Roger East had a miserable game today.
Leicester went ahead about a half hour in, when Villa got beat in a very predictable way — from nothing off a Leicester goal kick. Kasper Schmeichel sprung Jamie Vardy clear behind the Villa defense, and while Mark Bunn saved his chipped effort, Shinji Okazaki beat Joleon Lescott to the rebound to fire home and put the Foxes ahead.
It perhaps should’ve been 2-0 before the interval when East awarded Leicester a penalty for a borderline handball from Aly Cissokho. However, Bunn was equal to the task, saving Riyad Mahrez’s effort from the spot to keep the scoreline 1-0 at the half.
In the second half, Villa had chance after chance denied — including a couple penalty shouts, the most notable when Robert Huth struck Libor Kozak across the head with a forearm. It was a clear decision, but East didn’t give it, robbing the Claret and Blues of both the penalty and a man advantage.
East made up for it a bit though, when substitute Rudy Gestede was played the ball at the edge of the area. Gestede’s touch was poor and the ball ricocheted up off his arm and back down, but no foul was given. Gestede made the most of it, however, firing a screaming finish into the back of the net to level at 1-1.
Each side had chances to win it after Gestede’s equaliser, but neither did.
The second half was one of Villa’s best performances this season. Needing a couple goals to have a good shot of saving the season, Rémi Garde’s men looked comfortable in possession the entire half, with Leicester only getting chances on the counterattack. It was… great football from the Villa.
But it’s simply not enough at this point in the season. Villa need to be getting three points, not one, no matter the opponent.
Regardless, the second-half effort paves a path forward for the Claret and Blues, playing good attacking football that’s strong in possession.