Enzo Maresca put out his strongest side after resting key players for Saturday’s FA Cup clash. The Foxes were quickly out of the traps, Dewsbury-Hall breaking the Swansea high line to steer the ball home. After that, Leicester had a number of gilt-edged chances to put the game to bed and had to wait until the 69th minute for their second, Patson Daka - rather fortunately - earning a penalty after his run was stopped, unfairly according to the referee, by a Swansea defender.
A third goal was cutely converted by substitute Yunus Akgun after 'KDH' had won the ball following poor distribution by the Swan’s ‘keeper. Not for the first time this season, the Foxes conceded a stoppage time goal but it proved to be only a consolation for the South Wales side
Three talking points
Killing Games Off
The Foxes win was comfortable enough in the end but they made such hard work of it. There is a pattern developing whereby Leicester score early but don’t put games to bed. Why this happens is difficult to fathom. Part of it is a lack of quality, particularly in the final third. Both Daka and Dewsbury Hall missed very presentable chances against Swansea although Stephy Mavididi was unlucky when his excellent shot was brilliantly saved by Carl Rushworth in the Swansea goal.
A more controversial explanation for the failure to finish teams off is that an element of complacency has crept in. Tonight, it looked for all the world in the first 15 minutes that Leicester would tear the Welsh team to shreds. But then Foxes players seemed intent on passing the ball around, particularly at the back, giving the impression that it was not worth expending any more energy in a game they were bound to win. Maybe this is too harsh. It is clear, though, that the work rate tonight could have been higher. Akgun’s harrying style when he came on in the second half was in sharp contrast to some of his team mates, and his goal, his second in consecutive matches, was well deserved.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s Future
If reports are to be believed, Leicester are considering offers for their star midfielder from clubs as diverse as Brighton, Brentford, Everton, and even Arsenal. A Foxes of Leicester post has assessed the evidence. Although his performance tonight was relatively quiet – at least by his standards – I concur with those who say that the club would be mad to consider selling Dewsbury-Hall at this stage of the transfer window. Accepting an offer for him this January would be an act of such self-harm by the club that serious questions would be posed about the owner’s ambition. I don’t expect it happen.
King Power Atmosphere
Some fan sites have commented on the lack of atmosphere at the King Power stadium this season. Tonight, I think they have a case. The attendance was several thousand short of capacity, although much of this can be explained by the woefully small number of supporters bought by their opponents. More significantly, the noise levels of were on the low side, there were some murmurings of discontent at the familiar Leicester tactic of building from the back, and many fans had left by the end. Even the Kop was chanting ‘Is there a fire drill?’ as LCFC supporters headed for the exits.
Again, I think there are a number of explanations for the tepid atmosphere. The first is that sometimes the game wasn’t particularly exciting. When 'Enzoball' doesn’t go right, as it didn't for some parts of the game tonight, it can be a very frustrating watch. Secondly, the home fans can be incentivised to make more noise in support of their team by responding to the noise of their opponent’s fans. On Tuesday, there was little opposition noise for Foxes fans to respond to. Finally, Swansea are not the kind of high quality opponents that home supporters at the King Power are used to welcoming. They expected their team to win. In this sense, the players couldn’t win. Still top of the league with a substantial gap shouldn't really be cause for concern.