Leicester 1-1 Roma: Player ratings as Foxes fail to make chances pay

29 April 2022 12:04

Leicester enjoyed plenty of possession but failed to make their chances count as they came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw with Roma in the first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final.

Lorenzo Pellegrini put the visitors ahead in the first period but Jose Mourinho's men were eventually pegged back by an own goal, which ensures this tie will be decided next week in Rome.

Leicester began brightly, with the returning Jamie Vardy causing a few problems early on and Timothy Castagne heading wide from a nicely worked corner inside five minutes.

After weathering an early storm, Roma began to grow into the game, pressing Leicester high and running at the Foxes' backline with pace, and the breakthrough came 15 minutes in.

A nice run and pass by young Nicola Zalewski ended at the feet of Pellegrini, who fired through Kasper Schmeichel and into the back of the net.

Lookman's drive was well blocked by Chris Smalling as Leicester searched for an equaliser, with Roma's defence standing strong and helping the forwards create some problems of their own.

That being said, Leicester were on top for the majority of the first half, dominating possession and shining on the stats sheet, although that didn't translate into genuine threats on the Roma goal.

The second half began with a similar story. Roma were more than happy to sit back and defend, neutralising everything that came their way while also offering a small threat going forwards.

Brendan Rodgers opted to change things by bringing Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho off the bench, and it was the former who dragged Leicester back into this. A great run down the left was followed by a fierce cross into the six-yard box, and Lookman did well to contort his body and tap home - although the winger's goal was eventually credited as a Gianluca Mancini own goal.

Leicester did their best to push for an winner, with Iheanacho's curling effort from range drawing a nice save from Rui Patricio with ten minutes to go.

Down the other end, Roma had their own chances. Some nice work from Tammy Abraham played in Sergio Oliveira, whose thunderous effort was turned away by Schmeichel.

The visitors shut up shop late on and invited a lot of pressure from Leicester, but they simply could not find a way through and, as they did in the last round, will have to get the job done in the second leg instead.

1. Leicester player ratings (4-3-3)

Lookman was a danger | Marc Atkins/GettyImages

GK: Kasper Schmeichel - 6/10 - Can't really be held accountable for the goal and was largely up to the task.

RB: Ricardo Pereira - 5/10 - Not good enough defensively. Zalewski had him on strings.

CB: Wesley Fofana - 7/10 - Some really nice defending and actually showed more urgency in attack than a lot of Leicester's forwards.

CB: Jonny Evans - 6/10 - Not really tested by either Abraham or Zaniolo.

LB: Timothy Castagne - N/A - A decent start before limping off injured 20 minutes in.

CM: Youri Tielemans - 5/10 - So disappointing in attack. Pellegrini's press was far too much for him in the first half, although he had some decent moments after that.

CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall - 7/10 - Unfortunate to get an early yellow but kept his head and won his battle against Mkhitaryan.

CM: James Maddison - 5/10 - A lot of long shots and not a lot of quality. Did well to actually get the space in the first place, but every single chance was wasted.

RW: Marc Albrighton - 4/10 - Too slow in attack and didn't help Pereira out defensively either.

ST: Jamie Vardy - 5/10 - Looked a threat early on but found space hard to come by once Roma's defenders figured out how to deal with him.

LW: Ademola Lookman - 7/10 - Pretty lively in attack. The end product wasn't there apart from the goal but he was one of the few Leicester players who actually looked capable of scoring. Good link-up with Dewsbury-Hall.

SUB: James Justin (21' for Castagne) - 6/10

SUB: Kelechi Iheanacho (62' for Vardy) - 6/10

SUB: Harvey Barnes (62' for Albrighton) - 7/10

SUB: Ayoze Perez (83' for Lookman) - N/A

2. Roma player ratings (3-5-2)

Pellegrini took his goal well | Marc Atkins/GettyImages

GK: Rui Patricio - 6/10 - Sometimes a little sloppy but redeemed himself with a nice save to deny Iheanacho.

CB: Roger Ibanez - 7/10 - Did well to deny space to Leicester's forward, although perhaps a little fortunate to avoid an early booking.

CB: Chris Smalling - 8/10 - Had a really nice game up against Vardy. Got himself in front of everything and was far too strong for Leicester to deal with.

CB: Gianluca Mancini - 7/10 - Claimed to have studied how Leicester play before this game, and given how comfortable he was, the research clearly paid off.

RWB: Rick Karsdorp - 5/10 - Chalk and cheese compared to Roma's other wing-back.

CM: Henrikh Mkhitaryan - 5/10 - Let Roma's press down in the first half as Dewsbury-Hall controlled him. Took a nasty whack from Albrighton and was withdrawn after the break.

CM: Bryan Cristante - 6/10 - A bit slow at times but nothing too fatal.

CM: Lorenzo Pellegrini - 7/10 - A really nice goal and some solid play to neutralise Tielemans.

LWB: Nicola Zalewski - 8/10 - Sensational. Roma's biggest threat by a long way. An absolute menace up and down the left wing.

ST: Nicolo Zaniolo - 5/10 - Some nice work for the opening goal but otherwise a bit too slow on occasion. Looked desperate to get himself sent off at times.

ST: Tammy Abraham - 5/10 - The odd bright moment but largely anonymous. Wasn't helped by his midfield but won't be happy after his first meeting with an English side since leaving Chelsea.

SUB: Jordan Veretout (57' for Mkhitaryan) - 6/10

SUB: Sergio Oliveira (69' for Zaniolo) - 6/10

SUB: Matias Vina (85' for Zalewski) - N/A

SUB: Felix Afena-Gyan (85' for Pellegrini) - N/A

Source: 90min