Leicester City fell to defeat against Middlesbrough in only their third loss of the season, two of those in a row. This is what Enzo Maresca said caused it.
The King Power side made myriad errors in how they set up against the Riverside team, yet the Italian head coach sought to justify the loss by acting as if his side had actually dominated the fixture. Well, as per FB Ref, the Foxes acquired 67% possession, four shots on target, yet conceded six shots on target. That is hardly domination.
Leicester City’s false domination
It would be a misunderstanding to expect merely having possession of the ball to translate directly into chance creation. Instead, having possession merely means two things: firstly, that the Foxes are more able to move the ball into their attacking third, and second, that the opposition should have less chances as they have less of the ball.
This is not what happened against the home side. A mixture of space and man-marking mixed with a compact and resilient defensive structure ensured Leicester City would struggle to progress the ball how they wanted to. The obvious outcome is that Middlesbrough dictated the game, not the King Power travellers. This is the problem with Maresca’s excuse.
Simply saying ‘we created more chances’ does not mean anything if they are not good chances. Chances are easy to create, a shot includes a 30 yard wild strike towards goal from a centre back or midfielder like Wilfred Ndidi which end up in ‘Row Z’ and hit a random woman who was just trying to enjoy the game but are instead watching their side do very little impactful and just got hit in the head by a rouge football. I think the point is clear there.
Maresca’s comment in the article:
"“I thought we were in control of the game, created five or six clear chances and many situations where we missed the last pass… The players are annoyed because we lost and it’s normal to be like that.”"
The players should be annoyed. They should be annoyed that when the ‘Clockwork’ Harry Winks and ‘Dynamo’ Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall were struggling to impact the game as much as they have previously. This happened because ‘Boro’ targeted our key players and halted our chance creation. Not because ‘we dominated’ and simply ‘did not take our chances’. We need a ‘Plan B’ every once in a while Maresca.