Leicester City 2:1 Burnley
City came back from a goal down to beat Burnley at the KPS on Saturday, with a little help from VAR…
It was an emotional day with the club marking the first anniversary of Khun Vichai’s passing, and thousands gathered in Magazine Square for the walk to the ground.
Before the game there was a white scarf on every seat and they were held aloft during an impeccably observed minute’s silence.
Brendan Rodgers made one change to his side, with Pérez in for Praet, the Belgian having taken some time off due to a family bereavement.
City got off to a lively start, attacking the Kop end, and Hendrick was booked by Jon Moss in only the second minute as he cynically tripped Tielemans to prevent a break upfield.
But the game then settled into a pattern of City possession and Burnley defending in numbers.
For all City’s possession it was the visitors who went close in the 17th minute when a Westwood shot almost deflected to Wood but Schmeichel gathered safely.
A minute later City also went close, but Söyüncü directed his header a couple of yards wide from a corner.
A great move set up City for another chance in the 21st minute, Tielemans sending Ricardo down the right, whose cutback found Barnes. The youngster scuffed his effort, but the rebound fell for Maddsion, whose shot was guided round the post by Mee.
But it was the Clarets who took a 26th minute lead. A superb cross from McNeil on the right was met by the head of Wood, and Schmeichel couldn’t get enough of a touch to keep it out.
City were now faced with a Burnley side doggedly defending a lead. Tielemans forced a good save from Pope with a 20-yard effort and then Vardy broke clear down the left but fired his shot into the side-netting.
The breakthrough came in the last minute of the first half: Barnes made good progress down the left and delivered a fine cross onto Vardy’s head and he thumped it home from six yards. He then cupped his ear to the Burnley fans who had been giving him some stick about his wife’s Instagram spat.
City’s dominance of possession continued in the second half and they were camped on the edge of the area, but they were restricted to shooting from range by an organised Clarets’ back line. Maddison and Tielemans both sent efforts off target.
The 60th minute saw a rousing tribute to Vichai, with scarves held aloft again. Maddision had the chance to mark this with a goal, but sent his free kick into the wall.
In the 65th minute Pérez had a gilt-edged chance to get off the mark, but lifted his shot over the bar from a Ricardo cut-back. Two minutes later he was replaced by Gray.
And the substitute was involved as City took a 74th minute lead.
Gray crossed from the right, Barnes leapt over the ball leaving it for Tielemans who rifled it into the roof of the net.
After Wood had screwed a decent chance wide, Rodgers tightened things up at the back, replacing Barnes with Morgan.
With ten minutes remaining Burnley thought they had an equaliser before VAR came to City’s rescue. Wood got a touch to a cross from the right, and though Schmeichel blocked it, the ball bounced back off Wood and into the net. VAR brought an end to the Burnley celebrations, and replays showed that Wood had accidentally clipped the heels of Evans as he attempted to clear the ball off the line. It was harsh on Burnley, with Evans unlikely to clear, but he was definitely tripped.
It was now Burnley who were doing the attacking, with Pope coming up for a corner, but City managed to keep them out and seal a victory that saw them move temporarily up to second place.
Brendan Rodgers summed up an emotional afternoon: “We were keen to make it a celebration. The supporters were incredible. We needed to tap into that emotion, we didn’t in the first half but we were much more aggressive after half-time. Today they made Vichai proud in fighting for the result.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Ndidi, Pérez (Gray 67), Tielemans, Maddison (Praet 73), Barnes (Morgan 79), Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Albrighton, Ward, Choudhury.
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters, McNeil, Westwood, Hendrick,
Brady (Lennon 65), Wood, Rodriguez (Vydra 83).
Substitutes: Taylor, Gibson, Hart, Bardsley, Long.
Referee: Jonathan Moss. Attendance: 32,105.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber
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