West Bromwich Albion 1:4 Leicester City
Despite going a goal down, City added to Albion’s woes with a convincing 4-1 win at the Hawthorns on Saturday…
Claude Puel made five changes to his side, with Simpson, Iborra, Chilwell, Gray and Okazaki all returning to the starting XI.
But they got off to a shaky start on a rainy day in the West Midlands and went behind in the 8th minute. Chilwell missed an attempted interception, allowing Burke to race down the right and deliver a low cross that saw Rondon beating Morgan to the ball to divert it past Schmeichel.
Five minutes later Mahrez looped a cross to the far post but it just evaded both Gray and Vardy.
In the 17th minute City went close to going further behind when a Krychowiak shot took a deflection off Iborra and and was heading for the top corner before Schmeichel finger-tipped it on to the crossbar.
But City struck back in the 21st minute with a fantastically executed goal.
Mahrez played an inch perfect ball for Vardy who watched it over his shoulder before guiding a volley beyond Foster’s reach and into the net.
After his usual celebrations in that corner of the Hawthorns, referee Bobby Madley had a word with him.
It was end to end stuff for a while as Krychowiak dragged a shot wide when well placed, Gibbs made a timely clearance from a dangerous Chilwell cross, and Vardy had a goal disallowed for being narrowly offside as he ran on to Chilwell’s through ball.
Rondon then had a shot deflected over the bar.
1-1 at the break, with City on top after a poor opening spell.
Both sides were looking to push forward in the second half and it was an entertainingly open game.
Gray tried to catch Foster out from distance but the Albion keeper was alert to the danger.
Claude Puel made his first change on the hour, bringing Iheanacho on for Okazaki, and it soon brought its reward.
In the 62nd minute Iheanacho sent a delicate chip over the Baggies defence where Mahrez’s well timed run saw him take a touch before lobbing the ball over Foster to give City the lead.
City were in charge now. Mahrez almost sent Vardy in on goal and then Iheanacho set him up for a chance which Foster blocked.
Puel brought Albrighton on for Gray in the 67th minute.
Iheanacho then got his first Premier League goal for City in the 76th minute, heading home a Chilwell cross from the left before celebrating in front of the away end.
This sparked an exodus for the exits, with many Albion fans seemingly resigned to defeat and impending relegation.
Puel made his third change late on with Mahrez replaced by Diabate, to rousing applause from the visitors section.
In time added on City got a fourth when Albrighton hoisted a corner in from the left and Iborra rose above the Albion defence to plant a firm header into the net from six yards.
Claude Puel commented: “The first half was too open, end to end and box and box. The first half could have finished 3-3. It was crazy. We needed to manage our game better in the second half, with more calm and quality. It was interesting to keep the ball on the floor and work West Brom more. We found the clinical edge with a fantastic goal.”
West Brom: Foster, Nyom, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs, Krychowiak (Field 59), Livermore, Brunt, Burke (Robson-Kanu 83), Rondón, Phillips (Rodriguez 70).
Substitutes: Yacob, Myhill, McClean, McAuley.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Iborra, Ndidi, Mahrez (Diabaté 88), Okazaki (Iheanacho 60), Gray (Albrighton 67), Vardy.
Substitutes: Dragovic, Jakupovic, James, Fuchs.
Referee: R Madley. Attendance: 23,558.
PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.
We are producing a Limited Edition (75) print of the FiftySomething strip from The FOX Summer Special 2016 – celebrating City’s Premier League title win.
The A3 sized print will be available from next Thursday (25th Jan) , but you can pre-order one now.
They will be posted to you rolled in a cardboard tube.
The prints cost £6.50 and post & packing is £3.45. (UK only)
You can pay online via Paypal HERE