Handball, VAR questions as Vardy penalty pushes Leicester top
Leicester City - Wolves: Jamie Vardy converted the more controversial of Leicester City’s two penalty attempts as the Foxes escaped with a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
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VAR awarded a confusing penalty for a close-range handball. Vardy scored that one, but saw a second straightforward penalty award saved by Rui Patricio.
Wolves just couldn’t generate real danger until late, when Kasper Schmeichel made an acrobatic save to put Leicester atop the table with 18 points. Wolves are eight with 13 points.
Three things we learned from Leicester City - Wolves
1. Questions for Nuno: Wolves waited til late, again, to put Adama Traore into the game and did not play Joao Moutinho for the first time since he signed with the club. There are big questions here, especially in the case of the former who could’ve brought a mint to the club in the transfer market. The Moutinho decision is understandable given the way the Wolves central midfield played but the wide men did not justify the decision to again bench Traore to start.
2. This is a Fofana fan page: Still a teen until mid-December, Leicester center back Wesley Fofana made an outstanding 55th-minute block to keep Wolves at bay, then got a piece of an ensuing attack that finished with a Kasper Schmeichel save. This came moments after leading a counter attacks via a dribble of at least 50 yards.
3. VAR leads Leicester’s penalty man: The Premier League’s reigning Golden Boot winner, Jamie Vardy, is going to destroy his total if Leicester keeps winning penalties at this rate (even if Patricio saved his second).
Vardy converted his fifth PL penalty of the season when VAR and referee Anthony Taylor awarded a controversial penalty to the Foxes early in the contest. Why was Max Kilman’s hand, away from his body but at a short distance from crossing Dennis Praet, deemed to be a penalty offense?
Man of the Match
If we’re being honest, the best player on the pitch was Ruben Neves. Kasper Schmeichel and Rui Patricio each had moments and Fofana was quite good, but Neves was dynamite.
Leicester City - Wolves recap
Leicester wanted a 13th-minute handball when Dennis Praet’s cross from the right struck a turning Max Kilman’s hand.
VAR called referee Anthony Taylor to the pitchside monitor and a penalty was given to the Foxes. Vardy smashed it home.
The Foxes earned another penalty when James Justin was cut dow in the box by Wolves teen Rayan Ait Nouri, but Rui Patricio saved Vardy.
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Youri Tielemans blazed over the bar to start the second half, then center back Wesley Fofana led a surprising long dribble counter that finished with Vardy getting a corner out of Patricio.
Pedro Neto won a free kick with a mazey dribble in the 63rd minute that Ruben Neves spun over the frame.
Raul Jimenez didn’t shoot a back-posti chance with a quarter-hour to play, Wolves looking more threatening than the hosts but unable to challenge Kasper Schmeichel until late.
Ruben Neves sent an arrow to force Schmeichel to the very top corner for an amazing save.