That was seriously worrying.
We knew Leicester had issues going into the game, having several out with Covid, being in poor form and arriving just 48 hours on from a tough Europa League game in Italy, yet didn’t lay a glove on them in the end.
It was a weak and wasteful display from an attacking perspective, but somehow our defending was even worse.
Leicester were actually bang average for most of that, making it all the more concerning that they’ve cut us open so easily, scoring three times in the second half after being handed a hugely dubious penalty before the break.
The result leaves us stuck in the relegation zone and has seen our already poor goal difference take an absolute battering. Elsewhere, Burnley have come away with a solid point in the other 2pm kick off, holding West Ham to a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor.
Howe named an unchanged side for this one, picking the same team that beat Burnley 1-0 at St James’ Park last weekend.
We started pretty brightly and put pressure on a shaky Leicester defence from the off, but after a promising opening 10 minutes we seemed to go into our shells a little.
The pattern of the game was starting to remind me of that passive display at Arsenal a few weeks ago, with us beginning to sit too deep, giving a clearly under confident home side encouragement in a game we should be attacking.
The hosts weren’t actually causing us too many problems, however they were gifted a spot kick on 38 minutes. It came via some clumsy passing Lascelles and Shelvey, and ended with Maddison making the most of an outstretched leg from the skipper.
In truth, Maddison dived and made a mountain out of a molehill. VAR should’ve been smart enough to see that, but they stuck with the referees initial decision and Tielemans smashed into the top corner to make it 1-0.
A horrible goal to give away – it was a dive but also some more awful defending – and it sent us into the break a goal down, despite five minutes of NUFC pressure before half-time.
Sadly, it only got worse from here on out.
We wasted the odd opening that came our way, with our final ball into the box often letting us down. Defensively, we were calamitous and were punished just about every time Leicester got into the final third.
First, Barnes beat the offside trap and squared for Daka to make it 2-0. Some will call it a nice move for the home side, but we were statuesque in our defending.
The same was true when Tielemans made it 3-0, with Maddison then rounding off the scoring to make it four with 85 minutes on the clock.
After two hard fought performances against Norwich and Burnley last week, it was worrying to see how we went down without a fight today, looking toothless in attack, soft in midfield and so sloppy in defence.
If we weren’t shooting our self in the foot by trying to play out form the back, we were stood standing still as Leicester played around us with ease. VAR let us down today, yet our defending was amateurish and our attacking play feeble at best.
Just when Eddie Howe looked to have galvanized the group, this was a harsh reality check and reminder how crucial the January transfer window will be.
Next up, a trip to Anfield on Thursday, followed by Man City at St James’ Park a week today.