Harvey Barnes

Villa Secure Narrow Win Over City In Injury Time

A late strike from Ross Barkley handed Aston Villa a 1-0 Premier League victory over Leicester City at King Power Stadium on Sunday night.
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With Çağlar Söyüncü missing out due to an abductor injury picked up while away on international duty with Turkey, summer signing Wesley Fofana was handed his Premier League debut for the Foxes, partnering Jonny Evans, who recovered from an abdominal complaint, in the centre of defence.

Dennis Praet was fit enough to start after a knee injury, while James Maddison (hip) was named on the substitute’s bench alongside striker Islam Slimani, but top scorer Jamie Vardy missed out with a calf problem.

With just seven minutes on the clock, Villa stopper Emiliano Martínez was called into action, saving comfortably from Spaniard Ayoze Pérez, while the Argentina international was there again to block Timothy Castagne’s strike at the near post midway through the first half.

Martínez had to save from Kelechi Iheanacho shortly after as the Foxes maintained their push for an opening goal, while at the other end, Villa attacker Trézéguet shot wide after being put under pressure in the City box.

A wayward free-kick from left-back Matt Targett failed to trouble Kasper Schmeichel with three minutes of the first half to go, while bookings for Pérez, Youri Tielemans, John McGinn and Matty Cash typified the staggered nature of play in the opening 45 minutes.

Inside the opening minute of the second half, Pérez saw a strike ricochet behind off a Villa defender as City attempted to make the perfect start after the interval, before Martínez did well to deny Tielemans, whose deflected strike nearly found the bottom corner.

Another opportunity for Tielemans to break the deadlock came shortly after, but his free-kick was well saved, while he displayed superb box-to-box play just moments later as he tracked back to intercept a pass from McGinn.

On 67 minutes, Brendan Rodgers introduced Maddison in place of Praet, while not long after, Slimani was brought on to replace Iheanacho to make his first appearance for the Club in 1,006 days.

After Pérez had a strike blocked inside the box, Slimani, with 10 minutes to play, then got up well to meet a delivery, only for his header to fly over as he looked to make a sensational return to action.

However, it proved to be the visiting side that claimed all three points. Just as the fourth official’s board went up to signal four added minutes, Ross Barkley drove forward before finding the bottom corner of the net. 

Major moment

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans came close to opening the scoring, only to be denied by Emiliano Martínez.

Goalscoring chances were at a premium on Sunday evening, with City going closest on 64 minutes when Youri Tielemans tested Emiliano Martínez.

It would have been a slice of luck had the Belgium international’s strike beaten the Villa ‘keeper, who did well to recover his position before getting down low to make the stop.

But Villa secured all three Premier League points in injury time courtesy of Ross Barkley’s pin-point effort into bottom corner.

Who impressed?

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Wesley Fofana
Wesley Fofana

Wesley Fofana looked composed on his Premier League debut for the Club.

Former defender Matt Elliott, summarising for LCFC Radio, said: “For me, I think Wesley Fofana caught the eye. Not just because it was his debut, but I kept an eye on him and he was very impressive."

Where do we stand?

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Islam Slimani
Islam Slimani

Algeria international Islam Slimani made his first appearance for City in 1,006 days.

Leicester sit fourth in the division with nine points from five Premier League outings in 2020/21. They are now four points behind leaders Everton.

Coming up…

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Brendan Rodgers & James Justin
Brendan Rodgers & James Justin

Leicester City’s first UEFA Europa League Group G fixture - a tie with FC Zorya Luhansk - follows on Thursday evening (8pm kick-off) before a trip to Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday (7:15pm kick-off) sees the Foxes contest three matches in the space of just eight days.

All times BST.

Leicester City Crest

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