Last night the reigning Premier League champions managed a 3-1 victory over Derby in their FA Cup fourth round replay, advancing to a tie against Milwall later this month. Although the scoreline looks promising for a team of 10 alterations to their usual Premier League line up, when you look into it their performance it wasn’t too convincing.
After a goalless first half, the home team came out charging following the break and went 1-0 up thanks to a simple Andy King header. In the 61st minute Derby equalised, largely due to a heavy deflection on Camara’s free kick. In extra time Leicester managed two excellent goals- one apiece for Ndidi and Demarai Gray- finally confirming their place in the next round. Joyous though it might be, there is little for the Foxes to celebrate in their current Premier League campaign.
Leicester currently sit 16th in the table; 2 points off the bottom and 1 clear of the drop zone. So far in 2017 they’ve only managed one point from 5 games, but despite the poor showing this season the club have offered Ranieri a vote of confidence- however, this has been the kiss of death for several managers. Having advanced another round in the FA Cup and concentrating on European football this season, their lack of momentum in the League may not be a concern to their devoted fans- after all, they’ve already won it once.
Thus far in the Champions League the luck of the draw has been on their side. To date, in the competition they haven’t come up against any European giants (such as PSG, Barcelona etc) and having drawn Sevilla in the next round they stand a solid chance of advancing further. For the reputation of British football it would be marvellous for them to make it to the final, but having placed amongst the final 16 is a great feat in itself- even Spurs didn’t progress this far.
However this season pans out- whether it ends in relegation or Champions League success, no one can take away the miraculous achievement of winning the title last year.