Burnley 2:1 Leicester City
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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