Leicester City

Foxes Dig Deep To Win In Lancashire

Leicester City registered their first Premier League victory of 2022 by beating Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor on Tuesday night.
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For City's rescheduled trip to Lancashire, four changes were made to the XI that beat Randers 3-1 in Denmark on Thursday. Ricardo PereiraÇağlar Söyüncü, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Patson Daka all returned for a 4-3-3 stratagem. There was a welcome sight on the bench, meanwhile, as Jamie Vardy returned to the matchday squad after over two months out with a hamstring injury.

Ahead of the match, Burnley and Leicester wore t-shirts during the warm-up to show solidarity with Ukraine.

From the first whistle, a midfield tussle ensued. On six minutes, it was No.8 Youri Tielemans who would have a maiden attempt at goal, however his dipping drive had too much on it, and it sailed over Nick Pope's crossbar. Marc Albrighton followed up with a fizzing pass across goal, however Dewsbury-Hall was marked out of getting there. Wilfred Ndidi directed a 35-yard strike wide shortly after.

City, supported by 1,925 members of the Blue Army, were trying to capitalise on their early pressure, and only a strong left-handed save from Pope prevented Ricardo's shot from nestling into the bottom corner of the net. Söyüncü then saw an effort blocked from the resulting corner - all of which came inside 10 minutes in Lancashire.

A defensive error from James Tarkowski presented Patson Daka with an opportunity to open the scoring on 19 minutes, however Pope spread himself well to deny the Zambia international's instinctive attempt from a tight angle.

The Foxes had most certainly started brightest in Burnley, however the Clarets were first to find the net through Maxwel Cornet, however the Ivory Coast attacker had strayed into an offside position before converting.

With 30 minutes gone, Tarkowski headed wide from deep inside the Leicester box. Not long after, a flowing move from the Foxes saw Barnes play a give-and-go with Dewsbury-Hall, and while the former had made good ground before receiving the return pass, he couldn't hit the target.

More fine combination play between the Academy graduates followed, leading to Barnes forcing Pope into a stunning one-handed stop from close proximity. The loose ball then fell to Tielemans, and his shot deflected into the path of Daniel Amartey, who teed up Barnes, but once again, his attempt was halted, this time by the body of Charlie Taylor.

Although no breakthrough had been made, Leicester were the creators of the better goalscoring opportunities, and now they were tasked with building on their first-half display during the second 45 minutes of action.

At the interval, Brendan Rodgers introduced Ademola Lookman in place of Ricardo, with Albrighton moving into right-back, where he has often been utilised under the Northern Irishman.

Skipper Kasper Schmeichel was called into action on 49 minutes as he palmed away Connor Roberts' dangerous delivery from the right wing. Luke Thomas' pass from the left flank, meanwhile deflected behind for a corner off Nathan Collins, who then threw himself in the way of a Dewsbury-Hall strike after the No.22 had previously had his free-kick blocked by the Burnley wall.

At the other end, Burnley tried to capitalise on the counter-attack, with Cornet seeing a curler stopped by Söyüncü deep inside Leicester territory. The Burnley forward then raced onto Dwight McNeil's through-ball, however pressure from Schmeichel forced him to poke wide of the mark.

A double change followed for City with just under 20 minutes of normal time remaining. On came Vardy for his first appearance since 28 December, while James Maddison - the scorer of two stunners against Randers just five days prior - also entered the action. Daka and Tielemans made way.

Two blocks from Amartey kept the Clarets at bay, before the Ghanaian slid in to cut off the run of Aaron Lennon on 76 minutes. On the break, substitutes Maddison and Vardy lined up, however the latter's acrobatic effort flew off target.

Another counter led to Barnes' attempt deflecting to Vardy, who went down in the penalty area under pressure from Collins, however nothing was given. Leicester, though, were now in the ascendancy and looked the most likely to claim three points from the fixture.

A superb save from Pope saw the England 'keeper claw Barnes' curler out of the top corner, but he could do nothing about the Foxes' next effort. A long clearance from Schmeichel was plucked out of the air by Vardy, who teed up Maddison. The No.10 then set himself before bending into the bottom corner of the net with his left foot. After a VAR check, the goal was confirmed, and the visitors most certainly deserved it. 

The Clarets came close to an immediate equaliser, however Collins' flick-on was nudged wide by Netherlands striker and Burnley focal point Wout Weghorst, who arrived at Turf Moor in January from Wolfsburg.

After absorbing Burnley's pressure, City added a second to seal the points. Barnes swung a beautiful cross into Vardy, who nodded home goal no.12 of the 2021/22 campaign in all competitions. 

Major moment

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall celebrates with goalscorer James Maddison, who broke the deadlock in Burnley.

After 81 goalless minutes, Leicester substitutes Jamie Vardy and James Maddison certainly made an impact. After Vardy had brought down Kasper Schmeichel's long punt, he played the ball to the feet of Maddison, who for the 12th time this season across all formats, found the back of the net.

A second came in the last minute of normal time, through the returning Vardy, whose goal and assist led Leicester to their first Premier League away win since October.

Who impressed?

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Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes assisted Jamie Vardy's header to help secure all three Premier League points.

Speaking on LCFC Radio's Matchday Live, former Fox Simon Grayson said: "Çağlar Söyüncü and Daniel Amartey, the two centre-backs did well. They dealt with Wout Weghorst and Maxwel Cornet. Youri Tielemans was everywhere, protecting and kept the ball ticking over, but if you look at Harvey Barnes, he had several opportunities, although thwarted by Nick Pope, and he assisted Jamie Vardy's goal. I'd love to give it to a defensive player, but it's Harvey Barnes for me."

Where do we stand?

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Jamie Vardy

The returning No.9 roars to the travelling Blue Army after making it 2-0.

After matchday no.24 in the Premier League, the Foxes occupy 12th position in the standings

Coming up...

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Daniel Amartey

Daniel Amartey was a consistent presence at heart of defence for City.

City's Premier League campaign continues on Saturday, when they entertain Leeds United at King Power Stadium (12:30pm kick-off). Five days later, the Foxes host Rennes in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League Round of 16 tie.

The details...

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