Victor Camarasa’s injury-time wonder strike was enough for Cardiff to pick up their first Premier League away win of the season, as Neil Warnock’s side leap out of the relegation zone after their valiant display at the King Power.
It could have been a different story in the East Midlands though had James Maddison tucked away his 75th-minute penalty yet a third penalty save of the season from Neil Etheridge saved his side at least a point which became three in added-time as Camarasa’s effort sent the Cardiff fans into jubilation.
Foxes fail to make it three in a row
After extraordinary victories against Chelsea and Manchester City, Leicester headed into the fixture with Cardiff with the possibility of winning three matches in a row for the first time this season. Three points could have bought the Foxes to 30 points for the season and could have solidified their 7th place position in the league.
Yet, Cardiff headed into the fixture after picking up a point after a courageous performance against Crystal Palace. The three points for the Bluebirds lifts Warnock’s side out of the relegation zone, above Southampton, and now four points off the bottom three. Neil Warnock stated during the week that if he keeps Cardiff City safe then it would be the greatest achievement of his managerial career. He may look back on this date come May in great joy and it may give Cardiff confidence to march on and head towards the magical ’40 point’ mark.
Sol Bamba returned to the King Power stadium where he spent over a year making over 50 appearances in 2011/12. In the opposition dug-out this time though he had a memorable game and was instrumental in his side’s victory. Having been at the Welsh club since 2016, Bamba has been vital in the Cardiff defence this season and his MOTM performance at the King Power meant it was a happy end to 2018 for his side.
After keeping Jamie Vardy quiet for the majority of the afternoon, he made an impeccable challenge to deny James Maddison on the rebound after his penalty miss. The French-born defender made numerous blocks and made various tackles to keep Leicester at bay and it was a true lionhearted performance from the centre-back.
Thank you, Sven
As the 2019 AFC Asian Cup preparations are now fully underway, international squad members across the league are preparing to take a break from the Premier League as they join up with the international compatriots. However, one player who won’t be heading to the UAE is Cardiff City goalkeeper, Neil Etheridge.
The Philippine international has made 62 appearances for his national side yet he won’t be adding to this as his national side exert themselves in the Asian Cup. Etheridge stated during the week ‘It wasn’t an easy decision to make…after a long discussion with the people involved, it would be unfair for me to take a spot of another player.’ Cardiff’s number one has worked hard to keep his spot between the sticks at the Bluebirds and it is believed that Philippine manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, confirmed the English born goalkeeper was okay to remain at his club in Wales. Cardiff have to be thankful that Eriksson understands the pressures of the Premier League and how vital Etheridge is to his club.
At the King Power, he saved his third penalty of the season as he dived down to his right to stop a weak James Maddison spot kick. Although most saves he was expected to make during the afternoon, he was always aware and made the routine saves look easy. Etheridge will now be able to play for Cardiff and not risk missing a possible four matches for the Bluebirds during the Asian Cup. After gaining his points three points on Saturday, maybe Cardiff fans will have Eriksson to thank come May.
Pathetic pens at the King Power once more
After Leicester exited the Carabao Cup just under two weeks ago at the hands of Manchester City, there was a lot of debate after the game regarding the dismal penalties on display, especially from Leicester City. The Foxes missed three penalties on the day and scored one and after Simon Hooper pointed to the spot at the King Power on Saturday, the Foxes had a chance to redeem themselves and put their fruitless penalty display against the Citizens behind them.
In particular, James Maddison had the chance to put his woeful penalty against City to bed as after winning the penalty vs the Bluebirds, he duly stood up and took duty with regular kick-spot taker, Jamie Vardy, off the pitch after being substituted. Maddison waved goodbye to his dubious staggered run up yet did not manage to put the miss behind him as Neil Etheridge saved his rather poor penalty kick.
The spot-kick miss came back to haunt the England u21 international as Victor Camarasa picked up Cardiff’s first away win of the season as he lofted the ball over Kasper Schmeichel in the Foxes goal.
January can’t come soon enough
Cardiff managed 12 shots against the Foxes on Saturday yet Schmeichel did not have to work too hard all afternoon apart from Camarasa’s effort which he failed to stop. What was clear was the absence of an empathic striker for the Bluebirds and a striker will certainly be on the shopping list for Warnock come a couple of days.
Callum Paterson came to Cardiff from Heart of Midlothian in Scotland where he played the majority of games as a right-back. Yet Neil Warnock has since deployed the Scottish international as a centre-forward and Cardiff would likely be rock-bottom if it wasn’t for him this season. The 24-year-old has hit four goals for the Bluebirds this season and is in fact their top goal scorer yet you can’t depend on a player who came to the club as a right back to keep you in the Premier League and January shopping is without doubt required.
Both sides face their next fixture on New Year’s Day as Leicester travel to Everton whilst Cardiff welcome a Spurs side who will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing result against Wolves.