Premier League survival is no longer in their hands but this brave Leicester City performance gives them hope for the final day.A goalless draw at Newcastle, who were celebrating qualifying for the Champions League, saw the Foxes move above Leeds United in the table.That means that on the final day, if Leicester win, the only way they will be relegated is if Everton beat Bournemouth."Oh my gosh, wow." Said one journalist as the team sheets were handed out with news that James Maddison had been dropped. What would it say that in Leicester City's hour of greatest need, manager Dean Smith turned away from his best player.
In a last ditch attempt to get some solidity to the defence, Smith opted to play five at the back.For the first 40 minutes, it worked. Newcastle were dominant but their crosses were hit more in hope than expectation of finding a striker. Instead, one of Harry Souttar, Wout Faes or Jonny Evans were in the way.Goalkeeper Daniel Iversen then had a moment to forget as he fumbled a cross but even then, Wilfred Ndidi was back on the line to save the Foxes. The joy of defending was infectious.But that did momentarily rattle Leicester and two minutes later Miguel Almiron hit the post.Half-time was welcome after a 45 minutes where Leicester's expected goals, or XG, was zero. Meaning statistically they had no chance of scoring a goal.To change that Maddison was introduced for the second half.The most notable difference though was Iversen, regaining his confidence with a superb save to stop Alexander Isak.On the hour mark, Smith went for it. Attackers Harvey Barnes and Patson Daka came on for Evans and Jamie Vardy.
They showed a bit more threat for five minutes before Newcastle started to pile on the pressure again.With 20 minutes left, United's Bruno Guimareas had a free header pretty much on the goal line but somehow he found the post and not the net.Leicester would've felt particularly hard done by had that gone in as he was perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch following a reckless high tackle earlier in the match.In added time Timothy Castagne volleyed straight at Nick Pope in the Newcastle goal. It was so nearly the moment that put survival back in Leicester's hands.It wasn't to be but this was perhaps the night when the connection between the players and fans returned. They showed heart. The question now is has this come too late?