Wilfred Ndidi faced a rampant Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, December 21 in a Premier League game and despite his strong performance, he and his Leicester City teammates stood no chance.
Kevin De Bruyne and former Leicester City player Riyad Mahrez were in top form as Manchester City beat Leicester City 3-1 to cut the gap in the Premier League table.
It was a difficult evening for Ndidi who had to face two of the City's best players in the game, De Bryne and Mahrez.
The Nigerian was left exposed by Brendan Rodgers’ setup which had him as the only ball-winner in midfield against City. This gave De Bruyne a lot of spaces to exploit in the middle.
The Belgian was another level, driving the ball forward with guile and momentum and ended up with an assist.
It should have been more but Ndidi proved to be some difficulties for the Belgian, putting up important blocks and interception.
With no other ball winners in the middle, Ndidi was left alone to do all the work and it was only a matter of time he fagged out.
The evening was also made difficult for him as he had to cover Ben Chilwell who was being caught at left-back. Ndidi had to drift in from the middle to support Chilwell which also left spaces in midfield.
It also brought some uncertainties in some plays for Ndidi who at times didn’t know when to stay in position or drift in to help Chilwell.
It was the case in Manchester City’s first goal. Ndidi was hesitant to leave his position to close down Mahrez who was cutting in on his left to shoot. The Nigerian eventually drifted in to help but it was too late as Mahrez had found a space to shoot and score Manchester City’s equaliser.
Perhaps it was the arrogance of Rodgers that put Ndidi in that position by choosing to play just a holding midfielder in an away fixture against Premier League’s defending champion.
Iwobi injured against former club
Still, on Saturday at Goodison Park, Alex Iwobi had the chance to show his former club Arsenal what they were missing but got injured in the 11th minute.
Iwobi felt a pull in his hamstring and was taken off without having done much in the opening 10 minutes of the game in front of Everton’s new manager Carlo Ancelotti who was watching from the stands.
He was applauded by the Arsenal fans while he was substituted.