Last night saw Premier League champions Leicester City humbled by Spanish giants Barcelona in Stockholm during a 4 – 2 defeat, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
With this being a pre-season friendly, Leicester City fans should be looking for positives to take from the game and shouldn’t be blinded by the score line.
One thing you have to bear in mind is that Leicester have traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to LA and back in the past week. The team is looking to gel and gain match fitness, not necessarily play like champions at this stage of the summer.
Despite the result there were many positives to take from the clash.
We’ll start with the obvious key performer, Leicester City’s record signing Ahmed Musa who scored 2 stunning goals after his £16m move to the East Midlands.
After failing to impress in previous performances, Musa had a point to prove against the 4 times Champions League winners and he proved his point in an spectacular fashion, leaving Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri with a thing or two to think about ahead of this Sunday’s clash with Manchester United in the Community Shield.
Jamie Vardy, who scored 24 goals last season, looks to have made a swift recovery after his wrist surgery which was delayed due to his call up to the England squad ahead of this summer’s Euros. With his cast now off, he managed to get 45 minutes under his belt.
He didn’t make the impact many expected, finishing the game in Musa’s shadow. Should he start on Sunday, he’ll have a big point to prove after a disappointing Euros on the international stage.
Danny Drinkwater looks to be stepping his game up yet again, after veteran Esteban Cambiasso left at the start of the 2015/16 he looked to take the Leicester City midfield by the scruff of the neck. Now that midfield engine N’Golo Kante has left for Chelsea, Drinkwater looks to be impressing so far in the middle of the park yet again, going from strength to strength.
The ex Manchester United man looks to be Leicester’s main man in midfield for this upcoming season, playing a key part in Leicester City’s build up process during the all important transitioning from defence to counter-attack that was so successful for Ranieri’s team last season.
Leicester City could easily have gone 1 – 0 up at the start of the tie after Drinkwater played a stunning pass, putting young winger Demarai Gray through who wasted the opportunity after the chance went to his head.
The hunger Leicester City showed was a mirror image of how they won the Premier League last season. Musa’s second goal was a prime example of this. The goal started with Musa chasing the ball down from the keeper, something we saw time and time again with Jamie Vardy last season.
With Jeff Schlupp then chasing the ball down on the wing, feeding the ball back to Musa who’s quick feet set up his shot for the second goal of Leicester City’s night. A fantastic team goal that was overshadowed by Musa’s brilliant individual brace just 20 minutes earlier.
It was not all positive however and one thing is clear, Mahrez needs to be on the right-wing to have a season as great as his season for Leicester City. When in a roaming role he tends to drift out of the game, at times being invisible or just simply ineffective.
On the right-wing Mahrez finds himself with plenty of space as tactically, Leicester City are actually set up to play down the left which benefits Mahrez who then has space to run into or space in front of him to confuse defenders with his speedy footwork.
Whatever happens, Ranieri will look for the positives from the result and using the negatives to iron out any issues before the start of the season.