Ayoze Pérez

Pérez Nets For City In Scunthorpe Success

Ayoze Pérez netted his first goal in Leicester City's colours as Brendan Rodgers handed run-outs to 21 players in a 1-0 pre-season victory at Scunthorpe United on Tuesday evening.
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Spanish forward Pérez, who joined the Club from Newcastle United earlier this summer, latched onto a cross from Ricardo Pereira in the 35th minute to win it for the Foxes.

Rodgers included Youri Tielemans in City's starting line-up in north Lincolnshire, following his permanent transfer from AS Monaco, while Jamie Vardy led the line up front.

Leicester began the clash at Glanford Park with attacking intent and it took Pérez just two minutes to test home goalkeeper Jake Eastwood with a header from Christian Fuchs' cross.

The Spaniard's talent was on show again after nine minutes as he collected Ricardo's low cross, spun on the spot and fired a fearsome drive narrowly over the cross bar.

Another player to catch the eye was South African midfielder Khanya Leshabela, a product of the Club's Academy who starred for City's Development Squad last season.

The 19-year-old was one of several to hit efforts on target in the opening 45 minutes, most memorably a low drive from distance, but Eastwood was there to frustrate City again.

He also combined well with Tielemans in the middle when the Belgium international located Leshabela in space and, while his shot once again was on target, Eastwood got a hand to it.

Tielemans and Marc Albrighton were soon to send efforts over the bar before, with 10 minutes of the first half to go, Pérez added the final touch of gloss to a flowing Leicester counter.

Albrighton seized possession on the left and expertly slid it across to Ricardo on the opposite side. Ricardo then found Pérez and he did the rest, firing it low into the bottom corner.

While City continued to press before the break, notably when Vardy nodded Tielemans' inventive cross over, Rodgers elected to make nine changes to his line-up at the interval. 

In came the likes of captain Wes Morgan, Harry Maguire, Andy King, Kelechi Iheanacho and new signing James Justin as the Northern Irishman made full use of the travelling squad.

The pace naturally slowed as the clock ticked down in Scunthorpe, but Leicester still threatened as Morgan headed wide and Justin's floated effort from outside the box was inches away.

Academy graduate Josh Knight was introduced midway through the second period, on the other hand, after Leshabela, one of only two players to remain after the break, picked up a knock.

Elsewhere, King was unlucky not to add his name to the scoresheet late on as his deft touch on Justin's smart pass from the right flank drifted narrowly the wrong side of the far post.

Major moment 

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Ricardo Pereira and Marc Albrighton
Ricardo Pereira and Marc Albrighton

The two architects of City's opener celebrate as Ayoze Pérex puts them ahead.

The build-up play which led to Ayoze Pérez's maiden strike at Leicester was a treat for the visiting fans, housed in the AMS Stand on the far side of Glanford Park.

Marc Albrighton's perfect touch was followed by a pinpoint cross-field pass to Ricardo, who in turn slid it into his new Foxes team-mates to finish it all off.

Who impressed?

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Ayoze Pérez
Ayoze Pérez

Goalscorer Ayoze Pérez looks to get forward for Leicester.

Speaking on LCFC TV, former Foxes captain Matt Elliott picked out the expressive Ayoze Pérez as his most impressive figure following Leicester's first match of pre-season.

"Even though it was only Leicester's first pre-season friendly of the summer, Pérez was so alert during that first half and could have had two or three goals in the end," Elliott said.

"His goal was perfectly taken, after good link-up play between his new team-mates, and it’s going to be exciting to see how Brendan Rodgers uses him this season." 

Coming up

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

The manager thanks the Foxes faithful for their support in north Lincolnshire.

Brendan Rodgers takes his Foxes squad to Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Saturday to tackle Cheltenham Town in their second pre-season fixture of the summer (3pm BST kick-off).

The Blue Army can tune into live and free coverage on LCFC TV from 2:30pm BST, with Steve Guppy and Matt Elliott once again on duty for the encounter. 

Leicester City Crest

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