Muzzy Izzet

Remembering When O'Neill's City Defeated Aston Villa At Filbert Street

After another top-half Premier League finish and a League Cup final appearance during 1998/99, Leicester City headed into the new season full of optimism.
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The 1999/00 season proved to be Leicester's most successful Premier League campaign of the decade, achieving their highest top-flight position of eighth.

Though Darren Eadie and Stan Collymore would arrive during the season, City's only two summer transfers saw Premier League-winning goalkeeper Tim Flowers make the move from Blackburn Rovers and defender Phil Gilchrist come in from Oxford United, with American shot-stopper Kasey Keller departing for Rayo Vallecano. 

Their early season home form was particularly impressive, remaining unbeaten in the first eight games played at home, including 1-0 victories over Coventry City and Watford.

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Muzzy Izzet
Muzzy Izzet

Muzzy Izzet wheels away in celebration after putting City into the lead.

By the time Aston Villa arrived in Leicester on 25 September 1999, the Foxes had dispatched Middlesbrough 3-0, whilst also holding Liverpool and Chelsea to 2-2 draws.

City's starting line-up for the encounter included both of their summer signings: Flowers; Elliott, Gilchrist, Sinclair; Impey, Izzet, Savage, Lennon, Guppy; Cottee, Heskey.

The game was goalless until five minutes before the break - Muzzy Izzet netting his fifth goal of the season to send Leicester into half-time with a slender lead.

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Tony Cottee
Tony Cottee

Tony Cottee extended Leicester's lead with his fourth of the season, ensuring three points for the home side.

City's advantage was doubled three minutes after the interval via an own goal from Villa defender Gareth Southgate.

The Foxes asserted their dominance on the game and made it three on 55 minutes as Tony Cottee found the net for the fourth time in the Premier League campaign.

Things got worse for Villa when referee Jeff Winter showed Southgate a second yellow card with 25 minutes remaining, but they did manage to pull a goal back through forward Dion Dublin.

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Emile Heskey
Emile Heskey

Forward Emile Heskey would soon leave the Club for Liverpool, with Stan Collymore coming in as his replacement.

The majority of the 19,917 in attendance at Filbert Street were happy to see Leicester earn a 3-1 victory and climb up to seventh in the table.

Villa would end up finishing sixth in the final standings, two places above the Foxes, who achieved their highest league finish in 24 years, despite losing frontman Emile Heskey to Liverpool midway through the season.

City would also lift the League Cup trophy for the second time under Martin O'Neill during the 1999/00 season, beating Tranmere Rovers 2-1 in the final at the old Wembley to qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Northern Irishman O'Neill left the Club at the end of the campaign, to manage Celtic, with ex-England Under-21s coach Peter Taylor coming in to the hot seat at Filbert Street.

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