Home Play by Mail Leicester City 0-0 Aston Villa: Jamie Vardy returns as sides play out boring draw

Leicester City 0-0 Aston Villa: Jamie Vardy returns as sides play out boring draw

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Leicester City 0-0 Aston Villa: Jamie Vardy returns as Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard split the spoils in a goalless Premier League draw

  • Leicester were held by Aston Villa in an austere game at the King Power Stadium
  • Jamie Vardy returned for the hosts as he came off the bench in the second half
  • Villa had lost their last four Premier League matches before the game
  • Leicester are 10th, with Villa nine points clear of the relegation zone in 15th

When one team is aiming to reach a European final and the other is trying not to repeat a streak that cost its last manager his job, a goalless draw is perhaps the most likely outcome.

Leicester take on Jose Mourinho-led Roma in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday, while Villa manager Steven Gerrard brought his side here after a four-game losing streak.

Five in a row led to the sacking of Dean Smith last November and although Gerrard had nothing to fear about it, he was not keen on emulating his predecessor.

Jamie Vardy came off the bench in the second half after 10 appearances with injury

Leicester and Aston Villa played out a boring and lackluster goalless draw at the King Power Stadium

Leicester and Aston Villa played out a boring and lackluster goalless draw at the King Power Stadium

MATCH DATA AND PLAYER RATINGS

The City of Leicester: Schmeichel 7; Justin 6, Fofana 5.5, Soyuncu 6, Castagne 6.5; Tielemans 6 (Pérez 86), Mendy 6, Dewsbury-Hall 7; Maddison 6.5, Daka 6 (Vardy 71, 6), Lookman 6 (Barnes 80).

Substitutes not used: Neighborhood, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Amartey, Choudhury, Pereira

Reserve: Mendy, Dewsbury Hall, Maddison

Manager: Brendan Rodgers

AstonVilla: Martinez 6; Species 7, Konsa 7.5, Mings 7.5, Young 6.5; McGinn 7, Douglas Luiz 6.5 (Iroegbunam 76, 6), Ramsey 6 (Nakamba 90); Bailey 6, Watkins 7, Coutinho 5.5 (Buendia 79, 6).

Substitutes not used: Olsen, Chambers, Ings, Olsen, Chukwuemeka, Chrisene, O’Reilly.

Reserve: Douglas Luiz, Bailey.

Manager: Steven Gerard

Arbitrator: A Madley (West Yorkshire) 6

Presence: 32,185

Not even Jamie Vardy’s return as a second-half substitute, on his first appearance since March 5 and only his third from injury in 2022, could bring the game to life.

For most of the game, Leicester controlled the ball without ever looking like they were about to break through.

Ollie Watkins did well in attack for Villa and the centre-back duo Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings were excellent – good news for Gerrard after his side’s last game ended in a 4-0 home loss to Tottenham .

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers’ thoughts now turn to Europe as Gerrard has pondered for some time how he could build a team to emulate them.

Wesley Fofana has been imperious since returning from injury so it was a surprise to see him make the mistake that nearly left Villa for an early goal.

The Frenchman mistimed his jump and the ball grazed his head into the path of Watkins, who eluded James Justin before finding Leon Bailey 10 yards out. With the goal at his mercy, the Jamaican exploded.

Bailey’s selection ahead of Emiliano Buendia had intrigued many Villa fans on social media and it was not the way to change their minds.

At the other end, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall – who had a nice midfield battle with John McGinn – drilled through the net and Ashley Young did just enough to prevent Justin’s overlap giving Leicester the lead .

With Villa sitting deep and the Foxes lacking aim in their approach work, there was little to entertain the crowd before the break. Indeed, the biggest cheer of the half came when Vardy went for a jog on the touchline.

Caglar Soyuncu’s health was briefly in doubt when the Leicester defender fell awkwardly after jumping over Watkins to clear himself, but luckily the centre-back was able to carry on after the treatment.

Brendan Rogers and Steven Gerrard shared the spoils in a game of a few chances

Brendan Rogers and Steven Gerrard shared the spoils in a game of a few chances

Both teams have little to play for in the Premier League this season and it showed on Saturday

Both teams have little to play for in the Premier League this season and it showed on Saturday

In first-half stoppage time, James Maddison put a free-kick from 25 yards just wide and Justin produced a fine recovery challenge to prevent Philippe Coutinho from testing Kasper Schmeichel on Bailey’s cross. In the last significant moment of the half, Tyrone Mings headed Douglas Luiz’s corner high and wide.

When Villa attacked, Watkins were causing trouble. Spotted by Bailey after Leicester gave away the ball, the England striker moved into shooting position only to be denied by Schmeichel at the near post.

From the corner, Bailey’s low drive hit the hand of a slippery Fofana, although there were few calls and a penalty would have been severe. Then Villa fans sent a clear message to boss Gerrard asking for Buendia to be featured.

With just 20 minutes to go, home fans got the moment they’ve been waiting for when Vardy came on for Patson Daka. But even the legendary striker couldn’t reshape a game that looked destined to end 0-0 from the opening minutes.

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