James Maddison

The Season So Far: Records Begin To Fall In September

Continuing with Leicester City’s fortunes in September, LCFC.com sets the scene in a month that produced three victories from four outings – including a record-breaking win.
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A two-week gap in between City’s 3-1 win at AFC Bournemouth on the final day of August and their trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford came as a result of the Premier League’s first international break of 2019/20.

As many as 13 Foxes were set to represent their national teams, with Çağlar Söyüncü, Kasper Schmeichel, Jonny Evans, Ben Chilwell, Youri Tielemans, Dennis Praet and James Maddison all receiving call-ups.

There were successes for several City stars, and after a two-week hiatus, Premier League football made its return on 14 September as the Foxes headed to Manchester to take on Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men.

Brendan Rodgers welcomed back his international players, and headed to Old Trafford with a belief in his side’s ability to upset the most successful side in Premier League history. “Whether it’s warranted or not, you need to believe,” he said.

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy attempts to win the ball off former Leicester City defender Harry Maguire.

On the day, only a penalty from Marcus Rashford separated the two sides, but it could have been a different story if David De Gea hadn’t pulled off a fine save from Maddison in the early stages.

City learned their lessons and moved on, while former Red Devils defender Evans commented: “There’s no doubt about it we’ve got character in our team, but we’ve got to start games better.”

A week later, Leicester returned to King Power Stadium for the first time in three weeks, as they entertained Tottenham Hotspur, who were yet to win away from home despite earning valuable draws at Manchester City and Arsenal.

On media duties in the lead-up to the game was striker Jamie Vardy, who had scored three goals in five appearances heading into the fixture, and said: “I know what my strengths are, and I’ll be making sure that I’ll use them to the best of my ability.”

It proved to be a memorable day on Filbert Way, with VAR ruling out an early effort from Wilfred Ndidi for an offside in the build-up, before the stumbling Harry Kane regained just enough balance to fire past Schmeichel for the opener.

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James Maddison
James Maddison

James Maddison is mobbed by his team-mates after his brilliant strike against Spurs.

VAR played a role after the interval, too, as it denied Serge Aurier from making it 2-0, and that proved to be a turning point in the game, as three minutes later, Leicester restored parity via Ricardo Pereira.

Then came the winner. Maddison had threatened throughout the game and a moment of individual brilliance secured all three Premier League points for City, as he slammed a strike into the bottom corner from distance.

What Leicester lacked against Manchester United a week prior, they showed against Spurs. “We needed to start the game with that intensity, and I think the crowd then sensed our appetite and our aggression in the game,” Rodgers reflected.

A delighted Maddison said of his goal: “I scored in the cup [against Newcastle] but there’s no better feeling than scoring in the Premier League, believe me!”

It was that penalty shootout success at St. James Park in August that set City up for their next Carabao Cup fixture – a trip to Bedfordshire to face Luton Town.

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James Justin & Demarai Gray
James Justin & Demarai Gray

James Justin scored against his former side, Luton Town, in Leicester's 4-0 win at Kenilworth Road.

Having signed for the Foxes in the summer from the Hatters, it would prove to be an emotional return to his boyhood club for right-back James Justin, who made his maiden appearance for the Foxes at Kenilworth Road.

Justin revealed he was ‘buzzing’ when City were drawn against Luton in the third round, but his excitement hit another level when he found the back of the net against his old side to add to Demarai Gray’s opener.

Further efforts from Tielemans and Kelechi Iheanacho secured a routine 4-0 success for Rodgers’ men, who would go on to end the month of September with another convincing victory.

The message from manager Rodgers before their Premier encounter with Newcastle at King Power Stadium was to remain calm and focused after collecting 11 points from a possible 18 to sit third in the rankings.

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Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi

Wilfred Ndidi's neat finish completed a 5-0 victory for City against Newcastle United.

In CITY Matchday Magazine, meanwhile, Academy graduate Harvey Barnes spoke of the ‘rocking’ Filbert Way atmosphere that would again be on show against the Magpies as the Foxes surged to their biggest-ever Premier League win – a record they would later beat.

The heavens opened in Leicestershire, where City punished the 10 men of Newcastle with a five-star performance thanks to a brace from Vardy, Ricardo’s opener, Paul Dummett’s own goal and a neat finish from Ndidi in injury time.

The 5-0 triumph – their largest Premier League win ever – left Leicester with the league’s joint-best defensive record having conceded just five goals in seven matches.

Rodgers said of the win: “The players had real concentration and real focus in the game. The speed of the game was good, and we kept that intensity in the game and then scored some wonderful goals.”

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