4 talking points about Moses, Ndidi and Iheanacho’s performances as Chelsea beat Leicester City in FA Cup quarter-final

By Daily Sports on March 20, 2018

Views: 3,668

It was a noisy and rancorous ambience at Leicester City’s stadium when the club played host to the current premier league champions and last year’s FA Cup finalists Chelsea. It was very reminiscent of the atmosphere that greeted away teams during the title winning 2015/16 season as Leicester shocked the world to claim the premier league title.

This time, Leicester’s vocal supporters could not shout their club to victory as they saw a determined and under fire Chelsea win 2-1 in extra time with goals from Alvaro Morata (first half) and Pedro (in the first half of extra time) sandwiching Jamie Vardy’s equaliser for Leicester.

Three Nigerian internationals featured in the game and gave interesting performances. They were Victor Moses of Chelsea and Leicester’s duo of striker Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi the leggy defensive midfielder.

Here are three talking points about their display on Sunday evening.

VICTOR MOSES IS ON A POOR RUN OF FORM

In the match, Victor Moses showed an over eagerness to overcome a tricky streak of unconvincing displays recently for Chelsea, but ended up making mistakes upon mistakes with his decisions. Moses looked ponderous with the ball and too tentative to make those penetrative runs that have become his hallmark since manager Antonio Conte shifted him to a new wing back position last season. In short, Moses form at the moment is poor and it is worrying with the world cup fast approaching.

NO BROTHER IN BUSINESS?

It was interesting to notice Wilfred Ndidi hotly appealing to the referee during the game to issue a (red) card to compatriot Victor Moses after the latter appeared to have elbowed a Leicester player in the second half of the encounter.  Despite the fact that both guys are Nigerians, they are professionals who are committed deeply to the course of their employers and were willing to put any overt brotherly displays aside as they searched for wins for their clubs.

WILFRED NDIDI IS CONTINUING HIS PHENOMENAL RISE TO BEING A GREAT DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER

Lanky and rugged are words that can correctly define Wilfred Ndidi and the 22-year-old midfielder continues to shine for Leicester City since his big money move to the club last season. Faced with the diminutive Ngolo Kante who he succeeded in the same defensive midfield role at the club, Ndidi did not look out of place, combining a calmness in possession with good passes and intelligent positioning which made him win tackles and intercept Chelsea’s balls on a number of occasions. While Chelsea’s Kante served up his usual tenacious display in the game, Ndidi, with a very different physical make up from the former, ensured that Kante did not win the midfield battle. 

BBC Sports reporter John Bennett was recognised Ndidi’s work ethic in the middle of the park as he posted a message on his official Twitter account which said,

“Wilfred Ndidi is such a talented player. Wins the ball back with ease.”

“Huge potential; only 21 and only been playing in that position for about 3 years. Will keep getting better.”

The former Super Eagles coach who was recently dismissed by Fortuna Sittard, then responded to Bennett’s Tweet with a message which said: “I really believe Wilfred Ndidi is world class! hugely talented and Lovely player.”

With Ndidi in the Nigerian midfield in the World Cup, there is hope that Nigeria can progress from a very tight group.

IHEANACHO MUST IMPROVE HIS FINAL BALL

Kelechi Iheanacho has recorded goals aplenty in this season's FA cup and he has earned the nickname “FA Cup goals king”. A fine talent, Iheanacho needs to develop his all round game though. His link up play with teammates has to improve because this is necessary in opening up opponents defences in order to create dangerous situations.

Iheanacho’s poor link up play was part of what cost Leicester City the first goal on Sunday against Chelsea.

The former under 17 world champion picked up a pass in what promised to be a promising counter attack move and with teammates Jamie Vardy to his left and Riyard Mahrez on his left, Iheanacho needed to produce a good pass in the final third to either one of them. Instead he gave a poor pass which ended up behind Mahrez and slowed down the latter’s move and ended up making him lose possession. It was from that that Chelsea went up the other end to punish Iheanacho and his team with a goal.

One suspects that a lack of the requisite ability to combine effectively with team mates with regularity was a contributor to what made Man City’s manager Pep Guardiola opt to let him leave the club last season.

In order for him to reach the full height of his promise, Iheanacho must improve on such technical matters as to where and how to make the final passes and how to link up better with his other forward players.

Source Daily Sports

Posted March 20, 2018

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