FC Copenhagen 0-0 Leicester City: Five things we learned

FC Copenhagen 0-0 Leicester City: Five things we learned

What was learnt by Claudio Ranieri as his team edge closer to qualification to the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League?

Daniel Orme

Premier League champions Leicester City toiled to a hard-fought point against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night.

Battling to a scoreless draw against Stale Solbakken’s side, the Foxes moved onto ten points and look all but assured of passage to the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League.

The likes of Andreas Cornelius and Federico Santander had the better of the chances at the Parken Stadium but the Foxes’ defence stood strong despite a somewhat disjointed attacking display in front of over 4000 travelling supporters. So, what was learnt from Leicester City’s performance in Denmark?

Defence the best form of attack

Despite already conceding 13 goals away from home in league play this season, the Foxes’ defence is far better in European competition. Becoming the first-ever team to claim four clean sheets from their first four matches, the back-line has impressed, not-least against Copenhagen.

With Wes Morgan and Robert Huth thriving from the physical battle with Cornelius, the two got a real test. It was in fact the Jamaican that produced a good block to thwart a shot that looked destined for the top corner. The Foxes should go even further if the defence can keep producing these types of performances.

Where has Vardy gone?

Jamie Vardy notched 24 goals to his name last season and several those strikes were the product of his relentless effort, pressing and pace. However, all of that seems to be gone this campaign.

The England international looks reluctant to chase down the ball and that trademark speed has deserted him. Chasing down Copenhagen defender Nicolai Jorgensen in the second half, the 29-year-old was expected to knock the ball past and bear down on goal but it was easily retrieved by the home side. In truth, he had next to no impact on the game. Could the collapsed move to Arsenal still be playing on his mind?

Schmeichel the saviour again

As supporters saw in the home clash against Copenhagen, Kasper Schmeichel can win a match by himself. Parrying away a late Andreas Cornelius strike, the Dane preserved the Foxes’ 1-0 lead and he did similar this time around. Despite playing with a broken hand, the Danish number one got down low to meet a strong header that looked to be dropping into the bottom corner from the ex-Cardiff City man.

Also commanding his box, punching away various threatening crosses and communicating with his backline extremely well, the former Manchester City stopper was a huge presence in the draw. However, he now looks to be side-lined for some time after sustaining the hand injury which he picked up producing a ferocious clearance.

Slimani a big loss already?

Spending a reported £30m on Islam Slimani, most would have expected the Algerian international to be a big influence. However, his impact seems to have gone unnoticed. At the Parken Stadium, the Foxes severely missed his physical presence, clever movement and obvious goal-scoring ability.

Having already scored 3 goals and provided two assists in his fledgling Leicester City career, fans will be keen to see him return from injury sooner or later.

The Foxes could be punished by better sides

With respect to Copenhagen, Leicester City could well have lost the game had it not been for the home side wasting so many glorious chances. On numerous occasions, the ball fell to the home side in a great position in the penalty area only for a wayward shot to prevent them taking the lead.

If the Foxes do progress and meet the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich etc. in the next round, this will need to be tightened up to avoid a potential glut of goals being conceded.