Leeds United 1-4 Leicester City: Foxes move within a point of top

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November 2, 2020
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November 2, 2020


Leicester celebrate
Youri Tielemans has scored more goals in his past three Premier League away appearances for Leicester (three) than he did in his first 25 games on the road for the club (two)

Youri Tielemans struck twice as Leicester recorded an emphatic win at Leeds to move to within a point of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Jamie Vardy was involved in the Foxes’ first three goals – teeing up Harvey Barnes within two minutes for the opener after a costly mistake by Robin Koch.

Tielemans netted Leicester’s second – pouncing on a rebound from Vardy’s diving header – before Stuart Dallas’ cross flew all the way into the net for Leeds after half-time.

But Leeds’ response in the second half was stumped as Vardy netted a third for Leicester before Tielemans scored from the spot in stoppage time.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side – without record-signing Rodrigo, forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with somebody who tested positive for coronavirus – were made to pay for a sloppy first half.

Patrick Bamford had headed it tamely into Kasper Schmeichel’s arms seconds before Barnes’ early opener and Pablo Hernandez struck the post in the second half.

But the Foxes killed off the game late on to pick up their fourth win in a row.

Ruthless start sets Leicester on way

Harvey Barnes scores within two minutes
Harvey Barnes’ opener after 121 seconds was Leicester’s quickest Premier League goal since Shinji Okazaki netted after 52 seconds against Brighton back in August 2017

Leicester started last season in blistering form and they are doing the same in 2020-21.

There was an intensity to their start in this match too – Barnes hurrying Koch into the early mistake, as the defender’s pass back was picked up by Vardy, who selflessly laid it on a plate for his team-mate.

Vardy and Barnes combined throughout the first half and the striker’s presence alone seemed to cause anxiety among the Leeds defenders.

It was only a matter of time before Vardy – whose diving header rebounded kindly for Tielemans to make it 2-0 – got on the scoresheet himself. He did so in the 76th minute, just as Leeds threatened to get back into the game.

Leicester’s aggressive pressing in the first half saw possession overturned on countless occasions and the hosts were unable to deal with transitions on the counter-attack.

Their first-half dominance set the foundations and Brendan Rodgers was then smart to react as Leeds gained momentum in the second half – the Leicester manager bringing on James Maddison and Cengiz Under, who contributed to the third and fourth goals.

Maddison’s through ball picked out Under, who smartly chipped it into Vardy’s path for the third. Mateusz Klich was then penalised for a foul just inside the box on Maddison – referee Andre Marriner confirming the decision only after reviewing the incident on the VAR pitchside screen.

Leicester maintained a sense of maturity and never looked like throwing away the win, thanks largely to Vardy’s consistent threat. It was display that offered a reminder as to why the Foxes were top-four contenders last season – and a statement that they intend to be in the fight again.

Early mistakes prove costly for Leeds

Harvey Barnes and Robin Koch
Leeds remain winless in their last four league games against Leicester (D2 L2), their longest run without a victory against the Foxes since between Feb 2006 – Dec 2010 (a run of seven).

Bamford went into this match having scored six times in Leeds’ opening six Premier League matches, a run that included a hat-trick at Aston Villa.

But when the striker headed tamely into Schmeichel’s arms from an unmarked position a few yards out within two minutes, it set the tone for the first half.

Leicester were sharp, ruthless and clinical, whereas Leeds looked shaky in possession and indecisive off the ball.

Koch’s mistake, seconds after Bamford’s missed chance, was a gift for Barnes, and Leeds struggled to settle afterwards.

Skipper Liam Cooper misjudged the bounce of the ball under pressure from Vardy in the minutes that followed, while goalkeeper Illan Meslier almost fumbled a cross inside his near post and Helder Costa turned into trouble in the build-up to a chance for Luke Thomas later on.

Bamford’s poor touch when he was played through on goal towards the end of the half summed things up but Bielsa’s team talk at the break seemed to spur Leeds on.

They were fortunate when Dallas’ cross flew over everybody in the box and into Schmeichel’s net – but Hernandez’s curling effort, which struck the post, could have changed the game.

Leeds were more urgent – Dallas picking up a yellow card for an overly aggressive tackle on Marc Albrighton, while the coaching staff encouraged quick throw-ins to keep the intensity up.

But Leeds failed to deal with the runs in behind from Vardy and when Maddison came on, he had a big impact in midfield – regaining control and creating opportunities with his direct passing.

The result leaves Leeds 12th – yet only three points outside the top four – going into matches against Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Everton, which will give a clearer indication as to where their season is heading.

More to follow.

Player of the match

VardyJamie Vardy

Leeds United

  1. Squad number15Player nameDallas

  2. Squad number17Player nameHélder Costa

  3. Squad number19Player namePablo Hernández

  4. Squad number1Player nameMeslier

  5. Squad number2Player nameAyling

  6. Squad number43Player nameKlich

  7. Squad number22Player nameHarrison

  8. Squad number7Player namePoveda-Ocampo

  9. Squad number6Player nameCooper

  10. Squad number11Player nameRoberts

  11. Squad number10Player nameAlioski

  12. Squad number5Player nameKoch

  13. Squad number46Player nameShackleton

  14. Squad number9Player nameBamford

Leicester City

  1. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  2. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  3. Squad number19Player nameÜnder

  4. Squad number3Player nameFofana

  5. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  6. Squad number15Player nameBarnes

  7. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  8. Squad number28Player nameFuchs

  9. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  10. Squad number2Player nameJustin

  11. Squad number33Player nameThomas

  12. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  13. Squad number26Player namePraet

  14. Squad number5Player nameMorgan

Line-ups

Leeds

  • 1Meslier
  • 2Ayling
  • 5Koch
  • 6Cooper
  • 15DallasBooked at 50minsSubstituted forAlioskiat 81′minutes
  • 43Klich
  • 17Hélder Costa
  • 19HernándezSubstituted forRobertsat 67′minutes
  • 46ShackletonSubstituted forPoveda-Ocampoat 45′minutes
  • 22Harrison
  • 9Bamford

Substitutes

  • 7Poveda-Ocampo
  • 10Alioski
  • 11Roberts
  • 13Casilla
  • 21Struijk
  • 24Davis
  • 49Casey

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2Justin
  • 3Fofana
  • 28Fuchs
  • 11Albrighton
  • 8Tielemans
  • 24Mendy
  • 33ThomasBooked at 84mins
  • 26PraetSubstituted forMaddisonat 63′minutes
  • 15BarnesSubstituted forÜnderat 71′minutes
  • 9VardySubstituted forMorganat 85′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Morgan
  • 10Maddison
  • 12Ward
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 17Pérez
  • 19Ünder
  • 20Choudhury

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