Leicester City

Thunderous Castagne & Maddison Strikes Stun Brentford

Incredible goals from Timothy Castagne and James Maddison contributed to Leicester City's 2-1 Premier League win against Brentford at King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
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Following his recovery from a thigh issue, defender Castagne - making his 50th start for the Club in all competitions - came back into the starting XI for the first time since late December in one of four changes. Academy star Harvey Barnes also made his 100th start across all formats for the Foxes.

Çağlar Söyüncü, who missed out against Rennes through illness, Papy Mendy and Maddison all also returned for the clash with Brentford, while Wesley Fofana's minutes were being managed following his first outing of the season on Thursday.

Marc Albrighton (groin) and Wilfred Ndidi (knee) were not included in the matchday personnel as expected, however there were places on the bench for Patson Daka, who overcame a mild illness, and Jonny Evans, with the Northern Ireland defender included in the squad for the first time in over three months. 

Brentford's first-ever visit to King Power Stadium came under striking sun, and it was the hosts who aimed to dictate play in the opening stages. A neat combination between Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Kelechi Iheanacho and Maddison forged the first sight on goal, with the No.10 drilling wide with his left foot on six minutes. 

The duo of Daniel Amartey and Söyüncü stopped Ivan Toney and then Bryan Mbeumo as the Bees advanced into the Leicester area. Their interventions came in a timely fashion, too - City were ahead soon afterwards via a spectacular moment of quality.

Urged to shoot by the Blue Army, Belgium international Castagne unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner after collecting a pass from Barnes. His first game of 2022 producing his maiden goal of the 2021/22 season.

Brentford too showed their attacking quality not long after the opener. Yoane Wissa picked out Mathias Jensen, who was denied only by international team-mate Kasper Schmeichel. Söyüncü then diverted Mbeumo's low pass away to safety after the Bees attacker burst down the left, while James Justin dealt with a recycled delivery from the resulting corner. 

The Foxes defended in numbers at exactly the right times, and capitalised on their attacking play. When Jensen bundled Maddison over around 25 yards out, all in attendance at King Power Stadium knew it was within the midfielder's range. He placed the ball down, whipped it over the wall and beat David Raya in the Brentford net to score the Club's 800th goal in the Premier League.

There was nearly a third goal when Dewsbury-Hall recovered possession midway through Brentford's half, darted towards Raya and fired just inches low and wide of the target. The tenacious midfielder's signature song rang around Filbert Way as the Blue Army rewarded his efforts. 

City were in the mood for more before the interval, with Nigeria striker Iheanacho locating the run of Justin with a reverse pass. However, on this occasion, Raya was equal to it and smothered the attempt at the near post. The hosts led 2-0 after the first 45 minutes. 

Brendan Rodgers' men sought to pick up where they left off in the second half, with Wissa throwing himself in the way of Justin's goal-bound effort from inside the area. Shortly after, Raya held onto Maddison's curler as the pressure continued.

Under the challenge of Söyüncü, Brentford centre-back Pontus Jansson headed over the crossbar, but Leicester were eager to extend their advantage, with Iheanacho the next Fox to threaten as his chipped attempt flew just wide of the mark.

Jansson was a significant presence inside the City area, with Youri Tielemans - the scorer of a stunner against Brentford earlier in the season - getting his body in the way of the Sweden international's strike, before Schmeichel tipped over from the 31-year-old not long after. 

Iheanacho was causing problems for Brentford, dropping deep at stages to link up with the City midfield. That's exactly what he did on the hour mark, releasing Dewsbury-Hall down the left. The No.22 motored onto the pass and swung the ball into Justin, who smashed off target from a difficult angle.

The Bees were gathering momentum themselves, with Schmeichel making another impressive stop to deny Mbeumo from point-blank range. Following Jensen's wayward strike, a first change of the afternoon came for Leicester not long after, with Evans making a popular return in place of goalscorer Castagne. 

Toney nodded harmlessly over prior to a second change of the afternoon. Off came Dewsbury-Hall, on a booking, and that meant Boubakary Soumaré entered the action with just over 10 minutes of normal time to play.

Iheanacho looked to strengthen the scoreline in Leicester's favour, however he couldn't direct his header on goal. Moments later, Amartey's misplaced pass allowed the Bees back into the game as Wissa, on the edge of the box, fired home.

On 86 minutes, a third substitution saw Zambia striker Daka introduced. Schmeichel's efforts were required again as the Denmark stopper parried substitute Tariqe Tosu-Henry's attempt to safety before holding onto Mbuemo's low drive.

Aiming to restore his side's two-goal cushion, Barnes glanced Maddison's free-kick wide in injury time, however City were able to repel the Bees and their two first-half goals were enough to record a fourth consecutive home success in all competitions. 

Major moment

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Timothy Castagne & Kelechi Iheanacho

The Belgium full-back celebrated his return to action with a superb strike.

The purest of strikes from Timothy Castagne laid the foundations for a comprehensive victory for Leicester City over Brentford. A further wonderstrike from James Maddison doubled City's advantage in the first half, while Kasper Schmeichel made a string of stops, however Yoane Wissa's late goal denied the Dane an opportunity to register the Club's 160th clean sheet in the Premier League.

Who impressed?

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James Maddison

James Maddison added another brilliant free-kick attempt to his collection.

Speaking on LCFC Radio from the pressbox at King Power Stadium, Gerry Taggart said: "There are a few people that stick out. Kasper Schmeichel was called upon and was very good, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was great and I thought Çağlar Söyüncü was excellent, that was a proper centre-back performance from him. But if you’re talking about the other end of the pitch then there’s only one man you can talk about. His set-plays were excellent, creating opportunities for other players, but that free-kick was world class from James Maddison, so he’s got to have my Man of the Match."

Where do we stand?

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Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü toasts City's first-half strikes, which ultimately secured all three points.

In the latest Premier League standings, the Foxes are up to 10th and have a number of games in hand on several sides around them.

Coming up...

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Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans played for the first time since December after coming on in the second half.

Leicester travel to Old Trafford to tackle Manchester United in the Premier League in 13 days' time, with a 5:30pm kick-off scheduled in the north west.

The details...

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