The Bluebirds were narrowly defeated by Leicester City at Cardiff City Stadium, with winger Demarai Gray scoring the only goal of the match.
Neil Warnock made one change to the line-up that started at Anfield last time out, with Harry Arter returning to the starting eleven to replace Junior Hoilett. For Leicester, Ricardo Pereira replaced the injured Daniel Amartey at right-back, Jamie Vardy came in for Kelechi Iheanacho, whilst Demarai Gray, Wes Morgan and Nampalys Mendy also returned to the fold.
Before the game began, players, staff, and supporters from both clubs, along with the match officials, paid tribute to the five people who were tragically killed in last Saturday’s helicopter crash at King Power Stadium in Leicester - Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, Izabela Roza Lechowicz & Eric Swaffer.
The first half saw plenty of half-chances for both sides, with few major opportunities for the Bluebirds and the Foxes. A sweeping counter attack from Warnock’s men almost brought a goal from Bobby Decordova-Reid’s low cross, but substitute Jonny Evans was able to get a foot in. His clearance led to a free-kick for City, which Víctor Camarasa smashed against the crossbar – the best chance of the first half for the Bluebirds.
Leicester grew into the game and had two good opportunities before the half time whistle. Midfielder Wilfried Ndidi, who netted for the Foxes in their last outing, had a golden opportunity from James Maddison’s corner, but could only place his header wide of goal. Just before the break, some heroic defending prevented Leicester from taking the lead. Neil Etheridge and Sean Morrison put their bodies on the line, before Sol Bamba blocked Jamie Vardy’s shot from close range.
The second half began with the visitors seeing most of the ball, although the Bluebirds continued to threaten on the break, particularly down the left flank. The dangerous Josh Murphy broke away from Pereira and raced into the box, forcing a good save from Kasper Schmeichel a few minutes after the restart.
However, the Foxes opened the scoring after fifty-six minutes, through former Birmingham City winger Gray. Ben Chilwell broke forward and crossed into the box, finding the young winger in space. Gray kept his composure to volley into the bottom corner, recording his second goal of the season to break the deadlock.
City went in search of an equalizer and came close from a free-kick with twenty-two minutes remaining. Murphy’s back-post header found Bamba, who acrobatically delivered a bicycle kick towards goal – though it was blocked away for a corner. The Foxes went close minutes later, with Evans diving to get on the end of a flicked-on corner, to no avail.
The game went from end to end in the final fifteen minutes, with Leicester looking to stretch the Bluebirds on the break. Vardy raced through and collected a pass from Gray with two minutes left, bringing a fine stop from Etheridge.
City had one final chance during stoppage time, with captain Morrison rising in the Leicester box. However, the skipper glanced his head wide of goal, bringing the game to a close with the points going to the visitors. The Bluebirds return to CCS in seven days’ time, facing Brighton and Hove Albion on November 10th, 12:30pm kick-off.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 0-1 LEICESTER CITY
Cardiff City: Etheridge, Manga, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett, Gunnarsson, Arter (Ward 80’), Camarasa, Murphy (Madine 85’), Decordova-Reid (Hoilett 65’), Paterson. Subs not used: Smithies, Cunningham, Damour, Harris.
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Pereira, Morgan, Maguire (Evans 27’), Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Albrighton, Gray (Simpson 70’), Maddison (Iborra 82’), Vardy. Subs not used: Ward, Fuchs, Diabaté, Iheanacho.