James Maddison

The Season So Far: Flying Foxes Break More Records In October

LCFC.com's winter break series, recalling the major events of the 2019/20 season so far, continues with October, which included a night no Leicester City supporter will ever forget.
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The Foxes went into the third month of their campaign on the back of an exhilarating 5-0 success over Newcastle United at King Power Stadium - their largest-ever Premier League victory.

Next up, though, was a daunting trip to Anfield to face Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool, the reigning European champions, who had already began to run clear at the table's summit.

City had enjoyed an excellent start to the season, losing just once, but were nonetheless already seven points adrift of the Merseyside outfit ahead of kick-off.

It was an occasion which saw Brendan Rodgers return to Anfield for the first time since his three-year spell as Reds manager came to an end in the autumn of 2015.

Pre-match predictions that Leicester would be able to cause Liverpool problems proved to be correct, but it was the home side who took the lead through Sadio Mané in the 40th minute.

Rodgers' visitors, though, remained resolute and stunned Anfield into silence as James Maddison collected Ayoze Pérez's through ball to beat Adrián and make it 1-1 with 10 minutes to play.

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James Maddison
James Maddison

City were within touching distance of an admirable point at Liverpool.

However, VAR, which had worked in City's favour against Wolverhampton Wanderers on the opening day, would have a part to play in resolving the outcome of a breathless encounter.

It was Mané again at the centre of it, drawing a challenge from Marc Albrighton in the area, and despite a lengthy VAR consultation, the referee's decision to award a penalty was upheld. 

Up stepped Liverpool's ever-reliable James Milner, beating Kasper Schmeichel in the Foxes net, sparking euphoric celebrations, both in the stands and from Klopp himself on the Anfield sidelines.

Leicester had gone desperately close to stopping Liverpool on Merseyside, but they returned home with nothing, despite their valiant efforts impressing many.

"We're playing against the European champions and we looked like we could get goals," Rodgers mused at full-time.

"We were always a threat in the game, we had the confidence to pass the ball. We are showing our personality in how we played."

Following a two-week international break, which involved a Belgium debut for Dennis PraetÇağlar Söyüncü's Turkey reaching UEFA EURO 2020 and Schmeichel becoming Leicester's joint-highest international appearance maker while at the Club, a home test against Burnley was next on the agenda for City.

It was also the day in which the Club paid tribute to its beloved late Chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who tragically died in a helicopter accident along with four others on 27 October, 2018.

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Khun Vichai tributes at King Power Stadium
Khun Vichai tributes at King Power Stadium

Supporters inside King Power Stadium pay tribute ahead of kick-off against Burnley.

On the date of the closest home fixture to the first anniversary, thousands of fans embarked on the 'Walk For Vichai' through the city centre to Filbert Way.

A pre-match silence led to moving scenes as supporters raised scarves embroidered with Khun Vichai's name in unison.

The game itself threatened to turn into a frustrating one for the Foxes, who initially trailed due to an opener from Burnley's Chris Wood, but Jamie Vardy swiftly levelled before half-time.

Shortly after, all four corners of King Power Stadium rose on the 61st minute, marking Khun Vichai's age, as a later strike from Youri Tielemans edged the match back in City's favour.

In the last 10 minutes, Sean Dyche's visitors thought they had salvaged a point through Wood again, only for VAR to step in and adjudge that the former Fox had fouled Evans in the build-up.

Leicester were back up to third in the Premier League by the time they headed down south in terrible conditions to tackle Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium.

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Jamie Vardy & Ayoze Pérez
Jamie Vardy & Ayoze Pérez

Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Pérez both netted hat-tricks for the Foxes at St. Mary's Stadium.

What followed on 25 October will remain in the Club's folklore forever as records tumbled and City laid down a statement of intent to the rest of the Premier League.

They took the lead after just 10 minutes, with Ben Chilwell finishing well from close range, while another VAR intervention spotted a red card offence from Ryan Bertrand seconds earlier.

The Saints were down to 10 men and Leicester continued their pursuit of goals. Tielemans doubled their lead and, two minutes later, Pérez extended it further to make it 3-0 after 19 minutes.

By half-time, it was 5-0 to City, with Pérez adding another and Vardy getting in on the act. Both would score hat-tricks by the end of the night, and Maddison also netted a stunning late free-kick. 

It ended 9-0 to Leicester - thanks to a last-ditch penalty from Vardy, City's No.9 - sealing the biggest victory by an away side in an English top-flight match in the 131-year history of the Football League.

The result was also the joint-largest Premier League win, the biggest-ever Premier League away victory and a Club-record Premier League success, taking City's all-time league goals tally to 7,007.

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Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden

Players and staff attended the opening service at King Power Stadium before supporters were invited to the visit the garden.

"We were ruthlessly simple in our game," Rodgers later said. "When you're so many goals up you can easily slow but we kept focused. We want to be a top team and to be a top team you must be clinical."

Two days later, on a crisp, yet sunny day, the Leicester City family came together for an emotional multi-faith service to open the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden at King Power Stadium.

Opened on the first anniversary of the helicopter accident that claimed the life of Khun Vichai – along with staff members Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai; and pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Lechowicz – the garden was designed to protect the accident site and to form a permanent tribute to the lives lost that night.

“We felt that a memorial garden, and the symbolism associated with the cycle of life and growth in a garden, would be an appropriate tribute," explained Leicester City CEO Susan Whelan.

The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden is open to the general public during daylight hours and can be accessed behind the East Stand of King Power Stadium.

Meanwhile, the month ended with another assured outing in the Carabao Cup as Rodgers once more named an experienced starting XI for a fourth round tie at Burton Albion.

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City win at Burton Albion
City win at Burton Albion

City were comfortable victors at Sky Bet League 1 side Burton.

Captain Wes Morgan came into the side, alongside fellow title-winner Albrighton, with Kelechi Iheanacho, Tielemans and Maddison, after Liam Boyce's strike, netting to secure a 3-1 win at Pirelli Stadium.

Their reward for beating Newcastle United, Luton Town and Burton in previous rounds was a quarter-final tie against Everton at Goodison Park in mid-December.

October had been the second month in a row which began with defeat, but ended with three victories, pushing the Foxes up to second in the Premier League and into the Carabao Cup's latter stages.

Coming up in November, Leicester were due to face Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion as Rodgers' men looked to continue that run of three successive wins into the winter.

Leicester City Crest

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