Leicester City have been in dreamland so far this season. Not the type of dreams they saw come to realities in 2016. This was different.
According to the Premier League table, the Foxes have been the second-best team in English top division this season so far ahead of Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United. It’s a testament to the good work Brendan Rodgers have been doing this season with the bunch of talented players he has.
But a 3-1 loss away at Manchester City brought back to realities while Liverpool were too much for them in their home boxing day fixture.
4-0 it ended as Liverpool showed their class to remind Leicester City that they are still far off. It was a disappointing evening in office for some of Leicester City’s finest. James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, Harvey Barnes looked out of place, the defence panicked while Jamie Vardy was starved off his favourite long balls.
The only Leicester City player who stood out was Wilfred Ndidi.
The Nigerian was close to his best, marking and tightening up the spaces in midfield. The presence of Dennis Praet in midfield helped Ndidi although the Belgian player also struggled to make an impact in the game.
The Nigerian did what everyone has come to expect from him. Tackling, winning balls and intercepting. He frustrated almost all of Liverpool’s play around that area.
In the first half alone, Ndidi won 5 tackles in the first half, four more than any other player on the pitch.
Ndidi put in good work in midfield but this Liverpool side often does not create from midfield. Instead, it has been their right-back, who have been the chief creators of this Jurgen Klopp side who have redefined creativity in football.
It was Trent Alexander-Arnold who had a hand in all the goals Liverpool scored from open play at the King Power Stadium, scoring one and assisting two others.
Ndidi’s only moment of mistake came early in the first half when he failed to control a throw-in with his chest close to the Leicester City area. The ball fell to Jordan Henderson but Ndidi was also fast to recover to block the Liverpool player’s shot at goal.
Ndidi could have also done well to prevent Liverpool’s third of the night as he failed to track down Roberto Firmino who was free in the box to finish up a cross from Alexander-Arnold. Firmino had run past Ndidi just outside the area and the Nigerian should have continued with his run inside the box to track the Liverpool striker.
Nonetheless, Ndidi finished the game as Leicester City’s best player as rated by almost all top and reliable football websites.
Rodgers singled out Ndidi after the game; “Wilfred Ndidi was fantastic throughout – fighting, running, working, getting on the ball – but we just didn’t have long enough periods with it,” the Leicester City manager said after the game.
Ndidi has not failed Leicester City in any big game so far this season and his teammates must play at his level against top sides if the Foxes are to achieve their aim this season.