Premier League 2 Att: Friday, November 23, 2018 7:00:00 PM
- Chris Pollard
- Loft Ughelumba 75’
- Muskwe Wright 45’
- Diabate Tee 58’
- Unused subs
- Davies, Kaba Sherif
- Rosler (c)
- Mangala Harwood-Bellis 45’
- Bolton Poveda 45’
- Bernabe Nmecha 53’
- T Dele-Bashiru
- Unused subs
- Scott, Ogbeta
City’s EDS side were forced to settle for a share of the spoils after a hard-fought goalless draw away at Leicester.
The Blues enjoyed the best of the chances and saw a 56th minute penalty by Nabil Touaizi saved by Leicester keeper Eldin Jakupovic.
Ultimately however, the City youngsters were unable to force the breakthrough as we recorded our first goalless draw of the Premier League 2 campaign.
Just a place separated the two teams in the Premier League 2 table at kick-off and a cagey affair at Holmes Park demonstrated how evenly matched the sides were.
Paul Harsley’s outfit, which saw French international Eliaquim Mangala step up his return from injury at centre half and the presence of Luke Bolton following a lengthy lay-off, looked the more threatening side as the first half wore on.
Adrian Bernabe forced a save from Jakupovic with an 18th minute free-kick before a fine burst forward from Benjamin Garre saw Bolton’s dangerous, fizzing cross cleared at the last minute by the Foxes defence.
The Blues’ best opportunity came two minutes before the break. After another dazzling run forward, Garre drilled in a goalbound left-foot show which was superbly saved by the Foxes keeper.
Leicester looked to up the tempo after the break but City keeper Daniel Grimshaw was still relatively untroubled and didn't have a shot to save all night.
And on 56 minutes City’s pressure forced a foul from Hamza Choudhury on Touazi as he powered forward in the box.
Referee Chris Pollard awarded the spot-kick but Touazi was unable to make the opportunity count, his effort being blocked by Jakupovic’s legs.
Though Josh Knight saw a shot deflected just wide for the hosts, City still looked the far more likely to score and almost made the breakthrough two minutes from time.
Substitute Ian Poveda was set up by Tom Dele-Bashiru's clever pass but from nine yards out he could only fire straight at the Leicester keeper.
How we lined up
Daniel Grimshaw was in goal shielded by a back four of Alpha Diounkou, skipper Colin Rosler, Eliaquim Mangala and Jeremie Frimpong.
Ian Pozo anchored the midfield with Tom Dele Bashiru and Adrian Bernanbe further forward.
Benjamin Garre and Luke Bolton provided the width on either flank with Nabil Topuaizi deployed up-front.
What it means
City’s first goalless draw of the season – and only our second league stalemate – moved Paul Harsley’s side up into fourth place in the Premier League table on 17 points form 11 games.
The Blues youngsters are back in UEFA Youth League action on Tuesday with a crucial Group F assignment away in Lyon. Victory in France would help keep alive our hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages.