Leicester City 1:0 Burnley
A brave goal from Gray proved to be the difference as a hard fought contest saw City beat Burnley 1-0 at the KPS on Saturday…
Claude Puel made one change to his side with Okazaki making way for Gray, and this paid off after just six minutes.
The newly-blond Mahrez swung in a dangerous cross from the right, Pope dived to get a hand to it, but Gray was running in at the far post to slide it home.
Gray collided heavily with the woodwork, but was okay to continue after a spell of treatment.
Burnley soon had a chance of their own after the restart, but former City’s striker Wood’s first touch was too heavy and Schmeichel raced out to block, with Simpson on hand to clear the loose ball.
Burnley were on top at this stage: Tarkowski headed wide from a corner and Gudmundsson forced a save from Schmeichel as Sean Dyche’s side looked to continue their excellent start to the season.
After a series of Burnley corners, the Clarets then suffered a set-back in the 27th minute.
The impressive Brady evaded a couple of challenges on the edge of the penalty area before Maguire halted his progress as he was about to shoot. It looked as though Brady had gone over the top as both players writhed in pain, and referee Paul Tierney took the yellow card out, but re-pocketed it when the serious extent of Brady’s injury became apparent. The Ireland international was stretchered off and taken to hospital, but Maguire recovered.
After this incident, the tide turned and City were on top up to the break. Mahrez capped a good run with fierce 20 yard shot, but it was too close to Pope to cause him much trouble.
Chances were rare, however, and City took a slim 1-0 lead in with them at the break.
The second half saw an improved performance from City.
Chilwell connected well with a 30 yarder that flew just wide, while Pope had to stretch to tip away a Mahrez free-kick.
Morgan then had a gilt-edged chance to score, but showing the predatory instincts of a centre-half he failed to connect properly with a low cross from close range and Pope blocked, the loose ball being cleared off the goal-line.
Burnley still looked dangerous on the break and, on the hour, Gudmundsson looked to be clear in on goal, but Morgan managed to keep pace with him, hampering him enough for Schmeichel to save his shot.
At the other end, Albrighton motored down the left, before cutting in and firing a shot into the side-netting.
Two minutes later City came even closer, as Ndidi pulled a ball back for Gray to fire across goal, but it hit the far post.
Vardy tested Pope with a back heel from a Chilwell cross, but City couldn’t add to their tally for all their dominance in the second half.
Okazaki replaced Gray as the clock ran down and gave City some added energy, though Burnley threatened in time added on when a dangerous Gudmundsson cross was deflected straight in Schmeichel’s arms.
Mahrez had one more shot saved by Pope, before the final whistle heralded another victory for Claude Puel’s side.
The City boss commented: “It has been a good week, but what was most important was that we continued our hard work. It was a difficult game against this team who were sixth in the table. I am very happy with our second half, for example. We had a lot of chances, but perhaps we needed to be more clinical. Now it is important to continue this work. There is a long way to go, but we need to continue to improve.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mahrez, Ndidi,
Iborra, Albrighton, Gray (Okazaki 88), Vardy.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, King, Hamer, Dragovic, Ulloa, Fuchs.
Burnley: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Berg Gudmundsson, Defour (Barnes 66), Cork, Brady (Arfield 31), Hendrick, Wood (Vokes 74). Substitutes: Taylor, Westwood, Lindegaard, Long.
Referee: P Tierney. Attendance: 30,714.
ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
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