Jamie Vardy

Extra-Time Talking Points: Debut Delight, Defensive Duties & The Perfect Start

Leicester City’s opening day win over West Bromwich Albion was analysed in-depth by Foxes legends Matt Elliott, Steve Walsh and Tony Cottee on Monday evening’s episode of Extra-Time.
More on this story...

- Tony Cottee, Steve Walsh and Matt Elliott reflect on Leicester City’s 3-0 win over West Brom
- The three ex-City stars were speaking on LCFC Radio’s Extra-Time broadcast

- The Foxes sit second in the early Premier League table, after a winning start to the 2020/21 season

City breezed to victory at the Hawthorns thanks to a debut goal from new full-back Timothy Castagne and a brace of penalties from Jamie Vardy.

The Foxes' promising start to the season, the level of performance and a solid defensive display were all discussed by the Extra-Time panel, which consisted of three former City stars. 

The perfect way to start

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy celebrates with his team-mates after extending the Foxes' lead over West Brom.

Matt Elliott said: "It was a superb result all round, everything turned out swimmingly after a little bit of a tentative start as they were getting to grips with the situation. And West Brom, as expected, came at them a touch, but they came through it unscathed, turned it around, worked a few things out and got into their stride. Once they did, there was no going back at all and once Leicester got themselves in front there was only one winner."

An impressive performance

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers would be delighted with the result and the performance, says Tony Cottee.

Tony Cottee said: "It wasn't just the result, it was the performance as well, excusing the first 20 minutes when West Brom were decent without creating too many chances. You very rarely on the first day of the season get the result and the performance. I'm sure Brendan [Rodgers] was absolutely delighted because it was a fantastic start to the season for everyone."

Exactly what was required

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

City's number nine tucked away two penalties to get off the mark for the season.

Steve Walsh said: "It's great to get a good start and that's what we've done. It was disciplined, it was a professional performance that West Brom had no answer for in the end. It took us 15 minutes to blow the cobwebs away but we got into a routine where we won every individual battle. The ball retention was good, we created plenty of chances and you could see what was going to happen gradually in that game. They just got a stronghold on it and overpowered West Brom in every area. You look at some of the pace in the team as well that we showed and first game, clean sheet, three goals, Vardy's on the scoresheet straight away and it's a great start."

Castagne's accomplished debut

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Timothy Castagne
Timothy Castagne

It was a dream debut for Belgian defender Timothy Castagne, who slotted into City's side seamlessly, according to Matt Elliott.

Matt Elliott said: "He looked very accomplished, he was strong physically, sharp in the challenge, looked super fit, especially considering it's so early in the season. He likes to get forward, knew his role and was impressive all-round. He was decent in possession, slotted straight in and topped it off with the goal. He filled in so comfortably, generally the whole performance [was good]."

Good work at both ends

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Çağlar Söyüncü
Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü was part of the backline that kept a clean sheet at the Hawthorns.

Tony Cottee said: "[The clean sheet] is a big bonus for them. As a forward you want to score your goals and get off the mark like Jamie Vardy did, and as a defender and a goalkeeper, you take pride in keeping clean sheets. Your first job as a defender is that clean sheet and I'm sure Brendan (Rodgers) would have made that point. 'Yes I want you to get forward, but we have to be strong at the back, we don't want to concede, give ourselves a good base, a good platform to work off' and it worked perfectly because they rode that storm in the first 20 minutes and we gradually saw Castagne get involved in the game."

Justin's defensive duties

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James Justin
James Justin

Steve Walsh praised full-back James Justin's defensive stability during the victory over the Baggies.

Steve Walsh said: "James [Justin] had a more defensive role yesterday because he was under pressure at times, he was tested a lot and he came out on top in the end. He found a way, he defended right until the end. There was problem, but he identified it and mastered it, that's credit to him. He's a young lad, working it out, knowing what he needs to do. I rate him as a defender as well. He made a fantastic block late on, he wins headers in the box from corners, he could even slot in as a centre-back if he's ever needed. It was great to see James Justin passing the test."

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