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Leicester City 0-1 Cardiff City: Claude Puel says Foxes were 'tired'

Neil Etheridge
Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge saved James Maddison's penalty in the second half

Leicester City manager Claude Puel said "a lot of players were tired" as they slipped to a disappointing home defeat against Cardiff City.

The Foxes had beaten Chelsea and champions Manchester City in their previous two matches, and Puel said it was "normal" that his side should be feeling the effects "in this busy period".

Leicester had 62% of the possession against Cardiff, but Victor Camarasa's stunning injury-time strike gave the Bluebirds their first away win of the season.

Against the run of play, the midfielder curled home a 25-yard shot which sailed into the top corner over a flailing Kasper Schmeichel.

Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge had earlier produced an inspired display, including saving James Maddison's second-half penalty.

When the ball rebounded straight to Maddison, who looked poised to slot home, defender Sol Bamba dived in to turn the ball behind for a corner.

That was symptomatic of a resolute defensive effort from a Cardiff side, who kept their second clean sheet in as many matches.

The Foxes dominated the first half but Etheridge thwarted their best efforts, including denying Jamie Vardy when he went through on goal.

Vardy was later substituted for Kelechi Iheanacho, and Puel said: "I manage my team on what I see and Jamie was tired.

"We tried to find a solution to push on with fresh players giving their best."

Defeat means Leicester drop to eighth while Cardiff move above Southampton - who host Manchester City on Sunday - into 16th.

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Leicester 0-1 Cardiff: Result 'very harsh' on Foxes - Claude Puel

Bamba and Etheridge epitomise Cardiff display

While Camarasa will draw most of the headlines for his match-winning intervention, Cardiff were only in the game at that point because of those behind him.

Etheridge produced seven saves to deny a Leicester side full of confidence - and Neil Warnock's side will be buoyed by the fact he will remain available next month after being omitted from the Philippines squad for the Asian Cup.

Maddison looked the player most likely to make a breakthrough, and when the England midfielder was hauled over inside the area, it looked as though the visitors' hard work would be undone.

But Etheridge plunged to his right to save, and Bamba was first to react as the ball broke back to Maddison.

That was his most crucial intervention in a match in which he kept Vardy quiet, and made more tackles (three) and more clearances (nine) than any of his team-mates.

His reward was a second consecutive clean sheet on the road, for a Cardiff team four points above the relegation zone.

Pressure mounting on Puel again?

Leicester dominated the ball for large spells but rarely looked like breaching Cardiff's defence.

The Foxes had 16 shots at goal, with seven on target, but largely kept the ball in midfield without showing much urgency or intent to get in behind.

On the one occasion they did get through, Vardy - who has scored only three goals from open play this season - spurned the chance.

Leicester's system does not get the best out of the England international - their patient build-up play not utilising the 31-year-old's pace.

But their unexpected victories over Chelsea and Manchester City show they have the talent and desire to match the best in the division.

However, Puel's prospects will ultimately depend on results and performances against those outside the top six. And a home defeat by Cardiff is likely to, fairly or otherwise, add to the pressure on the Frenchman.

Man of the match - Neil Etheridge (Cardiff)

Neil Etheridge
Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge kept his second clean sheet in a row by making seven saves at King Power

'We deserve another result' - what they said

Leicester manager Claude Puel, speaking to Match of the Day: "This was another game against a team with another style of play. We had a lot of chances without finding the clinical edge.

"We conceded in the last minute. It's very harsh because I think we deserve another result.

"We needed to win this game, but it's difficult. There's a lot of disappointment because we tried.

"I think we had the right mentality. They're a difficult team to play against with their long throw-ins, free-kicks and second balls."

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock, speaking to Match of the Day: "I thought we deserved it overall. We had a very good plan and looked to break when we could. Our goalkeeper didn't have many saves, apart from the penalty.

"Other than that I thought we showed a lot of character. In the last couple of games we've really had to dig deep. We've done well against really good sides in our last two games against Palace and Leicester.

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Leicester 0-1 Cardiff: Bluebirds character delights Neil Warnock

"We've had opportunities this season - we've missed penalties and everything else away from home. This was the first time away from home that we've deserved to win. We were the better team if I'm being honest."

On Victor Camarasa's goal: "He's quite capable of doing that every week. He deserves it - he's a super lad."

Leicester lose final match of the year... again - the stats

  • Cardiff registered their first away Premier League win of the season and their first in the top flight since April 2014, when they won 1-0 at Southampton.
  • Leicester have lost two of their past three home Premier League matches against newly promoted sides (W1).
  • Warnock has won two of his past three away league matches against Leicester (D1), having lost six of his previous seven visits there (D1).
  • Eleven of Cardiff's past 13 Premier League goals have been scored in the second half.
  • Leicester have lost their final Premier League match in each of the past two calendar years, losing 2-1 to Liverpool last season.
  • This was Cardiff's third away Premier League clean sheet of the season - as many as they managed during the entirety of their last top-flight campaign in 2013-14.

What's next?

Leicester travel to Everton in the early kick-off on New Years Day (12:30 GMT), while Cardiff host Tottenham in the late fixture on the same day (17:30 GMT).

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 14Ricardo Pereira
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 15Maguire
  • 3Chilwell
  • 24Mendy
  • 25Ndidi
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forGhezzalat 58'minutes
  • 10Maddison
  • 7GraySubstituted forOkazakiat 79'minutes
  • 9VardySubstituted forIheanachoat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Simpson
  • 8Iheanacho
  • 12Ward
  • 20Okazaki
  • 21Iborra
  • 28Fuchs
  • 31Ghezzal

Cardiff

  • 1EtheridgeBooked at 53mins
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 4MorrisonBooked at 90mins
  • 22Bamba
  • 18Cunningham
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 33HoilettSubstituted forReidat 83'minutes
  • 21Camarasa
  • 7ArterSubstituted forPeltierat 90+5'minutes
  • 11MurphySubstituted forK Harrisat 78'minutes
  • 13Paterson

Substitutes

  • 2Peltier
  • 3Bennett
  • 8Ralls
  • 12Smithies
  • 14Reid
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 23K Harris
Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
32,047

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamCardiff
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home16
Away12
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 0, Cardiff City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 0, Cardiff City 1.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

Attempt saved. Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Callum Paterson.

Foul by Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City).

Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Lee Peltier replaces Harry Arter.

Booking

Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

Harry Maguire (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sean Morrison (Cardiff City).

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 0, Cardiff City 1. Víctor Camarasa (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Bobby Reid.

Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sean Morrison (Cardiff City).

Attempt blocked. Harry Arter (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

Hand ball by Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City).

Attempt blocked. Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Greg Cunningham.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Greg Cunningham.

Attempt blocked. Rachid Ghezzal (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira.

Foul by Harry Maguire (Leicester City).

Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City).

Offside, Cardiff City. Kadeem Harris tries a through ball, but Bobby Reid is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Bobby Reid replaces David Junior Hoilett.

Attempt blocked. Rachid Ghezzal (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfred Ndidi.

Foul by Rachid Ghezzal (Leicester City).

Harry Arter (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Demarai Gray.

Substitution

Substitution, Cardiff City. Kadeem Harris replaces Josh Murphy.

Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).

David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Rachid Ghezzal (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Sol Bamba.

Penalty saved! James Maddison (Leicester City) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Penalty Leicester City. James Maddison draws a foul in the penalty area.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool2017304884054
2Tottenham20150543212245
3Man City19142351153644
4Chelsea19124337162140
5Arsenal20115442301238
6Man Utd199553731632
7Wolves208572323029
8Leicester208482423128
9Watford208482728-128
10Everton207673130127
11West Ham198382728-127
12Bournemouth198292733-626
13Brighton207492227-525
14Crystal Palace1954101725-819
15Newcastle2046101527-1218
16Cardiff2053121938-1918
17Southampton1936102035-1515
18Fulham2035121843-2514
19Burnley1933131741-2412
20Huddersfield2024141235-2310
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