Leicester City

Foxes Off The Mark With Forest Win

Leicester City claimed their maiden Premier League win of 2022/23 after beating East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest 4-0 at King Power Stadium on Monday night.
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A double from James Maddison, which included a wonderful free-kick, and further strikes from Harvey Barnes and Patson Daka, saw the Foxes collect three points for the first time this campaign. Forest had no reply, as Leicester cruised to victory on Filbert Way.

Manager Brendan Rodgers made one change to the starting XI that faced Tottenham Hotspur a fortnight previously, with Jamie Vardy returning in place of Daka. Belgium international defender Wout Faes, meanwhile, was handed his home debut for the Football Club.

A first top-flight clash between the two East Midlands rivals since 1999 got underway at a sold-out King Power Stadium, where the weekend's Premier League action would reach its conclusion. The atmosphere did not disappoint, and neither did City's opening approach, with local lad Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall lifting over on just 22 seconds after a promising phase of play. Forest responded, with captain Jonny Evans blocking Lewis O'Brien's long-ranger.

The momentum swung back in favour of Leicester. Maddison danced past Renan Lodi and curled the ball onto the head of Dewsbury-Hall, who couldn't convert from six yards. Barely five minutes had passed, and both teams had already had sight of goal.

After Vardy headed clear a direct Lodi free-kick and deadline day signing Faes nodded a corner away not long after, James Justin looked to bend a strike into the top corner, however Brennan Johnson managed to get there and it deflected away from Dean Henderson's goal.

Looking to make amends for his earlier miss, Dewsbury-Hall collected a pass from Maddison after more good footwork from the No.10, and smashed a drive towards goal that just whistled wide. Not long after, Vardy had a brace of chances, first nodding Maddison's dead ball wide, and then firing straight at Henderson after springing Forest's offside trap. The men in blue were on top, their challenge would be to capitalise on that.

An almost carbon copy of Maddison's earlier free-kick saw the No.10 this time locate the run of Academy graduate Barnes, who could only direct the ball into the arms of Henderson. On 22 minutes, meanwhile, Forest came closest to opening the scoring as Taiwo Awoniyi struck Danny Ward's right-hand post while one-on-one with the Wales 'keeper.

Those nerves turned to joy within minutes, as Leicester took the lead through Maddison. A hashed defensive clearance from Forest fell to the England midfielder, whose shot took a wicked deflection off Scott McKenna, but nonetheless proved to be the perfect remedy to an otherwise difficult few weeks in the Premier League.

Just two minutes later, King Power Stadium erupted. Leicester were by far the more enterprising team in the first half, and when Barnes gathered the ball into feet, he unleashed a trademark curler into the bottom corner to give his side a deserved 2-0 advantage.

Then came the best goal of the game so far. Dewsbury-Hall's surging run was cut short just over yards out, and it was Maddison who would place the ball down to take the free-kick. The positioning favoured the 25-year-old, who wrong-footed Henderson in the Forest goal and arrowed his strike into the top corner - his 50th goal for the Club across all formats came in 

Forest went in search of a goal towards the end of the first period, however former Fox Jesse Lingard's strike was blocked by Tielemans and the opportunity was spurned. City's aggressive approach meant they were 3-0 ahead after 45 minutes. 

At the interval, Rodgers made a change to his side, with Ndidi retreating in place of Boubakary Soumaré in central midfield. A minute into the second period, Tielemans lifted the ball out to Barnes, who cut inside, only for Henderson to get down low to his strike.

On 52 minutes, after Awoniyi broke through, Ward did well to recover and parry the striker's shot away. Leicester were still firmly in control of the fixture, and set about probing once more. After the hour mark, Vardy's evening came to an end and on came Zambia star Patson Daka.

More twisting and turning from Maddison on 68 minutes saw him manoeuvre the ball onto his left foot, however he couldn't trouble Henderson. The No.10's quest for a first Leicester hat-trick went on, but he'd still resume duties as a provider just moments later.

Substitute Daka collected the ball in the final third and played a one-two with Maddison, whose return pass was delicately flicked in by City's No.20 for 4-0. Daka's second goal of the season, and Maddison's second assist of 2022/23. 

With just over 10 minutes to go, Ward had to be alert to Johnson's effort towards the near post, saving well to his right-hand side. Another two changes came for the hosts a few minutes later, with Dennis Praet and Marc Albrighton on and Tielemans and Maddison off.

There was still time for Morgan Gibbs-White to threaten Ward's goal, however he calmly collected the midfielder's header and there would be no consolation goal for the visiting side. 

Major moment – The opener

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James Maddison

The No.10 wheels away after opening the scoring in Leicester.

In need of a rapid start, City were immediately on the front foot and, after Taiwo Awoniyi hit the post, the Foxes never looked back. James Maddison's opener set the tempo, before a further three goals made sure of the result.

Who impressed? – Magic Madders

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James Maddison

James Maddison scored twice in the win, also assisting Patson Daka.

Speaking on LCFC Radio at full-time, Matt Elliott said: "There are a few candidates, but there’s only one man for me tonight. Don’t get me wrong, there were players that worked hard in both aspects of the game, but my Man of the Match is James Maddison, by some distance."

Where do we stand? – 19th

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Leicester City

The Foxes surged into a 3-0 lead at half-time, before Patson Daka added a fourth.

After matchday no.8 in the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, City leapfrog Forest and move into 19th in the division.

Coming up... – Bournemouth (A)

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Blue Army

The Club's supporters celebrate their East Midlands victory over Nottingham Forest.

Leicester next travel to Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday (3pm kick-off) ahead of a home encounter with Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium a week later (12:30pm kick-off).

The details...

All times BST.

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