Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Leicester: Player ratings

Amongst football fans old enough to remember, a trip to Hillsborough evokes memories of the tragedy that occurred at that ground almost 40 years ago when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives whilst attending an FA Cup semi final clash with Nottingham Forest. Away fans are still housed at the same end of the ground – then called the Leppings Lane End and now the West Stand – but, as a direct result of the disaster, there are now seats and no fences caging fans in. In happier times, Leicester fans well remember lifting the League Cup at the same venue in 1997. A quarter of a century on from that glorious evening, the Foxes were back in South Yorkshire. This time, on Wednesday evening, the form book was overturned as the Owls stole a point right at the death.

Dewsbury Hall: A class above when he came on in the second half
Dewsbury Hall: A class above when he came on in the second half / Andrew Redington/GettyImages

Much to our surprise, Enzo Maresca rang the changes for this match, no doubt with an eye on what seems like a more difficult encounter with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday lunchtime. In came Conor Coady, Harry Winks, Abdul Fatawu, Cesare Casadei, Yunis Akgun and Jamie Vardy and out went James Justin, Hamza Choudhury, Wilfred Ndidi, Kiernan Dewsbury Hall, Kasey McAteer and Kelechi Iheanacho from the team that beat Watford last Saturday.

On paper – top versus bottom – this should have been a routine victory for the Foxes. Fatawu’s 23rd minute strike looked like being enough to secure all three points for the East Midland’s outfit but, in the third minute of stoppage time, former Burnley and Derby midfielder Jeff Hendrick pounced on a headed flick on to bring the scores level. In all honesty, Wednesday deserved something out of the match. Their manager is right about this. They could well have been ahead in the first half but failed to capitalise on a number of errors by Leicester players. This was a poor performance by the Foxes. There was little urgency to add to their lead and they paid the price in the end. Despite optimism from some, this result continues a worrying run which has seen the Foxes win only once in the last four matches.

Leicester City player ratings

Mads Hermansen. The Danish stopper didn’t have a great deal to do and was not at fault for the goal conceded.  His distribution was sometimes exceptional but, as is perhaps inevitable with the style of play insisted upon by Maresca, some of his short passes out to players being pressed caused problems. 6

Conor Coady. This was a rare start for the former Everton man. He generally looked composed playing in a back three for much of the match. 7

Wout Faes. A difficult night for the Belgium international. Was roughed up somewhat by Wednesday’s diagonal long ball tactic. He sustained a knock in the first half and didn’t reappear for the second being replaced by Justin. 5

Jannik Vestergaard. A frustrating evening, too, for the big centre half. His sloppy play almost gifted the Owls a goal in the first half, and he was the focal point of the very measured – some would say too slow – style of play. Almost got the winner right at the death when his header from a free kick was well saved by the Wednesday keeper. 6

Harry Winks. The midfielder, back from suspension, was his usual industrious self and can’t be faulted for the team’s poor performance. 7

Ricardo Pereira. Playing in a more conventional midfield role, the former Portugese international worked hard. A creative spark, however, was lacking. 5

Cesare Casadei. The young Italian continues to struggle at this level. He was anonymous before being substituted after 61 minutes. I think Leicester expected more from a player who starred for the Italian under-20 team in the summer. 3

Yunis Akgun. The on-loan winger was anonymous again for the most part. Despite Maresca thinking otherwise, Akgun is not a natural box to box number 8. Replaced after 61 minutes. 4

Stephy Mavididi. The Derby-born winger was Leicester’s best player in the first half, regularly beating the Wednesday full back and delivered the cross for Fatawu’s goal. He tired in the second half and was tightly marked. 7

Jamie Vardy. The LCFC legend had very little service. Too often, his link up play was not successful but that part of his game is not his main strength. Created a good chance for McAteer late on. It was a surprise that he played the full 90 minutes. 6

Abdul Fatawu. The on loan winger took his goal well but did little else in forward positions. Was replaced after 60 minutes. 6

James Justin. Came on for Faes at half time. Did little wrong defensively but offered little going forward. 6

Kiernan Dewsbury Hall. Brought on to replace Akgun after an hour, the Shepshed born midfielder looked different class. Ran forward with great urgency and effectiveness. He was fouled in a dangerous position from which Vestergaard almost grabbed the winner. 7

Wilfred Ndidi. The Nigerian midfielder had a solid 30 minutes without creating very much in his new number 8 role. 6

Jason McAteer. The academy graduate offered little in his 30 minute cameo. He missed a good chance created for him by Jamie Vardy. 5

Hamza Choudury. The Leicester-born midfielder came on for the last ten minutes, not long enough for a rating.