Leicester held to goalless draw against Slavia Prague

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Leicester City came away with a goalless draw in their Europa League last-32 tie against Slavia Prague.

Brendan Rodgers’ side, who currently sit third in the Premier League, failed to create many clear-cut chances on a frustrating evening in Prague.

Harvey Barnes came closest, when he was denied from close range in the first half, but the hosts put Leicester under some pressure after the break.

The return leg will be played at King Power Stadium on Thursday, 25 February.

Valuable clean sheet on quiet night

When Marc Albrighton fired inches wide within seconds of kick-off, it looked like it could be a promising night for Leicester. But despite showing glimpses of creativity in the first half, they never really got going.

In-form Barnes, who has contributed to 11 goals in 23 league games so far this season, was played in by Youri Tielemans and raced through one-on-one with the goalkeeper only to poke it straight at his legs.

He was the most likely provider for Leicester – dragging another shot wide from a corner in the first half before almost setting up substitute Kelechi Iheanacho late on.

Slavia Prague full-back Alexander Bah and midfielder Nicolae Stanciu had half-chances for the hosts but Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was never truly troubled.

And when Rodgers took off key players Jamie Vardy and James Maddison after an hour, he looked resigned to settle for a draw away from home and a clean sheet, with the only regret being the yellow card shown to Iheanacho that rules him out of the next match.

‘We were solid away from home’

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers speaking to BT Sport: “I was really pleased from a defensive perspective. We kept them reasonably quiet. They had one opportunity at the back post in the first half but our goalkeeper and back four were strong.

“The pitch was heavy and it was a little bit of man-marking. I was delighted with the spirit and we were solid away from home. Now we have had a feel for them we can go away and look at where we can get through to the next round.”

The best of the stats

  • Leicester have managed just one win from their last eight away games in European competition (D3 L4), though they did manage their first clean sheet on the road in Europe since November 2016 (0-0 v FC Copenhagen in the Champions League).
  • The Foxes are now unbeaten in their last 10 away games in all competitions (W6 D4), their longest run without defeat on the road since December 2015 (14).
  • Slavia Prague have only lost one of their last 10 Europa League games on home soil (W6 D3), while they remain unbeaten this season at home in the competition (W3 D1).
  • They managed 14 attempts against Leicester, the most they have had in a Europa League game without managing to score since February 2019 against KRC Genk (18).
  • Rodgers has seen his sides fail to score in each of his five away games in the knockout stages of the Europa League, with this his first such match as Leicester City boss (2 with Liverpool, 2 with Celtic).
  • Iheanacho was booked just 51 seconds after taking the field from the bench, with only Husein Balic for LASK earning a card quicker as a sub in any Europa League game this season (37 seconds).

What’s next?

Leicester travel to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, 21 February (14:05 GMT), before hosting Slavia Prague in the second leg on Thursday, 25 February.

BBC

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