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Pogba, Man United silence the noise vs. Leicester

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Leicester have Maguire model away kit

The Toe Poke
 By Ben Jacobs

Five things we learned from Leicester's loss to PSG as Mahrez looks unsettled

Leicester City were thrashed by Paris Saint-Germain. There's no point in sugar-coating it. However, friendly results don't matter much. City were slightly below par, but the offseason is all about experimentation. The result will prove an eye opener ahead of the Champions League and ensure that everyone remains grounded before the Community Shield vs. Manchester United on Aug. 3.

Here are five things we learned as the Ligue 1 champions outclassed their Premier League counterparts. 

Leicester can be "out-Leicestered"

PSG gave Leicester a taste of their own medicine. Unai Emery's side were devastating on the counterattack and used the full width of the pitch really effectively, constantly spreading the ball diagonally and forcing the Foxes to run. Edinson Cavani dropped deep to hold up the ball and his unselfish actions allowed teammates to surge forwards. Jonathan Ikone, 18, was a thorn in Leicester's side all evening.

Paris Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain
Leicester CityLeicester City
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City simply couldn't cope with PSG's movement or the manner in which they varied the pace of the game in a heartbeat. Lucas Moura's third goal was an example of this; his header rounded off a wonderful, fluid move from a team who already look ready to defend their Ligue 1 crown. There will be a fair few Premier League managers looking to emulate PSG's tactics in order to humble the usually stubborn and impenetrable Foxes.

Riyad Mahrez looks unsettled

Mahrez once again featured in the starting XI, but he failed to have the same impact on the game as he did against Celtic in Leicester's International Champions Cup opener in Glasgow. He continues to be linked with a move to Arsenal, even though Claudio Ranieri claims that he is "100 percent sure" Mahrez will stay.

City don't have to sell the PFA Player of the Year. Even without a new deal he is contracted to the club until 2019 and has no release clause. But there is no point in hanging onto a player who wants to be elsewhere. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was at the game on Saturday and made a very public pitch-side cameo garnering one of the biggest cheers of the night. He claimed that with Arsenal in Los Angeles anyway he was merely scouting.

The Gunners face the Foxes in the second game of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, so he arguably wouldn't be doing his job if he hadn't attended, but the fact that he left as soon as Mahrez was substituted could be a clue that the 25-year-old is indeed his top target.

Ahmed Musa needs time

Leicester's record signing Musa is yet to find his feet. That's no huge surprise. The ex-CSKA Moscow man has shown glimpses of his lightening pace, but hasn't looked particularly sharp in front of goal. He really should have net as a second-half consolation of sorts for City, but he scuffed a close-range effort wide.

New signing Ahmed Musa will hope that Jamie Vardy's return lessens the pressure on him to convert.

Musa is going to find it a lot easier once Jamie Vardy returns from injury. Not only will Leicester's top scorer alleviate some of the pressure on him, the pair can begin to forge a partnership. They are working together in training, but playing in matches against quality opposition is the real acid test and the speedy duo have yet to have a chance to do this. With Vardy still recovering from wrist surgery they may not be able to until the season starts.

N'Golo Kante is missed

One-man midfield show N'Golo Kante wasn't really missed against Oxford or Celtic, but PSG was a step up in quality and City failed to dominate the midfield. Kante's move to Chelsea hasn't necessarily left a hole that Nampalys Mendy can't fill, but the key is not just which names are in the centre of the park but what type of partnership they forge.

On paper Leicester have Mendy, Danny Drinkwater, Daniel Almartey, Andy King, Matty James and even (technically) forgotten ex-Switzerland captain Gokhan Inler. Each individual is a very capable central midfielder, but the question is which two will work best together. Ranieri doesn't yet know. He trialled Mendy and Almartey against PSG, but the pair didn't look comfortable. Almartey in particular may struggle in a disciplined two-man central midfield; he was outdone with pace tracking back and still looks to be lacking in match fitness. 

No time to be star struck

In fairness, Leicester can't be accused of being star struck on the field, but there's no denying the club are involved in a bonkers preseason. During the Foxes' week-long stay in LA they went to Hollywood's Walk of Fame, put on a clinic for kids with actor Will Ferrell, met the Los Angeles Clippers and posed for thousands of selfies.

Now, they head to Stockholm for a whirlwind trip against Spanish champions Barcelona. It has been a fantastic experience, but not one the squad are used to. That's not a bad thing, but it is inevitably harder with so much public and media attention to prepare for the new season.

In hindsight, the Foxes will be glad they came to the States. They leave with memories they will treasure forever. But right now, as they board the plane to Sweden, all the players will be thinking about is a 4-0 hammering and a small part of them may wish they'd had a more normal or at least private preseason.

Ben Jacobs is ESPN FC's Leicester City blogger. Follow him on Twitter @JacobsBen.


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