VAR denies Wolves in stalemate at Leicester

By Nick Mashiter, PA
PA Media: Sport

Wolves were denied victory at Leicester after Leander Dendoncker’s goal was ruled out by VAR.

The midfielder’s second-half strike was chalked off after replays showed a handball by Willy Boly to ensure a 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium.

It was the only serious incident of a forgettable game between two sides expected to challenge for Europe this season.

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Wolves, returning after a 6,370-mile round trip to Armenia, showed no effects of their Europa League travels and with some better finishing from Jota could have won.

Leicester struggled to find any rhythm and better will be expected from Brendan Rodgers’ men.

Rodgers chose Caglar Soyuncu to fill the gap at the back left by Harry Maguire’s £80million exit to Manchester United.

The Turkey international made just four league starts last season after his £19million move from Freiburg and played as many times for his country as he did the Foxes.

But he had little to worry about in a forgettable first half as the sides nullified each other.

Wilfred Ndidi shot a couple of yards wide after half an hour but the game struggled to ignite.

While Leicester dominated possession they rarely threatened as James Maddison misfired and Jamie Vardy was starved of decent service.

But the former England striker was presented with an opening almost by accident after 38 minutes.

Maddison’s mis-kick fell for Youri Tielemans and he fired a fierce ball across the six-yard box, but Vardy failed to get a touch.

Wolves’ attacking threat had been minimal until Jota’s low effort bobbled wide six minutes before the break.

Jota, centre left, is kept at bay by Wilfred Ndidi, on the ground, and Jonny Evans (Tim Goode/PA)
Jota, centre left, is kept at bay by Wilfred Ndidi, on the ground, and Jonny Evans (Tim Goode/PA)

The forward then spurned a fine opening in first-half injury time.

Jota robbed Ricardo Pereira to race into the area but slipped and the chance went begging.

Wolves broke again inside the opening two minutes of the second half, this time with Raul Jimenez, but when he turned Soyuncu his shot was weak and Kasper Schmeichel made a routine save.

The visitors had begun the second half with renewed vigour and thought they had taken the lead after 51 minutes.

Dendoncker rifled in from six yards after his initial header from Joao Moutinho’s corner hit Boly.

But with Leicester waiting to restart, VAR disallowed the goal after replays showed the ball struck Boly on the arm.

The decision seemed negligible and Wolves were still fuming when Jota dragged wide.

Reprieved, Leicester pressed without troubling Rui Patricio until he saved Harvey Barnes’ speculative effort with eight minutes left.

Jimenez’s low deflected strike was then gathered by Schmeichel as the teams opened their Premier League campaigns with a point apiece.

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