Tag Archives: brendan rodgers

Defeat at Tottenham leaves Leicester with a big task

Tottenham Hotspur 3:0 Leicester City

1920 tottenham away

City’s first ever visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium saw them beaten 3-0, setting up a possible winner-takes-all showdown with Manchester United next week.

Brendan Rodgers, with his options running out due to injuries and suspension, named an unchanged line-up, sticking with his back three formation.
But it soon became clear that it wasn’t going to be City’s day.
From a Spurs clearance Kane delivered a sweeping pass that sent Son down the left channel. He cut inside Bennett, who slipped at the vital moment, and although his shot was going wide it deflected off Justin and wrong-footed Schmeichel, for a second unfortunate own goal in two games. Kane was two yards offside and in Schmeichel’s eyeline but VAR did not intervene.
City had a chance to strike back a minute later when Justin sent a tempting cross over, but Vardy headed it over the bar.
City pressed forward and Vardy had a shot blocked by Alderweireld. Then Justin was also denied with Davies getting in the way of his effort, and Pérez hit Aurier with yet another shot.
In the 20th minute a corner form the right was headed goalwards by Morgan. It fell to the feet of Vardy who jabbed a backheel that was smothered by Lloris.
The Spurs keeper then made a hash of a Tielemans cross, but Winks was on hand to clear. We saw the best and worst of the World Cup winner within four minutes as he pulled off a spectacular save after Pérez took a Thomas cross on his chest and then volleyed it towards the bottom right hand corner.
On the half hour there was a fine save at the other end when Spurs broke forward and Son launched an effort which Schmeichel tipped over.
For all City’s possession, Tottenham looked a threat on the break and so it proved in the 37th minute. A City corner was headed clear as far as Thomas, but he lost possession and the white shirts were charging upfield. Lucas Moura fed a ball through to Kane’s perfectly timed run and he produced a clinical finish, guiding the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
If this left City with an uphill task, it was game over in the 40th minute.
Again Thomas lost possession, again Spurs poured forward and again Lucas Moura set Kane up. He accelerated round Bennett and curled a shot round Morgan and just inside the far post.
City hadn’t played badly going forward, but were too vulnerable to the counter attack, and were now clinging to fourth place on goal difference.

Rodgers pulled Bennett from the fray for the second half, bringing Gray on, and City were caught between trying to grab a goal back and leaving themselves open again.
A superb reverse-pass from Kane almost sent Son in but his first touch was poor.
City had fewer chances now. A 30-yard free-kick from Gray forced a regulation tip over from Lloris and then Morgan headed wide from the resulting Tielemans corner.
Barnes then fired in a shot from a good position, but straight at Lloris.
The rest of the half saw a parade of substitutes. Iheanacho replaced Pérez, and then, with an eye on next week, Ndidi and Tielemans were withdrawn from a battle that had been lost, with Praet and Mendy coming on.
Evans was wrestled to the ground by Sanchez at a corner, but VAR turned a blind eye.
George Hirst made his City debut in the 83rd minute, with Barnes making way and he soon had a chance. After Lloris had tipped away an Iheanacho shot, Hirst headed over from the corner.

That was the last significant incident and having lived in the top four for months, City were now clinging on by the narrowest of margins.
The permutations of that final showdown won’t be known until Wednesday night, but City fans may have taken heart from Manchester United’s disastrous showing in the FA Cup later in the evening.

Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier, D Sánchez, Alderweireld, Davies, Sissoko, Winks (Skipp 90), Lucas Moura (Bergwijn 77), Lo Celso (Lamela 77), Son Heung-Min (Carvalho Fernandes 89), Kane.
Substitutes: Vertonghen, R Sessegnon, Foyth, Gazzaniga, Tanganga.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Bennett (Gray 45), Morgan, Evans, Justin, Ndidi (Mendy 70), Tielemans (Praet 70), Thomas, Pérez (Iheanacho 59), Vardy, Barnes (Hirst 83).
Substitutes: Ward, Choudhury, James, Johnson.

Referee: Anthony Taylor.

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Vardy and Barnes net two apiece as Leicester thrash Villa

Leicester City 4:0 Aston Villa

Leicester City v Aston Villa - Premier League

City returned to winning ways at the KPS on Monday night, with Jamie Vardy ending his goal drought in a 4-0 win…

Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his starting line-up with Justin in for the injured Chilwell and Barnes replacing Gray. Vardy was declared fit, but took a place on the bench.
It was a typical 2020 scene with the coronavirus ‘no handshake’ rule kicking in and constant rain.
Although City had most of the possession in a scrappy opening spell it was Villa who created the first chance in the 6th minute. Grealish sent Targett down the flank and he delivered a dangerous low cross which Hourihane made a hash of from a great position.
Two minutes later Villa went close again when Samatta slid in at the far post to meet a free-kick but couldn’t produce a finish.
These near misses fired City up and they enjoyed a period of pressure.
A Ricardo cross was met by Engels, who headed narrowly wide of his own goal. From the corner Evans rose above the Villa defence to produce a thumping downward header which Reina managed to parry away, Barnes nodding the rebound over the bar.

1920 aston villa home d

The impressive Justin then went on a strong run down the left, earning a corner off Mings’ chest. Maddison’s flag-kick found Söyüncü unmarked at the far post but he blazed his header over.
Justin then burst into Villa’s area, but Guilbert brought him down, just getting enough ball to avoid a penalty.
City had Villa penned in their own half at the half hour stage and won a series of corners. One was played short back to Ricardo who swung a dangerous ball into the goalmouth. Iheanacho timed his run well but got his header all wrong sending it wide from 6 yards. The increasingly influential Praet then played Barnes in down the left, but his attempt to catch Reina out with a shot from wide was easily saved.
With missed chances mounting up there was some concern we might see a repeat of the Carabao Cup semi-final, but City went ahead five minutes before the break.
City won the ball on the edge of their area and some smart footwork from Albrighton gave him some space to deliver a fine ball down the left. Barnes hared after it, but Reina had made a terrible decision to race 40 yards out of his goal. Barnes touched the ball round him before stroking the ball past the covering Mings from the edge of the area.
It was a moment of madness from the Villa keeper, who didn’t need to come out with plenty of defenders around.
Hourihane then blatantly dragged Ricardo to the ground as City threatened to break and picked up a yellow card.
City deservedly took the lead in with them at the break with Villa offering nothing going forward after their early chances.

City should have gone two-up a minute after the restart when a Justin header sent Iheanacho through a big gap in Villa’s defence, but Reina stuck out a leg to block a shot that lacked venom.
In a rare foray upfield for Villa Hourihane sent a shot over the bar.
Maddison then set up Iheanacho in front of goal, but his first touch was heavy and the chance was gone.
It was Iheanacho who made way when Brendan Rodgers made his first change on the hour, Vardy being given a hero’s welcome onto the field. And it only took him two minutes to end his goal drought.
Justin delivered a ball down the inside channel to Barnes who cut in and attempted a pass across the area which Mings intercepted with his upper arm. Michael Oliver pointed to the spot and VAR agreed. Vardy, with his first touch of the game, planted it down the middle as Reina dived right.

Leicester City v Aston Villa - Premier League

Two minutes after the penalty City should have had another one when Maddison was barged over in the area by Hourihane, but neither the ref or VAR appeared to register the fact.
A scrappy period of play followed with Michael Oliver enraging the home crowd as Grealish was guaranteed a free-kick every time he fell over.
Praet picked up a yellow card and was replaced by Tielemans.
Villa managed their first shot on target in the 79th minute but Schmeichel easily held  Guilbert’s effort.
Seconds later City sealed the game with a third. Sterling work from Evans at the back saw him block a couple of chances and City broke upfield, Barnes feeding Vardy on the left. His attempted cutback was blocked by Guilbert, but the rebound sat up nicely for him to lash in a shot which beat Reina at his near post.
With the game won Ndidi was replaced by Mendy.
City had blood in their nostrils now and were constantly pressing forward, getting a fourth in the 85th minute.
A neat passing move down the right saw Albrighton cross from the left and Barnes met it with a fine finish that found the narrow gap between Reina and the right hand post.
Tielemans, Maddison and Albrighton all sent shots over before the full time whistle heralded the end of the best display in quite a while.

Leicester City v Aston Villa - Premier League

Now able to feel the hot breath of the pursuing pack on their necks, it was a good time to return to the pre-Christmas form that had cemented them in the Champions League zone.
Brendan Rodgers was delighted: “It was a very, very good win. An important win. The past few games we haven’t been at our level. In terms of attacking, we were much better this evening. After the first goal we went on and played very well. Tonight the intensity was there and we didn’t give away too much.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Justin, Ndidi (Mendy 83), Albrighton, Praet (Tielemans 76), Maddison, Barnes, Iheanacho (Vardy 59).
Substitutes: Morgan, Ward, Pérez, Fuchs.
Aston Villa: Reina, Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett, Nakamba, El Mohamady (El Ghazi 63), Douglas Luiz, Hourihane (Davis 67), Grealish, Samatta.
Substitutes: Taylor, Drinkwater, Konsa, Trézéguet, Nyland.

Referee: Michael Oliver. Attendance: 32,125.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester slump continues with a defeat at Norwich

Norwich City 1:0 Leicester City

1920 norwich away

Another below-par performance from City saw a 1-0 defeat at Norwich on Friday night…

Brendan Rodgers made three changes to his starting line-up with Choudhury, Barnes and Pérez in for Fuchs, Tielemans and the injured Vardy.
Norwich, bottom of the league and desperately in need of a win, started the game in determined fashion, but it was City who created the first chance in the 7th minute. Choudhury found himself unmarked when Maddison swung over a corner, but sent his header over the bar.
At the other end Godfrey’s header was on target but straight at Schmeichel, after Chilwell failed to clear a corner.
Norwich had most of the possession for a spell before City broke upfield in the 19th minute. Barnes set up Praet for a shot from the edge of the area, but it didn’t test Krul.
Söyüncü then put in some sterling work to block a goal bound Pukki effort from 15 yards.
City broke upfield in the 24th minute, but Iheanacho fired a shot high, wide and not very handsome. A minute later a good move down the right saw Ricardo send in a low cross, but it reached the onrushing Praet at an awkward height and he kneed it against the outside of the near post.
City were warming to the task now, Pérez flashed a low ball across goal, and then Iheancho almost got on to the end of a Maddison corner. The best chance came when a neat turn and chip from Pérez set up Iheancho for a shot on the turn, but he sent it well over the bar.
A good run from Cantwell led to a Pukki shot, but it was well wide and the teams went in goalless at the break.

City thought they’d got the second half off to a great start in the 49th minute. A superb ball from Praet sent Iheanacho down the right and he beat Godfrey and then curled an 18 yarder past Krul and into the net. But the dreaded purple screen flashed into life and VAR cancelled Iheancho’s effort as it had brushed his hand, having also touched Godfrey’s arm. By the letter of the new idiotic rules it wasn’t a goal, in the spirit of the game, it was a cracker.
Pérez then got his head to a Chilwell cross but sent it over. City appear to need some heading practice as they are seldom hitting the target.
Schmeichel, who’d had little to do for quite some time, then did well to save a well-struck 25 yard effort from Duda.
Barnes then sent a shot straight at Krul, before Duda had another pop, forcing Schmeichel into another save.
Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 67th minute, bringing Ndidi on for Choudhury. But three minutes later the Canaries took the lead. Aarons beat Chilwell far too easily down the right, but over-hit his cross. It reached Lewis at the far edge of the penalty area and he chested it down and lashed a curving shot round Schmeichel and in at the far post. It was his first Premier League goal, and a very special one.
At the other end Ndidi wasted a chance for an instant equaliser, but Godfrey’s touch gave him no time to adjust for a header that he sent over from close in.
Rodgers brought Tielemans on for Praet, and then Albrighton on for Pérez as City chased the game. Barnes delivered a wildly off-target shot, and City struggled to create anything with passes going astray and Norwich determined to hang on to their three points.
City couldn’t find a way through in 5 minutes of time-added-on and had lost to the league’s bottom side. Although VAR had stuck its oar in again, it was a performance that lacked any kind of spark and what looked like a nailed-on Champions League place looks to be in doubt unless the slide can be arrested soon.

Brendan Rodgers admitted: “We have been inconsistent. We can’t dance around the truth, we need to be better but that is something I am confident we can do. We need to get that focus back in our game.”

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Godfrey, Lewis, Tettey, McLean, Buendía, Duda (Stiepermann 87), Cantwell (Rupp 68), Pukki (Drmic 81).
Substitutes: Vrancic, Trybull, McGovern, Idah.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Choudhury (Ndidi 67), Pérez (Albrighton 78), Praet (Tielemans 73), Maddison, Barnes, Iheanacho.
Substitutes: Justin, Morgan, Gray, Ward.

Referee: Craig Pawson. Attendance: 27,010.

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Ten man Leicester hold Wolves at bay

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0:0 Leicester City

1920 wolves away

City and Wolves played out their second 0-0 draw this season with the home side again falling victim to a VAR call…

Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged line-up for this Friday night trip to Molineux, with Wilfred Ndidi still struggling with his knee problem.
City dominated possession for the opening ten minutes, with Wolves restricted to one break upfield which saw Schmeichel claim the ball ahead of Dendoncker.
The first chance came in the 9th minute when Tielemans tried his luck with a 25 yarder that took a deflection, but Patricio gloved it away.
Two minutes later Wolves created their first chance. Neto sped in from the right but  Söyüncü got a foot in. Neto reclaimed the loose ball and set up Jota for a fierce low shot that Schmeichel did well to block with his left foot.
City broke upfield from the resulting corner but Tielemans opted to take the ball forward rather than pass and was crowded out.
Wolves then went close from a corner when Dendoncke sent a header narrowly wide.
At the other end Söyüncü got his head to a Maddison free-kick, but directed it straight into Patricio’s arms.
Wolves had a free-kick 30 yards out after a foul on Jimenez, but Neves sent it straight into the wall. Then Doherty delivered a cross which Jonny headed off target.
While City still had more possession, Wolves were creating the better chances.
Play was held up in the 36th minute when Maddison accidentally caught Doherty on the head with his studs. It took three minutes to mop up the blood but Doherty was fit to continue.
Schmeichel’s blushes were spared in the 41st minute when his wayward ball up-field went straight to Neto, but his hurried shot was pulled well wide.
Wolves went close again when Jiménez made a hash of a header with the goal at his mercy.
A minute before the break it looked as though Wolves had gone ahead. From a short corner on the right, a deep Neto cross was headed back across goal by Doherty, and Boly out-jumped Tielemans sending a downward header into the net from close in.
The celebrations were eventually halted by the VAR screen and it was judged that there was a marginal offside as Wolves worked the short corner.
Loud boos rang around Molineux and Mike Dean had to deal with some heated enquiries as the teams headed for the tunnel all-square.

City began the second half well, and with Doherty’s head cut leaking more blood he had to have further treatment while Pérez almost wriggled through but had his shot blocked.
A minute later Ricardo surged into the area down the right and beat two defenders before sending a shot narrowly wide of the near post.
In the 51st minute Choudhury was booked for a ball-winning challenge on Jiménez on the edge of the area, Saïss sending the free-kick straight into the wall of blue shirts.
City were on top at this point, though another long range Tielemans effort didn’t trouble Patricio, and penalty appeals were turned away when Maddison was bundled over by  Saïss in the area.
Wolves brought Traoré on the 64th minute and this turned the tide of the game with him constantly probing down the right.
Brendan Rodgers replaced Pérez with Albrighton and then brought Praet on for Tielemans but was soon forced into another reshuffle. In the 76th minute Choudhury slipped over in a midfield challenge with Dendoncker and then tripped the Wolves man as he set off upfield. It was enough to earn a second yellow and City had to play the remaining 15 minutes with ten men.
Wolves pressed forward in search of a winner, but Jiménez sent one header over and then flashed another one narrowly wide from a corner.
With Morgan on for Barnes in time-added-on City were hanging on. Traore cut inside Chiwell and fired in a shot that was blocked at the near post by Schmeichel.
With seconds remaining Söyüncü threw himself in front of a Jiménez shot and a point was earned.

Brendan Rodgers summed up: “We probably could’ve been quicker around the attack – the build-up play was good – but away from home you expect to come under pressure and it ends up being a very good point and keeping the gap to 14 points between us.”

Wolves: Rui Patrício, Boly, Coady, Saïss, Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves (João Moutinho 81), Castro Otto, Neto (Traoré 64), Jota (Castelo Podence 78), Jiménez.
Substitutes: Gibbs-White, Ruddy, Kilman, Buur.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Choudhury, Pérez (Albrighton 68), Tielemans (Praet 75), Maddison, Barnes (Morgan 90), Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Gray, Ward, Iheanacho.

Referee: Mike Dean. Attendance: 31,682.

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Late winner for Villa denies Leicester a Wembley trip

Aston Villa 2:1 Leicester City

1920 aston villa away lc

A stoppage time winner for Villa saw City exit the League Cup at the semi-final stage at Villa Park on Tuesday night…

Brendan Rodgers fielded his favoured starting XI, but for Jamie Vardy, who was given a place on the bench on his return from injury.
City hit the ground running and created several chances in the opening ten minutes.
In the 3rd minute Iheanacho won a tussle with Mings in the area, but his shot from a tight angle was blocked by Nyland at the near post.
Two minutes later Iheanacho fed a ball to Maddison in the area and he side-stepped Mings before shooting for the bottom right hand corner, but Nyland got down superbly to push it round the post at full stretch.
In the 7th minute Maddison had a crack from the edge of the area but it went inches wide of the right hand post.
City were in total command at this stage and Maddison saw another long-range effort tipped round the post by the Norwegian keeper.
With City fans wondering how they weren’t in the lead, Villa went ahead in the 12th minute. Villa broke upfield and Grealish held the ball up before back-heeling to the overlapping Targett who crashed a half-volley past a hesitant Schmeichel.
This appeared to knock City on the chin and Villa were now the better side. El Ghazi sent a 30 yard free-kick inches over the bar and Ndidi blocked a Grealish shot.
Samatta then netted for Villa but the celebrations were halted by an offside flag.
When City did create a chance Nyland denied them again. Tielemans played a one-two with Maddison before thumping a shot towards the top corner, but Nyland finger-tipped it onto the bar for another magnificent save. Maddison followed up for shot that clearly struck Nakamba’s outstretched arm, but VAR ruled no penalty.
At the other end Grealish and Targett combined well again before Targett delivered a hard and low cross that got caught under Samatta’s feet.
City regained control of the game towards the end of the half, but Villa were dangerous on the break and Söyüncü had to head an El Ghazi cross over his own bar.

City attempted to take the game to Villa early in the second half but couldn’t find a way through. And then Villa carved out a couple of chances, Grealish making space for himself in a crowded area before dragging a shot wide and Targett sending a 20 yard shot off-target.
Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 56th minute, bringing on Vardy for Pérez.
Villa were trying to disrupt City’s rhythm and both Konsa and Douglas Luiz were booked for kicking the ball away at free-kicks.
A good passing move from City then presented Iheanacho with a chance but his curling shot went straight at Nyland.
Villa should have doubled their lead in the 64th minute when Grealish curled a wicked ball into the six yard box, but Samatta couldn’t apply the finishing touch from two yards out. Konsa then got his head to a Targett corner, but sent his effort over the bar.
But the tie was levelled in the 72nd minute. Barnes raced past Guilbert down the left and fired a low ball across the goalmouth, where Iheanacho had timed his run to meet it at the far post, having to adjust his stride to improvise a clever finish.
City were in search of a winner now but Iheanacho couldn’t convert a Vardy cross, Maddison following up to send the loose ball over the bar.
With four minutes remaining and a penalty shoot-out looming, Rodgers brought Gray on for Barnes.
In the 89th minute a Maddison corner was met by Evans and was deflected inches wide of the post by Konsa.
Four minutes of time-added-on stood between these two teams and a penalty shoot-out, but that didn’t prove to be necessary. Two minutes in, El Mohamady curled a ball towards the far post where Trézéguet met it with a composed side-footed volley to send Villa Park into raptures.
City desperately pressed forward trying to rescue the situation, and Schmeichel went up for a late corner. It was cleared as far as Ricardo who fired his shot over the bar.
With seconds remaining Maddison was fouled for a free-kick 30 yards out. His effort struck the wall, Mike Dean blew his whistle and Villa fans flooded onto the pitch.
The match stats indicated that City had been the better side in both games, but Villa had found a way to win.

Brendan Rodgers, losing a cup match for the first time in five years, summed up:
“I thought we were excellent. Their goalkeeper made some outstanding saves. We had a nice control in the game. I thought we should have had a definite handball for a penalty. By the end of the game I thought only one team looked like they were going to win it.It’s tough to take looking back over the two games, but congratulations to Aston Villa and we have to move on.”

Aston Villa: Nyland, Konsa, Mings, Hause, Guilbert (El Mohamady 84), Douglas Luiz, Nakamba, Targett, El Ghazi (Trézéguet 77), Samatta (Davis 67), Grealish.
Substitutes: Chester, Lansbury, Hourihane, Sarkic.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Söyüncü, Evans, Chilwell, Ricardo, Tielemans, Ndidi, Barnes (Gray 86), Pérez (Vardy 56), Maddison, Iheanacho.
Substitutes: Justin, Albrighton, Ward, Benkovic, Praet.

Referee: Mike Dean. Attendance: 39,300.

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Leicester back on track with a 4-1 win against West Ham

Leicester City 4:1 West Ham United

1920 west ham home

Despite losing Vardy and Mendy to injury in the first half, City produced a fine display to thrash West Ham at the KPS on Wednesday evening…

Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his side with Chilwell and Tielemans in for Fuchs and Praet and they immediately looked better than in recent showings with West Ham barely able to get over the halfway line in the first ten minutes.
City had an early chance when Barnes and Vardy combined well in the area but Vardy had to dig his chance out from under his feet and sent his shot straight at Randolph.
West Ham, on 16% possession, had their first chance in the 15th minute when Schmeichel flapped at a corner but Cresswell sent his header over the bar.
City’s managed to make their dominance pay in the 24th minute. Barnes played Ricardo in on the right and his low cross-cum-shot was diverted home by Barnes from a yard out. There were subdued celebrations with the players looking at the linesman but, after a wait, VAR gave us permission to jump up and down. But the moment was gone.
In the 33rd minute Mendy went down with a knee injury and Rodgers had to bring Ndidi into action a little earlier than planned. Just two weeks after knee surgery he was roared onto the field.
West Ham still seemed reluctant to go forward and City passed around them without creating any chances.
Rodgers then had to make a second change two minutes before the break. After a vigorous clearance Vardy went down clutching the back of his thigh and a hush descended on the ground. After trying to carry on he had to admit defeat and was replaced by Iheanacho.
Any concerns where City’s goals would come from now were answered in the third minute of injury time. Barnes cut in from the left and threaded a perfect ball through a crowded area for Ricardo to blast home from 15 yards.

With Antonio and Fornals on for the second half, West Ham looked more like it, and Antonio muscled his way through the defence but sliced a shot wide seconds after the restart.
Then they were given a way back into the game with a penalty in the 47th minute, Ndidi needlessly making contact with Haller as he was making his way out of the area. Schmeichel was booked for protesting and was then beaten from the spot by Noble.
West Ham were back in the game now and a goalmouth scramble saw a back-heel from Antonio blocked by Schmeichel.
A couple of corners then led to Ogbonna heading over from a good position.
But City regained control of the game after a good spell for the visitors. Ricardo set up Pérez for a shot that was beaten away by Randolph. Then Maddison sent a dipping 25-yarder towards the top right hand corner but Randolph denied him with a fine save.
Although West Ham were threatening on the break, City went further ahead in the 81st minute. The lively Iheanacho burst into the area and Ogbonna brought him down as he bore down on goal. Pérez emphatically crashed the spot kick home in a manner that suggested he should get the job full time.
West Ham looked beaten now and Chilwell connected beautifully with a shot forcing another good block from Randolph.
But the West Ham keeper could do nothing about City fourth goal two minutes from time. Pérez played a one-two with Iheanacho in the area before sending a precise shot into the far corner.

Although West Ham had been poor for an hour of this game it felt like Leicester were back and Rodgers was delighted: “I think that the tempo in the team tonight was very, very good. Against Burnley we started to come back a bit but tonight we were outstanding. Dynamic. We were fast in our game, the passing was quick, we looked to dominate the ball and play with that authority. That’s how we’ve been for most of the season, with that personality.”

The news regarding Jamie Vardy was also good, with his injury not thought to be a hamstring issue.
City’s Premier League position was looking good, now for the cups…

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Mendy (Ndidi 34), Pérez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes (Morgan 83), Vardy (Iheanacho 43).
Substitutes: Justin, Gray, Albrighton, Ward.
West Ham: Randolph, Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku (Antonio 45), Snodgrass (Fornals 45), Rice, Noble, Lanzini, Haller.
Substitutes: Reid, Balbuena, Sánchez, Martin, Ajeti.

Referee: David Coote. Attendance: 31,968.

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Leicester defeated at Turf Moor after Vardy penalty miss

Burnley 2:1 Leicester City

1920 burnley away

Having gone ahead City saw the points slip away at Burnley on Sunday, with Jamie Vardy missing a penalty…

Brendan Rodgers made two changes for this Sunday trip to Turf Moor, with Fuchs and Mendy in for Chilwell and Choudhury. Whether this was simply more squad rotation with the West Ham game on Wednesday, or there was more to it was hinted at in the post-match comments.
City started the game on the front foot and Barnes had a shot on target in the first minute, but it didn’t trouble Pope.
City got in behind the Clarets defence a couple of times but the crosses were blocked, then Vardy got in down the right and squared for Maddison, but he opted to take a touch instead of shooting and the chance was gone.
Pérez then had a goal-bound shot blocked by Tarkowski’s head.
Burnley were defending deep, spiking City’s attacks, but creating very little up front. They looked most dangerous from a couple of corners but Evans dealt with one and Schmeichel was fouled for another.
The game had settled into something of a stalemate when City took a 33rd minute lead.
Praet robbed Cork in the centre circle, taking a bit of ankle as well as the ball, but Anthony Taylor waved play on. Barnes latched onto the loose ball and raced forward, Vardy breaking to the left to take a defender away. Barnes accelerated past Mee and fired a shot home via Pope’s foot. VAR had a look at Praet’s challenge and the goal stood.
City kept possession well leading up to half time and Burnley only threatened from a set-piece that saw a bit of pinball in the area. And the visitors could have gone down the tunnel 2-0 when Maddison whipped a free-kick into the area and Pérez nodded it narrowly over the bar.

City went close again three minutes into the second half when a passing move through Burnley’s defence led to Praet curling a low shot towards the far post, but Pope got down well to tip it away.
At the other end Wood got his head to a Taylor cross but cleared the bar.
It was a more open game now and Maddison attempted a 30 yard effort that flew a couple of yards wide.
But Burnley struck back in the 55th minute. A weak challenge from Pérez led to a corner for the home side. McNeil delivered a corner to the far post where Mee rose highest to nod it down. Schmeichel couldn’t get much contact with it and Wood was in the right place to bundle it home from two yards out.
After four defeats Turf Moor had been very quiet, but the goal turned the volume up as they sensed the chance of a win.
Barnes and Maddison both fired shots straight at Pope, before City were presented with a 67th minute penalty. A smart turn and pass by Vardy sent Barnes in down the left and he was wrestled to the ground by Mee for an obvious spot-kick. But Vardy’s penalty lacked the usual venom and Pope guessed right, making an excellent save. Ricardo fired the loose ball across goal but Barnes couldn’t quite reach it at the far post.
This encouraged the home crowd further.
Rodger made a double change in the 74th minute bringing Iheanacho and Tielemans on for Pérez and Praet.
Maddison had a shot blocked by Mee, who leant over to block with his elbow, for what looked like a blatant penalty but nothing was given.
Iheanacho then sent Vardy through on goal, but Pope blocked his shot with a shoulder.
But it was Burnley who took a 79th minute lead. Taylor whipped in a cross from the left, and an off-balance Evans could only divert the ball towards an unmarked Westwood who lashed the ball home from ten yards.
City pressed forward for the last ten minutes, but couldn’t find a way through a packed Burnley defence. A frustrated Söyüncü lashed a long range effort way over and Evans headed over from a corner, but it was a back-to-back defeats for City.

Brendan Rodgers hinted at the reasons for the absence of Chilwell and Choudhury from the side post-match: “They were just unavailable for the training. We were doing a lot of preparation for this game, they were unable to be there, so we now move on. I had to go with the players that we trusted to come here and get the result. It’s a personal one, that.”
Which raised more questions than answers.

Burnley: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Wood (Lennon 90), Rodriguez.
Substitutes: Lowton, Brady, Hart, Pieters, Vydra, Long.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Fuchs, Mendy, Pérez (Iheanacho 74), Praet (Tielemans 74), Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Morgan, Gray, Albrighton, Ward.

Referee: Anthony Taylor. Attendance: 19,788.

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Saints march past below-par Leicester

Leicester City 1:2 Southampton

Leicester City v Southampton FC - Premier League

A Southampton side, unrecognisable from the one that City beat 9-0 eleven weeks ago, earned a 2-1 victory at the KPS on Saturday…

Brendan Rodgers made one change to his side with Choudhury in for the the out-of-form Tielemans.
The Saints looked up for it right from the kick-off pressing hard and forcing City into errors. Their first chance came in the 6th minute when a wayward ball from Barnes set Ings up to beat Söyüncü, for a one-on-one with Schmeichel. The City keeper blocked Ings shot with his legs, and then saved again when Ings collected the rebound and had another go.
Southampton’s intense press almost caught Schmeichel out when Ings charged down a clearance, but the ball rebounded out for a goal kick.
But it was City who took a 15th minute lead. Pérez was fouled in midfield and jumped back to his feet and delivered an instant free-kick down the left. Vardy hared down the wing and delivered a low cross for Praet to tuck away at the far post for his first goal for the club.

Leicester City v Southampton FC - Premier League

But this lead only lasted four minutes. Long played a ball across the 18 yard line and Armstrong stepped inside Chilwell before firing in a shot that took a big deflection off Maddison’s arm, giving Schmeichel no chance.
Schmeichel was in action again in the 28th minute palming away a dipping long range effort from Hojbjerg.
City had the ball in the net on the half hour, but Vardy who was sent in on goal after Ricardo blocked a clearance was clearly offside. We still had to suffer a delay while VAR stuck its oar in.
Southampton were well on top at this stage, with City’s passing game in tatters, and Ings struck the crossbar twice in a minute just before the break. The first when he connected with a low cross at the near post and the second with a curling shot from the edge of the area.
City, who had given the ball away 60 times in the half, with Chilwell accounting for a third of that figure, made it to half time on level terms.

City didn’t look to have improved early in the second half when Bertrand swung in a free-kick from the touchline, and Schmeichel and Chilwell got in each others way allowing Stephens a tap in at the far post. But he didn’t connect properly and Söyüncü hooked it off the goal line.
City began to get into their stride for a spell and Evans got his head to a Maddison  corner, but McCarthy reacted well to parry the effort.
Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 58th minute replacing Barnes with Iheanacho.
The visitors corner were celebrating in the 62nd minute when they thought they had a penalty. A misdirected header from Choudhury saw the Saints break upfield and  Söyüncü pushed Long in the back as he shaped to shoot. Lee Mason pointed to the spot and presented Söyüncü with a yellow card. But something was stirring in Stockley Park and, after a long delay, reality was rewound and offside was given.
Five minutes later City had the ball in the net, but after more deliberation it was decided that Iheanacho had been offside when he backheeled the ball home following a free-kick. The linesman had given it and there had been no need for the purple screen of doom.

Leicester City v Southampton FC - Premier League

Gray came on for Pérez and then Tielemans replaced Praet as City went in search of a winner. But it was Southampton who took an 81st minute lead.
A neat passing move through City’s midfield saw a through ball for Ings who poked the ball through Schmeichel’s legs for what proved to be the winner.

Leicester City v Southampton FC - Premier League

Two minutes later Southampton broke upfield again, Redmond squared for Ings whose fierce shot was superbly saved by Schmeichel.
With four minutes remaining Tielemans sent Iheanacho in on the right but his shot was blocked by McCarthy.
For a brief moment it looked as though City had rescued a point in the 89th minute, Evans getting a firm header to a Maddison free-kick. But the celebrations from both players and fans were muted and VAR ruled it out for offside.
VAR may have been right, but there was a rising tide of anger at its constant and lengthy interference. Both sets of fans sang “It’s not football anymore”, and after the game Hamza Choudhury said:“I don’t think many players like it. It takes away the emotions. You see Jonny score an equaliser in the 89th minute and he’s scared to celebrate!”

VAR apart, this may have been City’s worst performance under Brendan Rodgers with Southampton working hard to shut down City’s possession game. Rodgers commented: “It’s a sore one today but we’ll go away, they can recover a little bit now, physically and emotionally, and like we’ve always done whenever we’ve had a defeat, we’ll analyse it, look at the details and we’ll look to improve. The clear week will help us.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Söyüncü, Evans, Chilwell, Choudhury, Pérez (Gray 67), Praet (Tielemans 77), Maddison, Barnes (Iheanacho 58), Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Albrighton, Ward, Benkovic.
Southampton: McCarthy, Cédric Soares, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Armstrong (Djenepo 78), Ward-Prowse, Højbjerg, Redmond (Romeu 90), Long (Adams 78), Ings.
Substitutes: Yoshida, Boufal, Obafemi, Gunn.

Referee: Lee Mason. Attendance: 32,115.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester-Villa semi-final all square after Iheanacho strike

Leicester City 1:1 Aston Villa

Leicester City v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Semi Final 1st Leg

City struggled to break down Villa’s stubborn resistance in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday evening…

Brendan Rodgers opted for a 5-3-2 for City’s first semi-final in twenty years, Vardy returned to the starting line-up, but Ndidi was missing having suffered a knee injury in training.
The game commenced in heavy rain and City were in attack mode from the start, with Villa happy to try and absorb the pressure but the final ball was lacking. The first chance arrived in the 13th minute when a poor clearance from Luiz led to a chance for Pérez, whose shot was deflected narrowly wide of the post.
Five minutes later Evans got his head to a Maddison free-kick but sent it wide, then Vardy got his first run in on goal but Nyland blocked his shot from a narrow angle.
In the 23rd minute Pérez sent Vardy in on the left but again his shot was saved by Myland who narrowed the angle well.
But for all their dominance City found themselves a goal down in the 28th minute. El Ghazi curled in a cross from the left, and Guilbert nipped ahead of Chilwell for a far post finish.

Leicester City v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Semi Final 1st Leg

As City pressed forward again Vardy attempted an ambitious shot that flew well over, to the delight of the vocal travelling fans.
Vardy was then given a ridiculous yellow card for trying to block a clearance from  Konsa who rolled around on the floor despite the fact that it was Vardy who got kicked.
Incredibly it was Villa who should have gone two up before the break. Grealish delivered a teasing free-kick from the left which tempted Schmeichel off his line, but Konsa got to it first, rattling a header off the crossbar from close in.
City’s final chance of the half came when Maddison curled in what looked like a goalbound shot, but Mings got his head to it.

Brendan Rodgers brought Choudhury in for the second half with City missing Ndidi’s physical presence in midfield, though the half didn’t get off to a promising start when Maddison and Pérez collided while attempting a passing move.
Villa sat very deep protecting their lead and City struggled to get through a claret wall.
A series of corners came to nought and then Tielemans, still struggling for form, blasted a shot well over the bar.
On the left Chilwell was in his unadventurous, back-passing mode, but things were more promising down the right with Ricardo performing superbly.

Leicester City v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Semi Final 1st Leg

City managed to get in behind the Villa defence in the 63rd minute when a Choudhury ball found Maddison, who played a neat one-two with Ricardo before firing his low shot too close to Nyland, who got down smartly to save.
With Villa hardly venturing into City’s half Brendan Rodgers made his second change in the 69th minute, bringing Iheanacho on for Pérez. And it only took the super-sub five minutes to find the net.
Choudhury robbed Luiz of the ball in midfield and found Vardy who set Iheancho up on the edge of the area. He showed great composure to side-step two defenders and fire the ball beyond Nyland’s reach.

Leicester City v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Semi Final 1st Leg

With Albrighton on for Tielemans City set about finding a winner, but Villa were practising the dark arts, with constant time-wasting and feigning injury to break up the play.  Söyüncü then got a talking to from the ref after a spat with Hause as tempers began to boil over.
In the 82nd minute City broke upfield through Ricardo after a Villa free-kick, but Vardy’s angled drive found the side-netting. Maddison then set up Albrighton, who recovered from a fall before shooting, but Mings blocked his effort.
Villa had a decent spell late on with City looking like they’d run out of steam.
But the final chance, deep into time-added-on fell for Söyüncü, but he headed a Fuchs throw-in straight at Nyland.
Despite City’s dominance – 70% possession, 21-3 on shots, 11-0 on corners – they hadn’t troubled a stubborn Villa defence nearly enough and the contest headed to Villa Park all square.

Brendan Rodgers held his hands up: “Our biggest problem in the first half was our pressing. We weren’t aggressive enough. That’s down to me. Wilf Ndidi got injured at the last minute. It was either a case of putting Hamza in, or, because I felt we would have a lot of the ball, maybe putting a ball-playing player at the bottom of our midfield. And Youri did fine, but we then missed that speed in our transition when we lost the ball to get it back quickly, we were just a little too passive for me in the first half. We bring Hamza into the game second half, and made a couple of changes and then we were a different team.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Söyüncü, Evans, Fuchs, Ricardo, Praet (Choudhury 45), Tielemans (Albrighton 79), Maddison, Chilwell, Pérez (Iheanacho 69), Vardy. 
Substitutes: Justin, Ward, Barnes, Benkovic.
Aston Villa: Nyland, Konsa, Mings, Hause, Guilbert, Douglas Luiz, Nakamba (Lansbury 86), Taylor, Trézéguet (Hourihane 67), El Ghazi (Vassilev 74), Grealish.
Substitutes: Chester, Jota, El Mohamady, Kalinic.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh. Attendance: 31,280.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester ease past unlucky Wigan into the 4th round

Leicester City 2:0 Wigan Athletic

Leicester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Third Round

City made it into the 4th round of the FA Cup with the aid of an own goal and a deflection against Wigan at the King Power on Saturday…

Brendan Rodgers made ten changes to his side against Championship opposition, with only Chilwell retaining his place, and no recognised striker. Benkovic made his long-awaited debut, partnering Morgan at the back
In contrast to many third round games around the country, the Leicester public were up for the cup, topping 30,000, and a new section for Union FS made for a great atmosphere.
The game had a fairly even opening spell with Wigan looking to send Windass through, but he was defeated by the offside flag, while Gray’s long-range effort didn’t test Marshall in the Wigan goal.
But City were gifted the lead in the 19th minute. Albrighton’s cross from the left was ahead of Barnes but Pearce’s awkward interception found the bottom left hand corner.
Two minutes later Choudhury and Gray produced a slick move through Wigan’s back line to set up Barnes, but Marshall blocked his shot at the near post.

Leicester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Third Round

Brendan Rodgers was forced into a 25th minute change when Morgan limped off with a groin strained, replaced by Söyüncü.
City dominated possession at this stage, but couldn’t create any chances.
It was Wigan who went close five minutes before the break.  Massey crossed from the right and Ward managed to get a hand to the ball as Windass looked lined up for a certain goal. Justin then blocked Dowell’s follow-up effort.
City broke upfield though Chilwell who sent Barnes in on the right. His shot took a big deflection that took the ball round Marshall and into the far corner for his first goal at the KPS.

Leicester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Third Round

A minute before the break Gray unleashed a fierce shot from the edge of the area that Marshall managed to parry.
City took a comfortable, slightly fortuitous, 2-0 lead in with them at half time.

City’s first chance of the second half came in the 56th minute when Albrighton crossed from the right, his final ball had been erratic all night but this one found the head of Praet but he couldn’t direct it on target.
Brendan Rodgers then lost another centre-half in the 67th minute when Benkovic limped off, replaced by Fuchs.
The game appeared to be drifting towards its inevitable conclusion until the 73rd minute. Wigan attacked down the left, Pearce delivered a cross to the near post and Lowe volleyed it home from six yards. Unfortunately for the travelling fans VAR intervened and Pearce’s kneecap was a good inch offside.
Ndidi came on for Mendy in the 77th minute with his contribution over the last couple weeks being appreciated after such a long time out of the team.
The introduction of Ndidi livened matters up. He bossed the midfield with ease and City pressed forward with more intent. Another well-struck Gray effort was tipped away by Marshall.
Ndidi then won the ball in midfield and charged forward before being shoved in the back on the edge of the penalty area. VAR concluded no foul. He then had a free header from a corner but sent it way over the bar.

Leicester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Third Round

Barnes then charged down the left beating the Wigan defence for pace but his near post shot was blocked by Marshall.
The final minute saw a bizarre interlude when a pitch invader went on a mazy run the length of the field, and vaulted the barrier before face-planting and being marched off by the stewards. The Magic of the Cup.

It hadn’t been a great performance by a City starting XI missing ten first team regulars, but it had been enough to progress, and Rodgers’ squad management had to be applauded again. The only negative point was the loss of two central defenders which must now surely be addressed in this transfer window.

Rodgers concluded: “The players gave everything and I couldn’t fault the mentality of the team – as always it was top class – but we demand more quality. It has been a tough schedule and I’ve tried to manage them. Now we look to the next game. Our ambition is to be competitive whether it’s the league or it’s in the cup competitions.”

Leicester: Ward, Justin, Morgan (Söyüncü 25), Benkovic (Fuchs 67), Chilwell, Albrighton, Mendy (Ndidi 77), Praet, Choudhury, Gray, Barnes.
Substitutes: Maddison, Iheanacho, Pérez, Jakupovic.
Wigan: Marshall, Sterling (Lowe 45), Dunkley, Kipre, Pearce (Robinson 81), Evans, Morsy, Williams, Dowell, Massey, Windass (Gelhardt 64).
Substitutes: MacLeod, Garner, Roberts, Jones.

Referee: Simon Hooper. Attendance: 30,330.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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