Jamie Vardy

Foxes Finish Eighth With Convincing Saints Win

Leicester City concluded the 2021/22 season with a 4-1 victory over Southampton at King Power Stadium to secure a joint-fourth highest Premier League finish.

Ahead of City's 2021/22 season finale, Alan 'The Birch' Birchenall participated in his 40th and final End of Season Run, this time in aid of Leicester Hospitals Charity's Neonatal Incubator Appeal. For the match, manager Brendan Rodgers, who alongside Chairman Khun Aiywawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and the Foxes squad completed several laps with the Birch, opted to make three changes to the side that claimed a point at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, as James Justin, Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes all returned.

The Foxes applied pressure in the early stages, with Tielemans having a drive blocked by Oriol Romeu inside the box, before Timothy Castagne headed over from James Maddison's pin-point delivery. The hosts were enjoying plenty of the ball, and on this occasion Lyanco got in the way of a Maddison cross.

Down the left wing, Barnes made ground and curled an attempt towards goal, however his strike was blocked and Southampton were able to clear their lines. The No.7 then swept an effort into the north stand, with Alex McCarthy able to watch the ball sail harmlessly past his goal frame. 

Neat footwork from Jamie Vardy on 21 minutes saw him come close to carving out an opportunity, however good defending from Jack Stephens meant the striker was unable to get his shot away. At the other end, with 30 minutes gone, James Ward-Prowse lifted well over. 

A combination of Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana dealt with Southampton's next attack, with the visiting side focusing their efforts on the counter-attack. Then, with five minutes of the first half to play, a superb ball in from Castagne at the other end very nearly found Vardy, who couldn't quite stretch far enough to make a connection.

Just four minutes into the second half, City were in front. A long ball from Kasper Schmeichel was headed on by Lyanco, but it could only find Vardy, who was denied while one-on-one with McCarthy, but Maddison was there to tuck home the rebound with his left boot for goal no.18 of the season across all formats.

A clash of heads between Evans and Adam Armstrong brought about a lengthy pause, with both players receiving treatment on the pitch. Evans played on, however Adam Armstrong was forced off not long after. Then, just after the hour mark, City's first substitution of the match saw Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall replaced by Ayoze Pérez

With Southampton looking for a response, Schmeichel held onto Nathan Redmond's header. Not long after, Vardy struck into the arms of McCarthy. Castagne was next to come off, with Ricardo Pereira on to make his first appearance in five games.

City's advantage was doubled on 75 minutes, with Vardy carving through the Saints defence and slamming beyond McCarthy for 2-0. His 17th goal of the season in all competitions, and his fifth Premier League goal in his last four appearances. Barnes, who assisted Vardy, then came off in place of Ademola Lookman.

Southampton rallied and had the opportunity to pull one back when Stuart Armstrong was felled in the box by Tielemans. Up stepped Ward-Prowse who successfully converted from 12 yards. 

However, Leicester restored their two-goal cushion almost immediately, with Maddison teeing up Pérez, who sent a half-volley past McCarthy at the far post for 3-1. A fourth change followed, as Daniel Amartey replaced Maddison - who delivered another fine performance - for the closing stages. 

There was still a time for a fourth of the afternoon, and it was that man Pérez again who unleashed a fine effort into the top corner, connecting sweetly with Ricardo's delivery on the half-volley.

With the result sealed, the Club's stars embarked upon their lap of appreciation after the full-time whistle to thank the Blue Army for their excellent support throughout the 2021/22 campaign.

Major moment

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James Maddison

James Maddison scored four minutes into the second half to set the Foxes on their way.

After the first half finished goalless, Leicester raced out of the traps and went ahead when James Maddison tucked home the loose ball after Jamie Vardy had initially been denied. 

Vardy was on the scoresheet himself not long after, and then a brace from Ayoze Pérez added gloss to a comfortable win on Filbert Way.

Who impressed?

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James Maddison & Ayoze Pérez

The No.10 opened the scoring before setting up Ayoze Pérez's first strike.

Speaking live from the pressbox at King Power Stadium, Matt Elliott told LCFC Radio: "It's not that easy, because it's a positive scoreline and there was four goals. Leicester scored early on in the second half and upped the ante a little bit. A constant feature, I thought, throughout the game, was James Maddison. I thought he showed some moments of real quality, he's a quality performer. He's a proper player, a proper footballer. He scored the opener and contributed for one of Ayoze Pérez's goal."

Where do we stand?

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Ayoze Pérez

Ayoze Pérez celebrates scoring twice against Southampton on Filbert Way.

The Foxes end the season in eight position in the table, their joint-fourth highest Premier League finish.

Coming up...

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Jamie Vardy

The No.9 wheels away in celebration after scoring his side's second of the afternoon.

City will contest their ninth consecutive season in the Premier League in 2022/23, with a full pre-season schedule to precede it to be confirmed on LCFC.com over the summer break.

The details...

All times BST.

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