The Warm Down: Title hopes hampered for Leicester after being held to a frustrating draw against Wolves
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City reacts during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City at Molineux on February 07, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images)

Leicester City will undeniably rue the missed opportunity to capitalise in the Premier League after Manchester United dropped points against Everton the night before.

Victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers would have taken Brendan Rodgers’ men level – on 45 points - with The Red Devils in second place, but a distinct inability to display their clinical edge resulted in a bothersome goalless draw at Molineux. 

Nuno Espirito Santo will likely have been the happier of the two managers as his side went two matches without defeat in the league for the first time since October. 

On his return from a Hernia operation, Jamie Vardy had an excellent chance to claim three points late on but begrudgingly saw his header whistle past the post. 

The Foxes have now dropped points in three of their last four league games, and a return to consistent winning ways will be imperative in the elusive pursuit for Champions League qualification.

  • Foxes lacking offensive drive 

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Both Rodgers and Espirito Santo enjoyed impressive victories in midweek – against Fulham and Arsenal respectively – yet efforts to add to their recent success proved ineffectual as the sides neutralised and subdued one other.

Despite challenging Wolves’ keeper Rui Patricio with a scattering of efforts throughout the match, none truly tested the Portuguese veteran as the game culminated to a spluttering finish.

Vardy, so often the quintessence of a lethal striker, painstakingly spun a header wide after a looping delivery from Marc Albrighton

For Wolves, a late chance to earn another significant victory passed them by after Fabio Silva was denied by the stretching brilliance of Kasper Schmeichel – who spared his defenders blushes after feeble man-marking from the set-piece. 

Despite an underwhelming lack of clinical moments, the match did have its fair share of attacking intent, and to describe it as dull would be a harsh review indeed. 

The lively displays of James Maddison and Pedro Neto – for Leicester and Wolves respectively – captivated viewers as their seamless, silky movements and driving offensive presences were instrumental as they acted as focal points, however efforts were ultimately unavailing. 

  • Justin's increasing influence 

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When Leicester made the acquisition of James Justin from Luton Town in the scorching summer of 2019, it was viewed as a shrewd piece of business for a side renowned for their excellent investments when delving into the transfer market.

But the England under-21 international has surpassed expectations as he has relished the opportunity to display his seemingly innate ability to excel and thrive under pressure.

When Ricardo Pereira – regarded as one of Europe’s finest full backs – suffered a disastrous injury during the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic, the views from senior figures at the club were troubling at the thought of losing an individual with such quality. Up stepped Justin, who has grown into the role like he was destined for it.

The young talent has provided a plethora of splendid performances that have proved pivotal as the Foxes have remarkably spent the majority of their domestic campaign in the top-four for a second season running.

Against Wolves, Justin impressed in restricting the advances of the dangerous Adama Traore, a strategy devised to nullify a proportion of the Wolves attack that can have devastating consequences when not dealt with effectively. 

In fact, this season Leicester have so far kept five clean sheets in 12 away outings, as well as stretching their unbeaten run on the road to nine games, and Justin’s prominent role at the back has helped the side flourish to no end.

  • The Rodgers revelation continues

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The distinguished Rodgers has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround in Leicester's fortunes since being captivated by the project and relinquishing his manager’s role at Scotland’s dominant force in Celtic

When Rodgers took the helm of the Midlands outfit – less than three years after their monumental Premier League triumph – they were sitting at 11th in the division and looked set for a future of mediocrity.

But the Northern Irishman has revitalised the club following a challenging period that saw a decline in results and the loss of their revered chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in 2018 after an unthinkable helicopter accident.

For a club whose direction looked to have swayed for the worse, Rodgers has instilled a mentality reminiscent of a few years back, when the club achieved unprecedented success and historically won the 2015/16 Premier League title.

Leicester may have fumbled against Wolves, but with Rodgers overseeing operations, the club will continue to challenge for the highest honours and establish themselves at the pinnacle of English football.