Leicester City 0-3 AS Monaco
Adam Redfern reporting from the King Power Stadium.
Radamel Falcao was instrumental for AS Monaco as they comfortably defeated Leicester City 3-0 in the Foxes flagship pre-season friendly.
The free spending French side showed their class as they took a two goal lead into half time following a dominant first half performance which saw Falcao on the scoresheet.
Meanwhile Leicester looked lively ahead of the new season, with Nigel Pearson surely taking positives out of his side’s performance, despite rarely threatening to score.
Leicester went into the fixture off the back of a somewhat mediocre pre-season campaign to date.
Goalless draws against both York City and Ilkeston with narrow victories over Leamington Spa and Port Vale, proved the Foxes were yet to hit top gear ahead of the new season.
Welcoming the French giants to the King Power Stadium, the likes of Falcao and Joao Moutinho would provide the Foxes with their first real test. The visitors had spent £51million on Falcao, whereas the Foxes have had a quiet summer so far, only bringing in Zoumana Bakayogo on a free from Tranmere Rovers.
On a sunny afternoon in the East Midlands it was sure to be an interesting fixture for Leicester City fans and neutrals alike.
With just a minute on the clock, Matty James instantly came close to opening the scoring for the Foxes as he met Jamie Vardy’s cut back, but Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic was equal to the low drive.
A lively start would also bring the first goal of the game but to the disappointment of the home crowd. Layvin Kurzawa meeting a corner to head the visitors into the lead following a fine effort from Moutinho which Kasper Schmeichel did well to save.
Despite the early set back, Leicester threatened down the right, with Ritchie De Laet continually finding space, but failing to find Foxes players arriving in the box.
Wes Morgan’s price tag is a mere drop in the ocean compared to that of Falcao’s, but in the opening exchanges it was the Foxes man who was getting the better of the Colombian as the visitors hunted down a second.
A fine block from the central defender preventing Falcao netting in the 30th minute before Schmeichel saved an effort low to his left minutes later.
But the Monaco talisman has an eye for goal as it proved so the 37th minute, meeting an Andrea Raggi cross to side foot the ball into Schmeichel’s net from close range.
Minutes before James was presented with a chance to draw level, but his cool back heel was cleared by the covering defender after beating Subasic.
With Monaco finding top gear, they went in at half-time with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
As is custom in pre-season, Leicester made seven changes for the second half including a return to the King Power Stadium for Neil Danns who spent last season on loan at Huddersfield.
With a two goal lead, Monaco looked in no rush to increase it, keeping possession and letting the home side do the running.
Wholesale changes for the visitors on 65 minutes, saw a complete new eleven, a chance possibly for Leicester to take advantage and get back into the game.
And they almost did on the break, but Anthony Knockaert unfortunately stood in the way of Danns effort following a neat pull back from Jeffrey Schlupp.
As the clock neared full-time, Leicester failed to find the net and a lapse in concentration at the back allowed Marcel Tisserand to add a third for Monaco, with a cool lob over Schmeichel.
The goal bringing an end to a game which saw the French side prove why they are going to be the team to beat in Europe in seasons to come.
For Leicester and manager Nigel Pearson a useful fixture to try new formations and tactics ahead of the new season. Clear positives despite the scoreline.
Speaking after the game Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson said: “It was a disappointing result and I would of liked us to make a bit more of a fist of it I suppose.
“I think the biggest observations as far as I am concerned is that we didn’t do enough with the ball and didn’t create enough opportunities and dangerous situations.
“It has been a pretty short pre-season but I am pretty clear of how we will go about the first game of the season.
“I think during pre-season the players have applied themselves exceptionally well.
“Today, whenever you play against a side from the continent it’s a bit of an unknown quantity of how they’re going to approach it tempo wise and are they going to put the big hitters out.
“We could have done better but you’ve got to appreciate that they’ve got some good players.”
Next up for Leicester, the first game of the Npower Championship season on Saturday.
Leicester City: Schmeichel; De Laet (Dyer 45’); Konchesky (Schlupp 45’); Drinkwater; Morgan; Whitbread (Moore 45’); James (Knockaert 45’); Vardy (Marshall 45’); King (Danns 45’); St.Ledger (Gallagher 58’); Wood (Waghorn 45’).
AS Monaco: Subasic (Calliard 65’); Kurzawa (Wolf 65’); Carvalho (Tisserand 65’); Moutinho (Germain 65’); Falcao (Ndinga 65’); Ocampos (Rodriquez 65’); Ferriera Carrasco (Fabinho 65’); Obbadi (Isimat-Mirin 65’); Abidal (Riviere 65’); Raggi (Poulsen 65’); Toulalan (Pi 65’).