In the end, Fulham will be happy with their performance and to be able to claim something in their quest to move up the Premier League table. However, Claudio Ranieri was hoping to put his former side to the sword after scoring just before halftime. Instead, Leicester pulled off an equalizer that saw them claim a draw in a very end-to-end match.
When starting at the lineup today, many would have feared the worst when Tom Cairney was relegated to the bench with Luciano Vietto taking his place. Along with that, Aboubakar Kamara was the man out wide and we all know for all his endeavor, he could be a walking red card waiting to happen.
However, the Frenchman was brilliant in picking out a line between the two center backs and allowing Aleksander Mitrovic to read his movement. From there, Kamara received a wonderful throughball but he was sent wide by a trailing Caglar Soyuncu. Fortunately, Kamara’s attempt at goal went through the legs of Kasper Schmeichel and sent Craven Cottage into a frenzy.
Before hand, Leicester were putting some grade A chances, but Sergio Rico was up to the task. Fulham weren’t silent with their attack either, but their attempts at goal like the quality necessary to rid of themselves of another shutout. As the halftime whitsle blew, 11 shots came from Fulham (six of them going on target) while Leicester had seven. It was a brilliant game of football and thank goodness that wasn’t the end of it just yet.
On came Fulham’s captain to start the second half in hopes to kill the game off. And boy did Fulham and Cairney had plenty of chances. Ryan Sessegnon had a beautiful one-touch pass that sent Cairney towards a quality opportunity only for it to be blown. By the time the hour mark had passed, you wondered whether Leicester even existed. Sadly, Claude Puel wasn’t going to let his side die that easily as he brought on Demarai Gray and Shinji Okazaka off the bench.
From there, Leicester found their footing again as they worked some lovely interplay down the left hand side between the two substitutes. Before you knew it, Okazaki found a wide open James Maddison inside the penalty area and delivered a simple ball for him to one-touch it past Rico and tie the game.
The rest was history, but not without Fulham trying to push on for the final goal. After multiple corner attempts, Denis Odoi had the last chance to win the game only for his header to go agonizingly wide. On the whole, it ended up being a fair result. Leicester’s attack had more bite, but Fulham were probably the better team based off the shot totals alone. But as has been the case all season, Claudio Ranieri’s team have to have much better quality with their shots (5.8 expected goals per shot) in order to win Premier League fixtures on a regular basis.
Still, Ranieri should be happy once again for how his team handled an energetic Leicester team and should feel quite confident with how the rest of their month will go. Fortunately, Manchester United had to encounter an exhausting 2-2 draw with Arsenal. Here’s hoping we catch the Devils napping at Old Trafford on Saturday.