Wolves – Leicester City: Jamie Vardy’s late return to the pitch nearly produced a Leicester City winner in a scoreless draw against wasteful Wolves at the Molineux on Sunday.
The lack of star center forwards was apparent as Vardy did not start and Raul Jimenez remains out for Wolves, with Willian Jose and Kelechi Iheanacho unable to replicate their success.
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Adama Traore, Ruben Neves, and Joao Moutinho led Wolves but there were no goals to be found on the business end of several produced chances, Wolves remaining 14th but onto 27 points.
Leicester’s title hopes seem cooked, four points off Man City and two back of Manchester United despite playing two more matches than both. Their 43 points are good for third, three points clear of Liverpool and four ahead of West Ham United.
Three things we learned from Wolves – Leicester City
1. Leicester City turns attention to top four, UEL: Brendan Rodgers men have gone winless in three of four matches for the second time since Dec. 16-28. While there are reasons for that, with Wilfred Ndidi and Wesley Fofana missing out and Jamie Vardy just returning, it doesn’t change the lost chances to stay in the Premier League title fight by this draw as well as a loss to Leeds, draw at Palace, and taking just one of six points from Everton. The Foxes are now four points back of Man City before the leaders play one of two matches-in-hand, and are just four points clear of fifth-place West Ham.
2. Wolves fail to finish: Adama Traore was a menace down the right side but Wolves still couldn’t deliver the goods up front in the absence of Raul Jimenez. Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho controlled the middle of the park with Moutinho (4), Neves (1), and Traore (3) combining for eight key passes. The front three of Traore, Willian Jose, and Pedro Neto combined for three total shot attempts
3. Vardy starting will mark his true return: James Maddison’s playmaking was wasted on Ayoze Perez, Kelechi Iheanacho, and an off-kilter Harvey Barnes, and Youri Tielemans was also a bit off his standards as Leicester concluded its 3.75 matches without Vardy. There was some threat from the forward late-on, including a just-missed stoppage-time header but ultimately he’ll be needed from the start as Leicester pick up the pieces for a Saturday visit from Liverpool (after Brighton heads to the King Power Stadium for a Wednesday date in the FA Cup).
Man of the Match: Adama Traore
Five-of-seven dribbles completed, three key passes, about 100 miles covered, and four fouls drawn for his trouble, all while getting stuck into 24 duels and winning 14 (SofaScore). Traore deserved at least an assist on the day.
Wolves – Leicester City recap
Leicester City had hold of the first 20 minutes but Wolves claimed a good spell in the Foxes’ end midway through the half.
An almighty goalmouth scramble ended with the ball in Wolves goal after the whistle had blown for a Leicester foul on a prone Wolves player.
Ruben Neves took a rip from outside the box that struck Hamza Choudhury’s raised arm outside the box to provide a dangerous Wolves free kick.
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The second half saw some early promise, Ayoze Perez racing back to challenge Adama Traore’s counterattack. Traore soon led another rush after a Choudhury error and was barged down by Caglar Soyuncu.
Traore then cooked James Justin and sent a terrific low ball through the 18 but Pedro Neto couldn’t get to the ball before Leicester played it out for a corner.
Fabio Silva had the best chance of the game as Wolves kept pressuring for an opener, but Kasper Schmeichel splayed his boot to get a piece of the in-tight effort and concede a corner instead.