Coventry 3-1 Leicester: Foxes player ratings

In a controversial game played in a hostile environment, the Foxes fell to a 3-1 defeat, their first in 11 games. Here, we offer player ratings for the game.


Fatawu's sending off was a turning point in the game
Fatawu's sending off was a turning point in the game / Michael Regan/GettyImages

The Foxes returned to league action, after the FA Cup victory last Saturday, against in-form Coventry City. The Coventry Building Society Arena was packed to the rafters for the local M69 derby, the first time Leicester have visited the venue since a 1-0 success against the West Midlands club on the opening day of the Championship season in 2011.

 The game turned on a number of controversial refereeing decisions at the end of the first half. Soon after a strong Leicester claim for a penalty for handball was dismissed, Darren England did award the Foxes a penalty after Bobby Thomas upended Kiernan Dewsbury Hall. The Coventry defender did win the ball but the follow through was high. Indeed, given that the foul was given, it was mystifying how Thomas was allowed to stay on the pitch. With Dewsbury Hall calmly stroking the penalty into the bottom corner, any possible injustice was forgotten by Leicester fans. However, when Abdul Fatawu was, a few minutes later, sent off for a late challenge, the apparently inconsistent decision making was highlighted.

As is usually the case, a red card changed the nature of the game, the Foxes content (or forced), in the second half, to sit back and soak up pressure. They held out until the 80th minute after which the floodgates opened, the Sky Blues scoring a further two goals in the closing moments. The sight of Enzo Maresca ushering his players away from England at the end of the game illustrated how much the game hinged on refereeing decisions. It is often said that the sign of a good referee is his or her anonymity. The fact that Mr. England’s presence was all too apparent tells you all you need to know

Player Ratings:

 Mads Hermansen. The Danish stopper made a great save from Tatsuhiro Sakamoto early in the game, claimed the ball well and couldn’t be blamed for any of the Coventry goals. 7

 Ricardo Pereira. The captain made a few good runs in the first half but also gave the ball away a few times. In the second half, as with most of Leicester’s players, his role was a destructive defensive one. 6

 Wout Faes. The Belgium international put in a sound defensive performance in both halves. 7. 

 Jannik Vestergaard. As we have come to expect, the big centre half was imperious, not only defending strongly but also, in the first half at least, distributing the ball effectively. 7

 James Justin. Struggled in the first half against Sakamoto but kept to his guns manfully. 5

 Cesare Casadei. The young Italian worked hard but offered relatively little going forward. He missed a good chance in the first half, failing to keep his low shot on target when well placed. Wilfred Ndidi, out for potentially three months, is a big miss for the Foxes. It is to be hoped that the club’s links with the experienced Italian midfielder Stefano Sensi come to something. 6

 Harry Winks. The midfielder was probably Leicester’s best player today, breaking up play effectively and moving the ball forward with intent. In the second half, the former Spurs man was forced to drop deeper but he did his best to prevent the Foxes from being overwhelmed. 8

 Kiernan Dewsbury Hall. The Leicester-born midfield ran forward with great urgency and effectiveness in the first half, making and converting Leicester’s goal. In the second half, he worked hard to repel Coventry’s pressure. 7

 Stephy Mavididi. Barracked by the Coventry fans, and targeted by Coventry defenders, the winger failed to produce his best form and was substituted at half time. 3

 Tom Cannon. The striker ploughed a lonely furrow for much of the game, having one attempt (a long-range shot well saved by the ‘keeper) in the 80 minutes he played. 6

 Abdul Fatawu. The on-loan winger was anonymous until a reckless challenge produced a red card just before half time. There’s a case for saying that a yellow card would have sufficed (particularly given that Thomas’s challenge on Dewsbury Hall was at least as bad). However, it was a stupid challenge to make when the team was under no pressure and had just taken the lead. In this context, Jordan Blackwell’s assessment of the player in the Leicester Mercury is much too generous. 2

 Jason McAteer. The academy graduate came on for Mavididi at half time and worked hard to assist his full back. Like the rest of his teammates, offered very little going forward. 5

 Hamza Choudury. The midfielder came on for the last ten minutes by which time the game was already slipping away from the Foxes. Arguably, he, and one or two others, should have been introduced earlier to refresh a tiring team. 4