Burnley 2:1 Leicester City
City’s Europa League hopes all but dissolved at Turf Moor on Saturday, with Burnley going 2-0 up within nine minutes…
Claude Puel made three changes to his side, with Choudhury handed his first Premier League start, and Gray and Okazaki in for Diabaté and Albrighton.
But City appeared to miss the starting pistol, and went behind in the 6th minute.
Morgan gifted a clearance to Barnes, who sent Wood through on the left. Although Schmeichel saved his first shot, he could nothing about the second from the rebound.
The afternoon got worse for City three minutes later. Although Wood was fortunate to win a corner that deflected off his foot, City’s defending from the flag kick was woeful. Gudmundsson delivered it from the right, Schmeichel was blocked as he tried to collect, and Long rose unopposed at the far post to nod home.
City’s first meaningful attack came in the 14th minute, though Mahrez ignored Gray’s run into space on the left and his shot deflected up for an easy take for Pope.
Simpson then did well to intercept a cross heading for Wood at the far post as the Clarets threatened to put the game out of reach.
As the half wore on, City managed to get their passing game together and dominated possession. Chilwell capped a strong run down the left with a good cross for Vardy, but it reached him at an awkward height and his downward header was cleared. Then Gray floated over a cross which was met with a firm header from Mahrez, but it went straight at Pope.
The last action of the half saw City awarded a free kick for a foul on Okazaki 25 yards out. Mahrez got it over the wall well but skimmed the right hand post.
Iheanacho replaced Okazaki for the second half as City tried to find a way back into the game. Although Gudmundsson fired a long range effort narrowly over the bar, it was mostly one-way traffic towards to the Burnley goal.
On the hour, Silva threaded a ball though to Vardy but he didn’t catch his shot right, allowing Pope to save low to his right.
Gray made way for Diabate in the 64th minute and City continued to press forward.
Maguire’s header from a corner just eluded Vardy at the far post.
As Burnley broke upfield there was a double penalty appeal as the ball hit Chilwell’s arm and then Iheanacho brought Lennon down, but Martin Atkinson waved play on.
City finally made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute. A sweeping move upfield saw Iheanacho feed Vardy in on the right and he lashed his shot across Pope and into the roof of the net.
Three minutes later Diabaté’s cross from the left saw Long get the slightest touch in front of goal to take it away from the onrushing Vardy.
In the 81st minute Simpson dithered on the ball and his pass back to Schmeichel saw the City keeper clattered by Barnes. The Burnley man got a yellow card and Schmeichel had to limp off, replaced by Hamer, five minutes later.
In the meantime a Maguire header from a corner was scrambled away by the Clarets’ defence.
Vardy managed a header straight at Pope, as City mounted more desperate attempts on goal, but Burnley stood firm to open up the points gap to 9 points and have their fans checking their passports.
It wasn’t a bad performance from City for at least an hour, but that terrible start had left them with too much to do.
Claude Puel commented: “From the beginning we made things easy for the opposition. Of course I was impressed because there was good concentration before the game and good duels at the beginning and it was close with the other team, but to concede two goals quickly, it was difficult to accept. We have had a lot of chances and it is a big disappointment of course because I think we deserved another result. It was not a fair result.”
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Ward, Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Berg Gudmundsson, Barnes (Vokes 85), Wood (Hendrick 75).
Substitutes: Heaton, Taylor, Marney, Vokes, Hendrick, Wells, Bardsley.
Leicester: Schmeichel (Hamer 86), Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Choudhury, Silva, Gray
(Diabaté 64), Okazaki (Iheanacho 45), Vardy.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, Albrighton, Hamer, Dragovic, Fuchs, Barnes, Diabaté.
Referee: M Atkinson. Attendance: 21,727.
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