Leeds 3-1 Leicester: 3 Foxes Positives and Negatives Following Defeat

Leicester City fell to a late, crushing defeat to Leeds United as Elland Road came alive. The Foxes were dominant for most of the game, nevertheless here are the positives and negatives following that flailing performance.
Leeds United v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship
Leeds United v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship / George Wood/GettyImages

The points gap falls down to six points, and Leicester flailed spectacularly as Leeds started to get into the game in the final 20 minutes. Enzo Maresca made very few substitutions in the tie, even when the team started to lose their heads. Anyway, the positive is obvious, the negatives too.

Leicester City’s build-up play

The King Power side were electric for 75% of the match. From defence to midfield, the players were creating chances for fun for most of the fixture. Although the statistics do not show the full picture, let us use them to briefly analyse where we are looking strong versus what we saw in the Leeds tie.

Often, we saw one of the centre-backs pressing high and gaining the ball, before passing it on to either Harry Winks or Ricardo Pereira, with Hamza Choudhury occasionally coming into midfield to support Pereira going further forward. You can see this from the sheer volume of passes made by Winks plus Pereira: they were the link between Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall or the front three.

By getting the ball out wide, we created chances through individual skill to beat defenders rather than with pace or strength. In midfield, chances were created through the Portuguese’s runs and ‘KDH’ running it out or taking a long shot. That being said, the wrong choice was often made in that final third.

This is evidence from having around 1.5 in xG (this of course excludes the clear goal that should have stood when Patson Daka was ruled offside) with only five shots on target out of 16 and at least two of those off-target shots were absolute sitters and one of the others and unfortunate miss from Jannik Vestergaard. Suffice it say, we created enough.

Despite the loss, the two losses in a row in fact, I am more confident than ever in how we play, and how we will continue to create chances and - hopefully - score chances. Our fluid progression, our build up play is awesome to watch, and Maresca’s men should hopefully do well against lower table and mid table opposition.

Missed chances galore

In the first half, the Elland Road team was missing chances like they were on sale. In the second, Leicester missed chances like throwing a black friday clearance sale at another customer while they whimper quietly in the background. Stephy Mavididi missed a 1-on-1 and the Zambian forward cut the ball wide with a weak and desperate attempt directly in front of goal. How we missed Jamie Vardy!

This seems to be the story of the two losses. 24 shots against Middlesbrough, 16 shots against Leeds, 40 in total and just two goals to show for it. That is a crippling lack of clinical finishing beyond all reasonable or logical thought. Leicester City should have scored many more after dominating both matches for such a considerable length of time.

The gap narrows

It would be farcical to not consider the implications of this loss. Leicester have gone from 12 points clear at the top, all the way to six within just two matches. This team is not invincible, and is not in as strong of a position should our competitors continue to win their matches.

It may feel like destiny is in our own hands, but we kept saying that when Brendan Rodgers was leading us into the abyss. Now then, this is nothing alike that, this is now a battle for the summit, and one we ought to win with the position we got ourselves into.

If Leeds United continue their momentum, if they keep on winning, there is all the possibilities that the Foxes will give more points away at some point. If the gap goes down to three before the last day of the season, I am not worried for promotion, but I’m now thinking about the prize. Another trophy for veteran Jamie Vardy