Leicester City domestic trouble at last haunted them in Champions league too
Foxes were enjoying a great run in Uefa Champions league, leaving their domestic trouble at home, but at last domestic trouble haunted them in Champions league too. Leicester City do top their group, with four victory and a draw, but in the last group fixture, they totally failed to make an impact. Enjoying a great run in Champions league, despite sitting at fifteenth on Premier League table, Leicester really impressed in their debut season in Europe. But, their 5-0 defeat against Porto in the last group match didn’t do justice with their European delight of other five group games. No English team has suffered a defeat of such huge margin in Uefa Champions League history.
Before coming into the matchday sixth, Leicester had conceded only one goal in five games, and coming into the sixth, they conceded five alone in one match. It was a devastating performance by the Foxes, which only left us thinking that their domestic trouble at last haunted them in Champions league too.
They started brilliantly in Europe winning 3-0 away against club Brugge, then going to play at home against Porto winning 1-0, followed the same score line win against Copenhagen, then followed a 0-0 draw in return fixture against Copenhagen, and again won 2-1 against club Brugge. And, coming into the sixth matchday an absolute devastating result, 0-5 on final day.
It’s really show the low confidence of the squad, and their low morale coming into the game, after a troubled domestic season. After fourteen matchday in Premier League, Leicester City sits at 16th on the point table with only 13 points, two points ahead of relegation teams, it tells the story. No defending champion team in premier league history has ever been in a situation like this.
Only three victory, 4 draws, and 7 defeats in premier league games is enough to tell they are not even going to be in the Europe next season, forget about the title challenger this season. They almost have the same squad, except the departure of midfielder N’Golo Kante to Chelsea. You can’t blame one player to cause trouble into your game plan, when you got enough fund to strengthen your squad after becoming Premier League champion.
They have conceded 24 goals in only 14 games, almost 2 goals per match, which was only 36 throughout the whole season. They have scored only 17 goals this season, despite the addition of Ahmed Musa, and Islam Slimani in the forward option.
It’s clearly a sign they are not doing good in forward position as well as in defence. Well we can understand their centre-backs are getting older; Wes Morgan and Roberth Huth are 32-year old, and Christian Fuchs has passed into 30’s as well. But, problem lies in their midfield, since the departure of N’Golo Kante, they haven’t got the influential figure in midfield.
Former Chelsea player Emmanuel Petit told BT Sports about Kante, “I love him. When you play with Kante it’s like having 12 players on the pitch,’ Petit told BT Sport. ‘He’s got a great heart and ability. Tactically he reads the game before the opponent all the time – it’s important for a midfield player. He’s very generous with him teammates and, on top if it, he’s a very nice lad. He can adapt himself in every system without putting on his own ego in front of the team.”
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri himself told after Kante departure, “There will be a big difference,” the manager told several English newspapers. “If Chelsea bought Kante, it’s because he played as two players last season. The referee counted 11 but we were 12. Now everybody must understand that there is no Kante so we have to be more close, more attentive. We have to think different and close space quicker. We must be smarter.”
Well words haven’t been transformed into action. They are still playing with a man down as coach himself admitted, and there is no closeness, attentiveness, and quicker smarter movement in Foxes game.
Ranieri who is also under pressure to get fired take responsibility of the failure of the squad. He admitted, he put the fringe players on display, because he wanted to offer them playing time which is not possible in Premier League where they are fighting to avoid relegations.
“I have no regrets because I wanted to give an opportunity to all my players,” said Ranieri. “Why not give a chance to players who say ‘why don’t I play? We are losing in the Premier League, give me a chance’. For this reason, I give a chance to them. That’s it. Then, the result is my fault but they missed a great chance.”