Leicester 1-1 Ipswich: 3 Foxes talking points

The anxiety levels of Foxes fans undoubtedly increased after the 3-1 defeat to Coventry in the last outing and a failure to prevent a late equaliser against Ipswich, despite numerous chances to put the game to bed, will do little to calm the nerves of the King Power faithful. Here, we explore why results haven’t gone to plan of late.
A late equaliser cost the Foxes two points
A late equaliser cost the Foxes two points / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Leicester were well on top for much of the game against an Ipswich Town side, having a phenomenal season, who started the game in third place in the Championship. The Foxes opened the scoring after 31 minutes when Leif Davis put the ball into his own net and only a combination of good goalkeeping by Vaclav Hladky and poor decision making by the home side prevented an extension of that lead. In the final minute of normal time, a failure to close down Massimo Luongo allowed a shot which Mads Hermansen could only parry allowing substitute Jeremy Sarmiento to score from close range.

Leicester City Talking points:

 Conceding Late Goals

On numerous occasions this season, the Foxes have conceded late goals. In four matches - against Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich (twice) and Middlesborough - the failure to hold out has cost Leicester seven points in total. Admittedly, this works both ways. Late goals against Coventry, Cardiff and West Brom have won points, so we should put this into perspective. Nevertheless, it is galling that City’s lead at the top would be even healthier but for defensive lapses at the end of games.

Maresca and Substitutions

There has been some criticism of the Leicester boss in recent games for his apparent unwillingness to use the full entitlement of substitutions. In tonight’s game, Ipswich had used four of their allotted five before the Foxes made one, and Maresca (directing operations from the stand following his third yellow card against Coventry) only used three in total, all after the 80th minute mark. Admittedly, he may think (probably rightly) that the potential substitutes are, in general, much inferior to the first XI, but surely a bit of pragmatism to defend a one goal lead would have been profitable. Bringing on Conor Coady, for instance, to shore up the back line might have worked.

 Absences Are Taking Their Toll:

Pundits are apt to comment how strong Leicester’s squad is this season. Without doubt, however, it is, at present, being stretched to breaking point. Injuries, suspensions and participation in the African Cup of Nations have weakened the squad, and this probably explains why Maresca is currently unwilling to use all five substitutions. Central midfield is a particular concern with Wilfred Ndidi out injured, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall struggling for fitness and Cesare Casadei being recalled by Chelsea because of the London club's own injury crisis.

Without these players, as pre-match selection predictions reveal, the middle of the park is a clear problem area and reinforcements are much needed. It is to be hoped that Stefano Sensi’s arrival from Inter Milan happens sooner rather than later.

Conceding a late equaliser against Ipswich felt like a defeat. But, LCFC didn’t lose, played well enough to win and are still eight points clear of third place Southampton. Most Leicester fans would have taken that at the start of the season.