Jamie Vardy

Vardy & Albrighton Secure Norwich Success For Leicester

A dramatic and at times contentious affair ended with Leicester City securing a 2-1 victory over Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday.
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Marc Albrighton came in for the suspended Ayoze Pérez in City's starting XI as Brendan Rodgers' men began the clash in a 4-2-3-1 formation. A late summer downpour was replaced by bursting sunshine come kick-off in East Anglia as each side won early corners.

Both defences were resolute however, with James Maddison also glancing a header wide in the early exchanges. It nonetheless took Leicester just eight minutes to take the lead with Portugal full-back Ricardo Pereira winning possession and then galloping down the right channel with frightening pace.

His drag-back was perfect for the waiting Jamie Vardy in the area and City's No.9 calmly tucked the ball away into Tim Krul's far corner from around 16 yards out. It was the perfect start, but shortly afterwards, Ricardo would have to leave the pitch with a knock. Timothy Castagne was his replacement. 

The Canaries, without a win in their first two Premier League games, but backed by a supportive home crowd, were determined to respond and almost levelled matters immediately as Kenny McLean pointed a first-time drive towards the bottom corner. Kasper Schmeichel, though, was able to save.

At the other end, Harvey Barnes curled over for the Foxes, before Schmeichel's services were called upon once more. Milot Rashica, a summer signing for the home side, slid a ball in for Pierre Lees-Melou, but Leicester's No.1 had it covered, clawing the ball out of the bottom corner.

Seconds later, it was very nearly 2-0 to City. It came about as Youri Tielemans threaded a pass through to Barnes. While the Academy graduate was dispossessed by Grant Hanley, the challenge actually teed up Vardy, who ran onto it. He was able to pull the trigger too. Krul, though, got a strong hand on it.

The half would end dramatically, too. When Çağlar Söyüncü challenged Lees-Melou in the area, conceding a corner, there was a ripple of appeals from the home faithful in the stand behind the goal. They grew louder as referee Robert Jones rose his finger to his ear, consulting with VAR.

Aided by the pitchside display, the referee eventually elected to point to the penalty spot, with Finland international Teemu Pukki firing into the bottom corner. Boosted by their late equaliser before the interval, Norwich twice went close early on the second half, with Todd Cantwell and Lees-Melou firing over. 

A header from Pukki also needed to be saved before a big opportunity for Leicester. Albrighton's corner was nodded on by Wilfred Ndidi and Ben Gibson inadvertently headed it to Maddison, lurking in an on-side position. With just a second to think it through, City's No.10 could only hit the side netting. 

Tielemans, on the other hand, was unlucky to see a powerful drive fly over the crossbar, before Kelechi Iheanacho was introduced from the bench, replacing Barnes. With 14 minutes remaining, Leicester's attacking ambitions got their rewards as Albrighton found the net to make it 2-1 to the visitors.

It was a move which started on the left channel with Maddison riding a challenge and locating Vardy. The opening goalscorer then spun on the spot and picked out Albrighton, waiting patiently on the angle of the penalty area. It was a chance which required composure and City's No.11 calmly swept it home.

It wasn't a victory without its alarming moments, though, and Norwich even had the ball in the net with nine minutes to go.

McLean's header appeared to have rescued a point for the Canaries, but the protests from the visiting players were immediate and VAR would eventually confirm Cantwell - obstructing Schmeichel - was a fraction offside. The cheers of the away end replaced those of their Norwich counterparts.

Home substitutes Lukas Rupp and Josh Sargent later combined for Norwich on the left channel, with the latter getting on the end of a smart cross. From point-blank range, Sargent's effort was off target, slamming into the LED advertisement hoardings. Söyüncü then blocked twice from Max Aarons and Rupp.

Pressure was building. The Canaries sensed an opportunity, but it was actually Leicester who would carve out the best chance of the final moments as Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall - off the bench to make his Premier League debut - teed up Iheanacho. The Nigerian, though, couldn't find the target.

Daniel Farke's hosts threw all they could at their visitors, as Krul headed upfield for set pieces in the dying seconds, but the Foxes valiantly held on.

Major moment

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Leicester City
Leicester City

Marc Albrighton is congratulated by his Foxes colleagues after scoring the goal which would ultimately win the game.

A game with two VAR decisions was ultimately settled by a classy finish from Marc Albrighton, after determined play by James Maddison, and Jamie Vardy's quick-thinking. Albrighton's finish had just the right amount of pace and accuracy to defy Tim Krul and hand all three points to the Foxes.

Who impressed?

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Belgium international Youri Tielemans pulled the strings for the Foxes in the heart of midfield.

Matt Elliott, the Club's 2000 League Cup winning captain and LCFC Radio pundit, said: "Youri Tielemans is so important for Leicester City. He was so stylish in possession and was a vital link for them when they were looking to get forward. He was at his best today and you can see how his team benefited."

Where do we stand?

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

The Club's all-time top Premier League goalscorer celebrates his opener at Carrow Road.

City climb to eighth in the early Premier League standings with six points from three matches ahead of the maiden international break of 2021/22. West Ham United and Everton lead the way on seven.

Coming up...

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Marc Albrighton
Marc Albrighton

Winning goalscorer toasts the victory with the Blue Army at full-time.

Several members of Leicester's first team squad may represent their countries over the coming fortnight before Premier League football returns to King Power Stadium for the visit of Manchester City on Saturday 11 September (3pm kick-off).

The following Thursday, the UEFA Europa League campaign begins with Napoli visiting Filbert Way on matchday one in Group C (8pm kick-off).

All times BST.

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