Newcastle United 0:2 Leicester City
Goals from Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire saw City claim three points against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday…
Claude Puel made two changes from his last Premier League line-up, with Morgan returning from suspension for Evans, and Ricardo replacing Ghezzal on the right wing.
City soon settled into their passing game and had a couple of early half-chances: Iheanacho sending a long-range shot straight at Dubravka and Ndidi nodding a Maddison corner over the bar.
In the 10th minute Ricardo cut in from the right and fired a shot towards the bottom right hand corner, forcing a good save from Dubraka.
Despite dominating possession City did get caught out a couple of times. Joselu broke down the left channel and was shaping to shoot when Maguire slid in with a fine tackle.
Then Atsu delivered a cross from the left and Diamé’s late run saw him unmarked for a header, but he missed the target.
City then regained the initiative and forced a series of corners, all well whipped into the danger area by Maddison. As the pressure mounted City took the lead on the half hour.
A Maddison corner from the left was half cleared and Maguire hooked in a shot from 8 yards, but it was blocked by Yedlin with both arms above his head. There were few complaints as referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot and Vardy fired it home giving Dubraka no chance even though he guessed right.
These are troubled times at St James’ Park and owner Mike Ashley’s first appearance at the stadium this season didn’t help the atmosphere, with the fans making it clear what they thought of him.
Newcastle first on target-effort arrived in the 36th minute, when Shelvey tried an ambitious 60 yarder. Schmeichel had to back-pedal a little but it didn’t ruffle his feathers unduly.
City held their lead at the break after a very satisfactory half.
Five minutes into the second half the home fans roared for a penalty of their own, when Maguire and Pérez tangled in the area, but Pérez had a handful of the City defender’s shirt and Hooper rightly waved play on.
City were putting some great moves together and Iheanacho almost sent Vardy through, but Dubravka raced off his line to clear.
Maguire then had two bites of the cherry as he lined up a volley to a dropping ball, and missed it. He had time to have another go as the ball bounced up, but punted it well over.
There were then hopes of a Maddison special after he was brought down on the edge of the area, but he sent his free-kick straight into the wall.
City went further ahead in the 73rd minute. Maddison delivered a corner from the right, and Maguire timed a late run, rising above the Newcastle defence to plant a firm header past Dubravka from six yards.
Puel withdrew Vardy, who’d earlier taken a solid whack on the shin from Shelvey, for Albrighton, and then brought Iborra on for Maddison to protect the lead.
Newcastle looked beaten long before the end and offered little by way of a comeback in the latter stages. It was a comfortable three points from a highly professional performance, that saw City up to 7th place
Claude Puel summed up: “We continued to play on the floor with quality. It is a good reward for my players and I would like to say congratulations to them. We played with fantastic discipline, with good play, structure and all the things to make a good result in a difficult away game.”
Newcastle: Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 80), Lascelles, Clark, Kenedy, Ritchie (Murphy 65), Diamé, Shelvey, Atsu, Pérez (Muto 69), Joselu.
Substitutes: Schär, Hayden, Darlow, Longstaff.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Ricardo, Iheanacho, Maddison (Iborra 85), Vardy (Albrighton 74)
Substitutes: Evans, Ward, Okazaki, Fuchs, Ghezzal.
Referee: Simon Hooper. Attendance: 51,523.
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