Leicester City 0-1 Cardiff City (December 2018)

Goalscorer: Victor Camarasa 90

Teams:

Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel, Ben Chilwell, Ricardo Pereira, Harry Maguire, Caglar Soyuncu, Nampalys Mendy, Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison, Marc Albrighton (Rachid Ghezzal 58), Demarai Gray (Shinji Okazaki 79), Jamie Vardy (Kelechi Iheanacho 68)

Cardiff City: Neil Etheridge, Sol Bamba, Greg Cunningham, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Sean Morrison, Harry Arter (Lee Peltier 90), Aron Gunnarsson, Victor Camarasa, Junior Hoilett (Bobby Reid 83), Josh Murphy (Kadeem Harris 78), Callum Paterson

Referee: Simon Hooper, Attendance: 32,047

Without an away victory since returning to the top-flight at the start of the season, Cardiff City’s chances of beating Leicester City in their final fixture of 2018 seemed slim. Confidence was high again at Leicester following impressive back-to-back wins over the Christmas programme away at Chelsea and at home to Manchester City.

The sides had met just over eight weeks earlier when Leicester claimed an emotional victory a week after the tragic helicopter accident which had claimed the life of five people; including their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. This time around, it would be the Bluebirds smiling on their travels at the full-time whistle.

Buoyant by recent results, Leicester started the brighter team and dominated the first half, enjoying 62% possession throughout the match. Jamie Vardy, who was not seeing eye-to-eye with manager Claude Puel, came closest in the first half but was thwarted by Neil Etheridge. It was the first of seven saves by the Philippine goalkeeper who put in an inspired display.

Cardiff stood firm, seemingly content to allow their opponents to have possession and await the attacks. They were slow in-coming and Puel’s relationship with his star striker showed more strain when he substituted him for Kelechi Iheanacho in the 68th minute. Afterwards, the Frenchman said Vardy was “tired.”

Moments later, the home side had a golden opportunity to win the match when James Maddison was fouled in the penalty area. Referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot and with regular taker Vardy off-the-pitch, Maddison assumed responsibility. His spot-kick was weak though and Etheridge plunged to his right-hand side to make his third penalty save of the season. As Sol Bamba cleared away the rebound, groans went around The King Power Stadium and worse was to follow in stoppage-time.

In a rare attack set-up by Harry Arter dispossessing Rachid Ghezzal, Bobby Reid laid the ball back to Victor Camarasa. The on-loan midfielder curled a wonderful shot from distance out of Kasper Schmeichel’s reach to win the game in stunning fashion for an elated Neil Warnock and the travelling supporters.

Cardiff won again away later in the season at Southampton but despite their brave efforts, they were relegated at the end of the campaign. Leicester finished ninth for the second successive season with Puel dismissed at the end of February, replaced by former Liverpool FC boss Brendan Rodgers.

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