Talking Points: Leicester City 0 Southampton 0 – Foxes and Saints share...

Talking Points: Leicester City 0 Southampton 0 – Foxes and Saints share points


Neither side was able to break the deadlock as the defending champions were visited by a strong Southampton outfit.

An in form Charlie Austin had the best chances for the visitors, hitting the upright from a tight angle early before a poorly executed chip was easily stopped by Kasper Schmeichel in a one-on-one situation during the second half.

Jamie Vardy came closest for Leicester after a Virgil van Dijk back pass left him through on Fraser Forster. The English striker failed to capitalise on the defensive error, however, and was left ruing his lack of a clinical touch as his team failed to score.

It was to be the first in a series of back passes during the game, with both sides putting their respective custodians under pressure – though none of the opportunities ultimately could be converted into a goal.

Foxes lacking confidence

After a season that earned them universal acclaim and a Premier League title, Leicester look a little lacking in confidence. Always tactically electing to allow their opponents a majority of the possession, Claudio Ranieri’s team were unable to put any pressure on the Saints’ back four when they had the ball.

Vardy and Islam Slimani were starved of service and the counter-attacking style was largely ineffective. It looked as though the lack of rotation in between the midweek Champions League fixture took its toll, with the substitutes showing the first real sparks to the home side’s play.

Despite the good form of the Saints it is puzzling why the hosts would surrender the impetus. The defending champions played a reactive brand of football rather than forcing their own influence on proceedings.

Saints midfield stronger

The visiting midfield had the better of the play in this clash, winning individual battles time and time again.

Southampton looked to keep things moving constantly by shifting the ball to work around the Foxes’ players. Leicester looked bereft of ideas, merely lofting balls forward as quickly as possible in the hope that one of their strikers would make something happen.

Steven Davis and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg kept play ticking while Oriol Romeu was consistently at hand to break up opposition attacks. Daniel Amartey is yet to fill the boots of N’Golo Kanté and Danny Drinkwater was uncharacteristically sloppy in possession at times.

With Ranieri calling for patience from fans towards Amartey as he settles into his new surroundings, questions of his long-term viability taking the role of Chelsea recruit Kanté are becoming louder.

Soares becoming key

Confidence and performance levels have remained high for Saints fullback Cédric Soares since his return from Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and his influence was again present in this match. It was his delivery into the box and combination with Dusan Tadić which looked the most likely avenue toward goal.

The right-back was forced to be withdrawn within the first half-hour through injury, however, and his absence on the visiting team’s attack could be clearly noticed. Despite an abundance of talent to compete with, the Portuguese fullback is fast establishing himself as one of the league’s best in the position.

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