Ayoze Pérez & James Maddison

Foxes Mark New Year With Newcastle Success

Leicester City’s first fixture of 2020 resulted in a 3-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on New Year’s Day.
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Manager Brendan Rodgers made six changes to the side that recorded a 2-1 win at West Ham United and reverted to a back five, while Jamie Vardy was not included in the matchday squad due to a calf problem.

The Foxes looked impressive in the early stages, with Northern Ireland centre-back Jonny Evans forcing two saves out of Martin Dúbravka with three minutes gone, before the Magpies shot-stopper denied Youri Tielemans on the quarter-hour mark.

Efforts from Fabian Schär and Joelinton were then turned away by Kasper Schmeichel midway through the first period, while at the other end, Christian Fuchs had a shot blocked and Wilfred Ndidi headed over from a corner.

City continued to press and found an opener with 36 minutes on the clock, when former Newcastle man Ayoze Pérez cut out Florian Lejeune’s pass across goal and rode a challenge before firing beyond Dúbravka.

With momentum on their side, the visitors doubled their advantage just three minutes later through James Maddison, who collected a Pérez pass before rifling a brilliant left-footed effort into the top corner of the net.

Early in the second period, having already made three substitutions, Newcastle went down to 10 men after Fabian Schär was forced off with an injury, and Leicester looked to take advantage immediately as Maddison saw an effort saved by Dúbravka on 54 minutes.

City dominated possession in the second period, but few goalscoring chances followed. Substitute Demarai Gray, who scored the winner at West Ham at the weekend, miscued from close range, but it was another substitute who would round off the scoring.

Nigerian international Ndidi offloaded the ball to Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury, who netted his first goal for the Football Club by curling into the top corner from 20 yards out.

Major moment

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Ayoze Pérez
Ayoze Pérez

Ayoze Pérez sends the ball past Martin Dúbravka to make it 1-0 on Tyneside.

After a goalless opening 30 minutes, it was Leicester City’s persistence that eventually led to their first goal, as Ayoze Pérez pounced on a loose pass.

The Spaniard intercepted from former Newcastle team-mate Florian Lejeune before converting past Martin Dúbravka.

Who impressed?

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans congratulates Ayoze Pérez for his opener at St. James' Park.

Gerry Taggart told LCFC Radio: “There are a few contenders. Wilfred Ndidi was imperious again and James Maddison scored his goal, but for me, with the way the game planned out and Brendan Rodgers played the game, the person who got the ball rolling more that anyone, especially in the first half, was Youri Tielemans.

"I’m going to give it to Youri Tielemans just for the way his thought process played out. He was exceptional.”

Where do we stand?

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Hamza Choudhury
Hamza Choudhury

The Academy graduate rounded off the scoring with a fine strike late on.

Brendan Rodgers men remain second in the Premier League standings after 21 fixtures, having accumulated 45 points during that period.

As it stands, the Foxes sit 14 points above fifth place as their hunt for a top-four spot continues.

Coming up…

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

The City manager salutes the Blue Army, who made the long trip to Newcastle on New Year's Day.

Attentions will now turn to two competitions, as the Foxes first host Wigan Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round on Saturday (5:31pm kick-off), before Aston Villa visit King Power Stadium on Wednesday for the first leg of their Carabao Cup Semi-Final tie.

All times GMT.

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