Few counter attacks from the underdogs, missed chances from the star side, lots of defending and sitting back in almost a particularly one-sided affair. The Hull City Leicester City game was filled with familiar scenes from last season.
Only that the newly promoted side were the new David in town; tasked with defeating the Goliath in their first ever league game. David always wins. And for a team with no coach and a much depleted side, victory wouldn’t have tasted better.
On the other hand, opening their title defence account with a loss sure wouldn’t have gone down well with Leicester City, and they have made bad history as the first ever EPL defending champions to start the new season with a defeat.
In a match that once again underlined the surprises associated with the English top flight league, here are few takeaways.
Hull will likely survive
The Championships playoffs winners couldn’t even string 2 passes together in Leicester City’s 18 yard box over the course of 90 minutes, but they still fired 2 goals past one of the best defensive sides of last season.
Hull were destined and doomed for relegation even before a ball was ever kicked, but the fight they put up says otherwise.
Defensively, they were compact enough to soak up pressure for the majority of the game, while they were also threatening in their attack buildup and counters.
37 more points (10 wins and 7 draws maybe) and they will be safe this time around. Given the fight they put in against the Blue army, belittling them would be utterly illogical.
Leicester City will miss Kante a lot
We always knew this was going to happen sooner or later, but the extent to which the aftermath effect was going to be was under-emphasized.
There were claims the French defensive midfielder was going to be replaced eventually, even if not with a like-for-like player. It doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon given the special qualities he bring to the table.
The rearguard’s weaknesses were further opposed against the hosts as they were found wanting in the buildup that led to Hull’s winning goal. Reminiscent of Lingard’s goal last Sunday.
No more protection for the defence and it could be their eventually undoing this term. Many are already tipping them for relegation, but while that’s not impossible, we shouldn’t see it happen, whether Mahrez eventually leaves or stays.
Ranieri’s got a lot of tinkering to do
From a frustrated and isolated Vardy, to a Musa still yet to fit into Leicester’s style of play, the match brought out many issues the Italian handler will have to address if his side is to be reckoned with once again this term.
Champions League football will be tasking and opponents will come all out to fight till the end against them in the EPL. The Tinkerman must find another way to get by.
The counters might not work again, and he has to devise another way and plan B to take out opponents. Clearly they didn’t look to have any of those against Hull City.
Although it’s understandable the off season might have taken a lot away from his players form, but it is pertinent they learn new ways of winning games this term. Else they risk falling into oblivion.