|Photo by Tri Le|
Certainly for Leicester, this match would undoubtedly be an advantageous glimpse of things to come having been rewarded with a place in the upcoming European Champions League Cup due to their 2016 English Premier League Championship.
Coming off a tightly contested penalty shoot-out win over Celtic F.C., Leicester would now have the opportunity to showcase their talents on a European platform.
The most significant offseason transfer news for the "Foxes" was the loss of key defensive central midfielder N’Golo Kante. Nevertheless, with several good signings and a few more on the horizon, it seems that Leicester at the moment will remain mostly intact.
However, they were outperformed for much of the match by a more determined, motivated, and better skilled PSG team. The Ligue 1 Champions also had impressive performances in their first two 2016 International Champions Cup games, topping both Inter Milan and Real Madrid, respectively.
Both teams began in high energy, meaningful preseason game fashion, but when the commotion settled, it was clear that PSG, on this night, was playing the higher-caliber soccer.
Referee Ismail Elfath had a noticeably difficult time with the level of soccer that was being played, calling numerous phantom fouls, and causing the supporters of both sides to complain and boo him.
Edinson Cavani scored the first goal with a world class penalty kick that sent Kasper Schmeichel diving in the wrong direction. With the pace and placement of the ball, Schmeichel wouldn’t have saved it even if he had guessed correctly.
The foul that led to the penalty kick was a weak call on a Leicester defender who nudged Ikone, and PSG was fortunate to be up 1-0.
Leicester battled hard and that was about all they could do. Wes Morgan and Robert Huth were a physical presence all night, putting bodies on their opponents, and disrupting the PSG attack as much as they could.
In the 44th minute, Ikone made up for an earlier miss from close range, doubling the lead after catching Leicester on a well executed counter-attack.
|Photo by Tri Le|
In the 64th minute, Lucas Moura scored off a header, and in the 90th minute, 18-year-old youth academy standout Odsonne Edouard scored the final goal to put PSG up 4-0.
In the end, although Leicester lost the possession battle 68 percent to 32 percent, they still had their opportunities, but simply could not get the ball past some fine PSG goalkeeping. Nor were they very successful at penetrating a well organized PSG defense led by Thiago Motta and David Luiz.
|Photo by Tri Le|
Playing without their top scorer Jamie Vardy, and last season’s most important defensive player in Kante, Leicester was noticeably missing parts. Mahrez and Shinji Okazaki did what they could do offensively, showing their prowess, but they simply could not outperform a solid PSG defense.
Moreover, there was no stopping the machine that was the PSG offense. Young and full of energy all night long, their season ahead is promising, especially since they were without key player Marco Verratti.
If they keep up their form, don’t be surprised to see PSG win the ICC.
For Leicester, it appears that based on this performance, they are in for a tough Champions League Season ahead.
And with the likes of Arsenal closing in on their top player Mahrez, only time will tell whether Leicester can remain intact enough to have a chance at accomplishing even a fraction of what they did last season.
Staff Reporter for TheDailySportsHerald.com