Leicester held at Wolves by Jonny, Kilman blocks
Leicester missed the chance to pull level on points with second-placed Manchester United in the Premier League table after a series of Wolves blocks denied them in a 0-0 at Molineux. Brendan Rodgers’ side were below their best throughout the contest but would have found the net if Jonny – on his return from a cruciate injury – had not made a brilliant double-block to deny James Maddison in the first half, or Max Kilman hadn’t put his body on the line to keep out Harvey Barnes’ effort after the break.
Wolves wasted a couple of good early moments of their own, with Ruben Neves volleying badly off target before James Justin got in the way of Adama Traore’s shot, and when they did eventually hit the target for the first time in the 77th minute, Kasper Schmeichel was quick off his line to deny sub Fabio Silva.The result leaves Leicester in third, while Wolves stay 14th, 12 points above the drop zone.
Wolves: Patricio (7), Semedo (6), Coady (6), Kilman (7), Dendoncker (7), Jonny (7), Neves (6), Moutinho (6), Traore (8), Neto (7), Jose (6). Subs: Hoever (6), Silva (6), Gibbs-White (n/a)
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Pereira (6), Evans (5), Soyuncu (7), Justin (7), Tielemans (6), Choudhury (6), Perez (6), Maddison (7), Barnes (7), Iheanacho (6).
Subs: Vardy (6), Albrighton (6)
Man of the Match: Adama Traore
How the draw played out…Both teams had been boosted by important midweek wins and there were big chances – and crucial blocks – at both ends of the pitch during a fascinating first half, which saw a blockbuster battle between Leicester left-back Justin and Wolves winger Traore.
It was the hosts who had the first opening, with Neves surprisingly getting a volley all wrong from a flicked-on corner, which had been won by Traore, before Justin made a vital intervention on 15 minutes to get in the way of Traore’s shot from 15 yards out after Pedro Neto brilliance on the left flank.
At the other end, Kelechi Iheanacho fired wildly off target before James Maddison whipped a cross through the Wolves box which just needed to be turned in. More Neto skill saw him skip past Ricardo Pereira before sending a similarly tempting pass through the Leicester six-yard area soon after.
Wolves welcomed back Jonny for his first appearance since a cruciate ligament injury sustained in August, at the end of last season. Willy Boly and Daniel Podence were absent with injury, with Leander Dendoncker also coming into the side.
Leicester had Jamie Vardy on the bench after his groin operation but were otherwise unchanged from the midweek win at Fulham.
Maddison warmed Rui Patricio’s hands with a couple of tame efforts from range – but there was some brilliant defending from the returning Jonny in between.The defender was making his first appearance of the season after recovering from a cruciate ligament injury but was perfectly placed to make a double block to deny Maddison a certain opener.Jonny was taken off at half-time but his team-mates were nearly celebrating shortly after the restart when Traore – who increasingly got the better of Justin after the break – fired across goal, but Ricardo was handily placed to prevent Neto from tucking in.
Jamie Vardy controls the ball after being introduced as a substitute
Rodgers sent on Jamie Vardy on 60 minutes to try to come up with the breakthrough but Neto almost orchestrated the opener for Wolves when he beat Ricardo and cutback for Joao Moutinho, who wasted time and space on the edge of the box by shooting badly over.Barnes was the latest Leicester player to be denied by a brilliant block, when Max Kilman threw himself in front of the winger’s shot, before Wolves finally registered a shot on target, with Silva halted by a sharp Schmeichel.There was a late chance for fit-again Vardy in stoppage time but the striker was unable to steer his header on target and clinch all three points on his return to the side.
What’s next?Wolves host Southampton in the FA Cup on Thursday evening, before travelling to the Saints on Sunday in the Premier League. Leicester host Brighton in the FA Cup on Wednesday before taking on Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.