the last two weeks by the tragic helicopter crash in Leicester which took the life of club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
This was always going to be an emotional day and the scenes in Leicester were incredible as, before the kickoff, 20,000 fans took part in a memorial walk to honour the five who lost their lives. And ahead of the game, there were two minutes of silence impeccably observed in a wonderful tribute.
A draw at us odds of 4.20 wasn’t really expected but was just about fair as the Foxes ran themselves into the ground in search of a goal and, after a poor first half, Burnley responded well.
Highlights of the game
Burnley have had a torrid time in recent weeks, taking hammerings from Manchester City and Chelsea; the Clarets haven’t displayed the fighting spirit that has served them so well in recent seasons. And that form continued in a first half in which Leicester could have been out of sight.
Rachid Ghezzal could ultimately be the man to replace Riyad Mahrez following his £10m move from Monaco to Leicester. The Algerian winger was very lively in the first period, crashing a header against the crossbar and then having a shot deflected for a corner. Demarai Gray should have scored when he was clean through on goal but couldn’t beat Joe Hart as the Clarets stopper spread himself.
The former Manchester City keeper has made some eye-catching saves for Burnley this season, but the defence in front of him has looked a shadow of the unit which fought so bravely last season as the Clarets finished seventh.
Burnley finally had an effort minutes before the break when Johann Berg Gudmundsson clipped the post with a 25-yard effort. The Clarets started the second half with more purpose but almost went behind when Hart spilt a Jamie Vardy effort and Marc Albrighton’s follow-up was blocked. The visitors came close themselves when Steven Defour whipped in a cross and Ben Mee’s flick flew narrowly wide with Kasper Schmeichel beaten. And as the game became more stretched, Jonny Evans did well to clear a ball from Aaron Lennon heading towards Sam Vokes.
Leicester continued to look threatening, but Burnley stayed in the game and came close when Chris Wood shot just over from a Robbie Brady cross.
And then, in the very last move of the game, Leicester came within an inch of snatching a win when Ben Chilwell lobbed a ball into the box and Shinji Okazaki’s header bounced away off the woodwork.
Leicester steadied themselves after a highly emotional build-up to the game and totally dominated the first half against a Burnley team looking strangely unwilling to battle. With 64 per cent possession and ten shots to three, they should have been ahead at the break. The visitors’ midfield began to look a little sharper as half-time approached, though.
Burnley put in a much better performance in the second half, and the visitors looked more likely to score as Leicester began to look weary. And coach Sean Dyche will be delighted that his team is the first to stop Leicester scoring in the league this season.
The Foxes will be pleased to have got this emotionally draining day out of the way, and they can now take a week off while the international scene returns. They then have two very winnable games, away to Brighton and at home to Southampton, and they will continue to work hard to honour the memory of Vichai.
Meanwhile, the Clarets have ample opportunity to show that they have the stomach to climb the table after the international break, with a home fixture against fellow strugglers Newcastle and then a trip to another team they can target, Crystal Palace. The Premier League 2018 odds pitched Burnley as a team likely to finish just outside the bottom three. That’s maybe a little odd for a team which qualified for the Europa League last term, but it will do just fine for Sean Dyche this season.
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