Kelechi Iheanacho

Leicester City’s Season Review: October

LCFC.com continues a month-by-month recollection of Leicester City’s 2020/21 season by focusing on the month of October.
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The month began with defeat at King Power Stadium as City’s 100 per cent start to the new Premier League campaign was ended by West Ham United.

Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals gave the visiting Hammers a two-goal lead at the break and it was an advantage they extended late on via Jarrod Bowen’s finish.

Missing James Maddison through injury, the Foxes were unable to respond in the final third and it would be a similar story two weeks later when Aston Villa arrived on Filbert Way.

Leicester struggled to breach Villa's defence, but looked to be taking at least a point from the encounter until Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley produced a moment of magic to win it in stoppage time.

First Team

Leicester City 0 Aston Villa 1

Extended highlights of the Foxes' Premier League defeat by the Villans at King Power Stadium.

Brendan Rodgers’ side had tasted back-to-back home defeats heading into the opening UEFA Europa League Group Stage fixture, against Zorya Luhansk.

At home once more against the Ukrainian outfit, Leicester got back to form in style, cutting open Zorya’s defensive line throughout the contest.

However, it was the away side who created an early chance to break the deadlock and things could have been very different had Kasper Schmeichel not been able to spread himself to block Vladyslav Kabayev’s sliding effort.

Maddison, on his European debut, found a way through just before the half hour mark. Picking up possession just inside the opposition half, he laid it off for Kelechi Iheanacho to drive forward and he in turn found Harvey Barnes, whose curling strike came back off the woodwork.

First Team

Goals: Leicester City 3 Zorya Luhansk 0

Enjoy the goals from Leicester City's comprehensive UEFA Europa League victory over Zorya Luhansk on Thursday.

A scramble ensued as Maddison took control and poked the ball home from close range. It was scrappy, but Leicester did not care. The Foxes had their first Europa League goal, and it would set them on the way to a comfortable victory at King Power Stadium.

Iheanacho and Barnes were both involved in the second, too, as nice hold-up play from the Nigerian international allowed Barnes to make a move forward and once the ball was under his spell, there was no stopping him.

Sprinting through the heart of the defence, the winger calmly waited for the ‘keeper to go down before finishing with a cheeky dink that showed the sheer confidence he was playing with.

A third goal would follow in the second half as Iheanacho gratefully accepted a mis-aimed back-pass in the penalty area, swivelling with the ball at his feet before clinically firing into the bottom corner with his right boot. It was his first goal of the season for Leicester in any competition and there would be plenty more to come in the ensuing months.

First Team

Arsenal 0 Leicester City 1

The Foxes claimed a historic win at Emirates Stadium to go fourth in the Premier League table.

Leicester soared to the top of Group G after matchday one and were faced with another European task seven days later, after tackling Arsenal back in the Premier League. Mikel Arteta’s side were yet to beaten at home in the league in 2020, so it would be no easy task in north London.

There was no way through a stubborn Leicester backline, which was operating with a five at the back system, for the Gunners, although they did have the ball in the net early on. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang flicked in Alexander Lacazette’s header, but the offside flag denied him the opener.

Not involved in the Zorya success, Jamie Vardy was a substitute for City’s trip to Emirates Stadium and would be heavily involved in the game’s key moment.

Youri Tielemans spotted Cengiz Ünder in space and chipped the ball forward to release the Turkey international, who used his pace to get into a position to cross. Looking up, there was one man in the box and City’s talismanic No.9 was able to dive and head the ball home with a little under 10 minutes remaining.

A hugely significant three points to get the Foxes back on track in the league and a first win at Arsenal since September 1973 – it ended a run of 27 away games without victory against the Gunners.

First Team

Goals: AEK Athens 1 Leicester City 2

Enjoy the goals from Thursday evening's UEFA Europa League victory over AEK Athens in Greece.

It also meant this was Leicester’s joint-best start to a Premier League campaign, having won four of their opening six fixtures to match the run at the beginning of the 2000/01 season.

Returning to midweek European action, Athens was the venue for the Club’s first away fixture in the competition, as City faced AEK Athens in the Greek capital. Vardy was back in the starting XI and marked his Europa League arrival with a goal from the penalty spot.

Maddison’s slide-rule pass sent the former England international on his way and after appearing to be tripped, he was then also taken down by the AEK ‘keeper. The referee had no option but to point for a penalty and Vardy dusted himself down to fire Leicester into the lead from the spot on 17 minutes.

Maddison’s corner was then flicked on to Academy graduate Hamza Choudhury at the back post, who hammered home emphatically to double the visitors’ advantage.

Muamer Tankovic halved the deficit with a well taken finish within two minutes of the second period, but could not prevent a second win from two in City’s burgeoning European campaign.

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