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Season 2021-22
Leicester City (a) Premier League


Sunday 12th December 2021, 2.00pm

Live on Sky Sports

 King Power Stadium

Conditions: Bemusing

Programme: 3.00

Leicester City



4 - 0





38 mins Martin Dubravka played a goal kick short to Jamaal Lascelles inside the penalty area. His ball to Jonjo Shelvey wasn't great, but Shelvey's touch on the edge of the box was worse and the onrushing Youri Tielemans beat colleague Kieran Dewsbury-Hall to reach the Toon midfielder.

Shelvey unloaded in the direction of Lascelles towards the corner of the area, but James Maddison nipped in and took advantage of a hanging foot from the United captain to convincingly send himself into orbit.

Referee Peter Bankes promptly pointed to the spot, with no official review signalled on the stadium screens - VAR official Paul Tierney seemingly happy with the briefest of replays and not minded to send Bankes to review the tackle via a pitchside monitor.

An absence of protest from the visiting side may have been a factor; witness the prolonged moaning that ultimately saw the award of a penalty kick to Newcastle at home to Norwich City last month after repeated reviews.

Tielemans stepped up and gave Dubravka no chance from the spot
in front of the Family (North) Stand. 0-1

Half time: Foxes 1 Magpies 0

57 mins The first of three examples of a defence appearing to be well set-up only for it to melt away with alarming ease as the opposition waltzed through the heart of it: the proverbial hot knife through butter.

City attacked down their left and a ball infield to Maddison midway through the United half was flicked on first time,
disabling the entire back line in the process. Harvey Barnes was completely unattended on the left hand side of the box, scooping the ball infield as Dubravka came out to meet him and seeing Patson Daka walk it into an empty net. If there was a VAR check for a possible offside, on Barnes then there was no reference to it in the stadium. 0-2

81 mins Javier Manquillo's attempted forward pass over halfway on the United right was cut out by Luke Thomas, who set Daka away. He reached the edge of the box and threaded a simple pass to Maddison, who had time to control it and turn before helping it on to the untracked Tielemans. He steadied himself before lashed it past Dubravka, Fabian Schar and Javier Manquillo high into the net from just outside the six yard box. 0-3

85 mins Joelinton was easily dispossessed midway inside the Newcastle half and the ball fell to Maddison, who exchanged passes with Daka before firing across Dubravka from the left hand side of the box. Far too easy. 0-4

Full time: Foxes 4 Magpies 0

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"It was a strange game because I thought we were OK for large parts.

"We were OK in the first half and were a threat at times. We conceded a goal with the penalty - which was debatable whether it was. The scoreline looks like a heavy defeat but I didn't think it felt like that at all.

"It wasn't ideal for our situation. The manner of
[the penalty] as well is one that the referee gives at the time and it's no way it will be overturned. It's harsh for us. The scoreline is not reflective. Statistics show us that and my gut feeling tells me that but we have to regroup very quickly.

"Every game is an opportunity. We're hugely frustrated by some of our moments in the game. If we'd have shown more composure in the attacking third we could have made more of the moments. We just let the game slip away from us.

"I thought for all the ball we had around their box, we didn't really open them up. Then in the big moments we didn't deal with them well enough.

"The players won't have felt inferior. They will have felt competitive and hopefully they reflect in the right way. Every game is difficult. Obviously Anfield (against Liverpool on Thursday) is a tough assignment for us but we will do everything to try and win the match."

On the penalty decision....:

"When you see it live you fear the worst but when you see it in detail you see the player is going over before contact is made. For me, it's not a penalty. The goal came at a bad moment for us when we were on top."

...and the failure of the referee to consult VAR:

"It's what it's there for. I don't understand why referees are so reluctant. I think if he does, he reverses the decision."

They Said


Brendan Rodgers said:

"Im absolutely delighted. It was a fantastic win for us. The performance, first of all, we played very well. We had lots of young players and changes in the team, but we showed real cohesion. It was a test of our mentality today.

"Ive always felt and Ive said before, weve looked creative. Weve been scoring goals and creating chances. We needed to rediscover that mentality in our defending and we were able to do that with the clean sheet.

"Obviously with Jonny Evans going out early... When you see the young team and the experience they are gaining. To keep a clean sheet against very dangerous players, I am very pleased.

"It shows you the collective spirit the team has, the attitude, the energy... especially coming back after a long midweek and the disappointment of losing that game. We arrived back at 2:30am on the Friday and Newcastle had a full week to intensely prepare and be ready.

"For us, it was a big performance and a big result and Im just so happy for the players that they got the rewards.

"The spirit and the team is great and they are unselfish. The first goal is brilliant in terms of our pressing that leads to the penalty. The others are really good team goals. Once we got our second goal the players got confidence and played to a good level.

"We have an unbelievable striker in Jamie Vardy but he is human so we have to look after him. Patson Daka is very important for us. He is a great goalscorer and he showed that. Youri Tielemans' all round game... To come back, play Thursday and today showed his quality. He was very impressive.

"When you come off the back of a disappointing result during the week, it's been a huge challenge. But we've always tried to develop a culture which supports players and gives others an opportunity. We discovered that mobility.

"I'm delighted for the players to get a clean sheet and score four goals."



Magpies @ Foxes - PL era:

lost 0-4
won 4-2 Willock, Dummett, Wilson 2
2019/20 lost 0-5
2018/19 won 1-0 Perez
2017/18 won 2-1 Shelvey, Perez
2015/16 lost 0-1
2014/15 lost 0-3
2014/15 lost 0-1 (FAC)
2009/10 drew 0-0 (Ch)
2003/04 drew 1-1 Ambrose
2001/02 drew 0-0
2000/01 drew 1-1 Speed
1999/00 won 2-1 Shearer, Ferguson
1998/99 lost 0-2
1997/98 drew 0-0
1996/97 lost 0-2
1994/95 won 3-1 Cole, Beardsley, Elliott
1992/93 lost 1-2 O'Brien (Ch)

This was Newcastle's heaviest PL defeat since a 0-5 reverse at Manchester City back in July 2020.

The Magpies have now conceded 34 goals in 16 league games - their worst defensive performance from the start of a season since 1977/78, when they had done exactly the same. That season ended in relegation.

Failing to keep a clean sheet at Anfield on Thursday will see this team match the 35 PL goals conceded by United in the entire 1997/98 season - with a few other seasonal totals at risk of being exceeded (37 in 1995/96, 40 in 1996/97 and 40 in 2003/04).

Newcastle have now conceded six penalties, the most in the PL this season - and already one more than our total in 2020/21.
Lascelles has given away three, with messrs Clark, Darlow and Murphy owning one each.


It's tempting to write that this was the morning after the night before, but there was actually week a between the party that was the Burnley victory and the this headache-inducing loss. That's one hell of a hangover.

Much attention had focused on the troubled week that Leicester had endured since losing at Aston Villa the previous Sunday: COVID issues resulting in seven players and three coaches missing Thursday's Europa League defeat in Naples and consequently being unavailable for today's game.

And the feeling that a resurgent United could get something at a ground where they've won three times out of the last four visited was soon strengthened by the early loss of Jonny Evans through injury.

An unchanged Newcastle side had actually started better than they had in their last game; a strong but listless home selection resulting in a rare set of  statistics that confirmed we'd enjoyed two thirds of the possession.

Sadly though, what was probably construed as a patient approach became timid; an inability to release crucial passes or take on opponents resulting in little for Kasper Schmeichel to do. Seemingly lulled into a false sense of mediocrity, we never looked like scoring after an early Callum Wilson effort was deflected narrowly wide.

Then the usual kick in the nuts arrived: United contriving to screw up a goal kick when they were in absolutely no danger. The return of Martin Dubravka and arrival of Eddie Howe seemed to have minimised what had become a dangerous habit this season of playing out from our own box.

That had reached a nadir at Brighton when Karl Darlow refused to release the ball to either of the outfield players that flanked his six yard box, to the outrage of the United bench.

Dubravka was tempted into a repeat here and it would have devastating consequences as neither Lascelles and Shelvey gained proper control of the ball and Leicester ended up with a penalty. Never mind the unwise foot waved out or the dubious dive though, what prompted those this couldn't have been more of a gift if Dubravka had just hoyed the ball in his own net.

Sadly, the second half failed to see the black and whites alter their approach to any great degree. More defensive sloppiness then allowed Patson Daka to roll the ball into an empty net after Harvey Barnes laid it on a plate for him.

That did kick start some sort of response; Ryan Fraser and Jacob Murphy coming on as left and right wing backs and United trying to take the game to Leicester, as they should have done far earlier.

Aside from one effort by Jonjo Shelvey seemingly goalbound when striking an opponent though, the only time City's bid for a first clean sheet in 17 games was in peril came from Timothy Castagne's over-hit backpass.

Schmeichel made it back to flick the ball away though and within three minutes Tielemans stroked home with second and Leicester's third; Maddison then adding a further layer of misery five minutes from the end. And all achieved with Jamie Vardy sitting on the bench.

Anticipating punishment at the hands of Liverpool and Manchester City, we ended up being blind-sided here in concerning fashion. You really do fear for us before Christmas, attempting to do deals during Storms Jurgen and Pep.
Misleading the final score may have been, but in no way was the outcome of this game misleading. Clearly not doing enough to avoid defeat, it's equally evident there was nowt there that could have inspired victory.

The league table may still give rise to some optimism, but his was a collective failure and witnessed first hand, as dispiriting as any defeat under Bruce. The bunting sharp came down....


Page last updated 21 June, 2022