Burnley yesterday faced the thankless task of being Leicester’s first opponents at the King Power Stadium since the tragic deaths of five people, including billionaire owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash outside the stadium two weeks ago.
Most of the build up to the game had been dominated by news of the disaster and it’s fair to say that football was very much a secondary consideration on the day, as Leicester’s supporters paid their respects, in what was a very poignant occasion.
Supporters had earlier marched from the city centre to the stadium whilst the pitch side was covered by hundreds of football shirts, flags and banners.
The emotion of the occasion did seem to lift the Leicester players in the opening exchanges, but they couldn’t sustain their bright start and certainly faded in the second half – the rigours of the past two weeks, which included a 12,000-mile round trip to Thailand for their owner’s funeral, eventually catching up with them.
They were the better team and should probably have led, but for Jamie Vardy’s shot being brilliantly cleared off the line by Matt Lowton. Rachid Ghezzal also headed against the crossbar and Joe Hart made an excellent save with his feet from a Demarai Gray effort.
Burnley improved significantly after the break and will take heart from a clean sheet and a point taken on the road – had Chris Wood not blazed his effort over the bar following excellent work from Robbie Brady down the left, Burnley might have even come away with an unlikely victory. This result hopefully stops the rot after conceding 13 goals in the previous three games. Additionally, several players are showing signs of very good form – especially full backs Matt Lowton and Charlie Taylor. If Burnley can now get their front players firing on all cylinders, we may see some brighter days ahead for the Clarets.