GRAY GOAL BRIGHTENS THE MOOD FOR FOXES IN CARDIFF
LEICESTER City paid tribute to their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with a 1-0 victory over Cardiff City, secured by Demarai Gray’s second half strike. It was an emotional occasion marked by tributes to the Thai chairman whose death has rocked football this week.
And the Foxes produced a gritty performance in homage to ‘Vichai’ to see off a Cardiff side who were well below their best.
Jamie Vardy was one of five players to return to Leicester’s side for the game. The experienced striker had been keen to play this fixture after the “toughest week of his life” following last weekend’s helicopter tragedy.
Both teams – as well as supporters and officials – observed an impeccable minute’s silence before the game in honour of Vichai and the four others who lost their lives in the helicopter crash.
Leicester fans travelled in numbers to pay tribute and also cheer on their side.
Neil Warnock brought back Harry Arter in his one change from last week’s Liverpool defeat.
The visitors started slowly though with Cardiff looking dangerous in the first half hour and fashioning the first major chance when Victor Camarasa’s free kick hit the woodwork.
James Maddison pulled the strings for Leicester throughout as the visitors grew into the contest.
Both Ndidi and Vardy produced were denied in first-half stoppage time with the latter’s effort deflected off Sol Bamba onto the woodwork – with a strong suspicion of handball in the Ivorian’s block. Leicester were incensed but it remained goalless at the break.
The Foxes carved out half chances through Maddison and Gray who both missed the target after the interval, before Josh Murphy tested Kasper Schmeichel on the counter.
Gray made no mistakes minutes later, turning home Ben Chilwell’s cross after some lax Cardiff marking. It was thoroughly merited.
Leicester continued to impress and went in search of a second, Vardy forcing a good save from Neil Etheridge late on.
And although it never quite came, Cardiff didn’t threaten enough to level.
Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock said some of his players had also been affected by the Leicester tragedy as “training had not been the same”.
“It’s been a strange week, surreal really, and I’m glad it’s out of the way if I’m honest,” Warnock said.
“I thought the fans were amazing in the circumstances, the respect they showed and the way they were together. It was quite emotional out there.
“The players gave everything but it’s been difficult this week, three or four lads in particuar.
“Whether it’s triggered things up I don’t know. But training’s not been the same and we had to have a word with them that we’ve got to play the game.”
Leicester at the end of the game