Leicester City

City Secure Important Leeds Success

A determined performance from Leicester City saw them defeat Leeds United 2-0 at King Power Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday night.
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Robin Koch's own goal, forced by Dennis Praet, made it 1-0 before Harvey Barnes continued his red-hot scoring form against Leeds to double the lead and ultimately secure the points for Leicester.

A brace of changes were made by manager Brendan Rodgers to his starting XI. With midfielder James Maddison (suspended) missing out, in came Praet, while Jamie Vardy replaced Patson Daka up front in what looked to be a 4-3-3 system.

Leeds showed real intent in the opening five minutes, enjoying spells of possession in the Foxes half, before City gained a foothold in the game and ventured forward themselves. In the first quarter-of-an-hour, though, neither side were able to test Danny Ward or Illan Meslier, despite their probing.

A decisive moment soon arrived. Vardy was hacked down midway through the Leeds half, but play continued and the ball worked its way out to Praet. His first-time cross, aimed at Barnes, was turned into his own net by Koch. Vardy needed treatment as King Power Stadium celebrated – thankfully, he was able to play on, and Leicester were ahead. 

Around 10 minutes later, Wout Faes stood in the way of Luis Sinisterra's 25-yard drive. Edging towards the half-hour mark, James Justin's lovely pass from the left flank located the head of Timothy Castagne, whose nod back across goal was cleared by Diego Llorente. 

In the space of a couple of minutes, Sinisterra struck the crossbar from distance before curling just wide of Ward's left-hand post as Leeds went in search of a leveller. Not long after, Crysencio Summerville, later flagged offside, forced Ward into a tipped stop.

City were having to absorb the Leeds advances as the first half went on, and that proved to be huge as, moments after Ward's save, the hosts were 2-0 up. Neat link-up play from Vardy saw him flick the ball into the path of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who teed up Barnes to side-foot through the legs of Meslier. The Academy graduate in turn stretched his scoring streak to six consecutive matches against the Yorkshire outfit, five of which have come for Leicester. 

Into the second half, Ward was on hand again, making a good stop from Liam Cooper after Llorente saw an overhead-kick blocked in the six-yard box. Three minutes later, Patrick Bamford's header deflected over before City successfully defended another Leeds corner. 

Rodgers' side remained a forward threat, with Boubakary Soumaré surging through midfield before seeing his cross cleared to the feet of Castagne, who was closed down before his strike could trouble Meslier. At the other end, Rasmus Kristensen lifted over from range after being put under pressure by Daniel Amartey.

On 64 minutes, Rodgers made a double change, with Soumaré and Vardy making way in place of Papy Mendy and Patson Daka. The Zambia frontman nearly assisted a goal within minutes of coming on, however Praet was unable to finish with his left boot.

Then came a third substitution of the night, as Praet, creator of the first goal, came off. Spanish attacker Ayoze Pérez was the man to be introduced. Almost immediately, he had an opportunity to advance after collecting Castagne's pass, however he was unable to test Meslier.

Senegal international Mendy, an AFCON winner earlier this year, had to get across to block substitute Jack Harrison's strike from a tight angle. With just under 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Dewsbury-Hall, having put in a big midfield shift, required treatment on the pitch. 

Summerville whipped a shot towards goal that deflected high and wide, and then Cooper nodded over from the resulting corner as City continued to stand strong. With five to go, Kelechi Iheanacho came on in place of goalscorer Barnes, who soaked up the applause as he made his way to the home dugout.

The men in blue were tasked with navigating four minutes of time added on. Ward clung onto a long-ranger from substitute Mateusz Klich, but that was all Leeds would muster up in the closing stages. City, collecting three points, made it three clean sheets in a row at King Power Stadium.

Major moment – The breakthrough

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Leicester City

The Foxes celebrate their opener, coming courtesy of a Robin Koch own goal after good work from Dennis Praet.

Seeking an early goal after absorbing some pressure from Leeds, the Foxes were ahead after 16 minutes when Robin Koch turned home Dennis Praet's delivery from the right flank. That provided City with something to build on, and they did exactly that when Harvey Barnes doubled their advantage before the interval.

Who impressed? – Dennis Praet

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Dennis Praet

The Belgium international had a hand in City's opener, forcing an own goal from Robin Koch.

On co-commentary duties for LCFC Radio on Thursday, Gerry Taggart said: "In the end, they deserved the win. James Justin was excellent, as was Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who ran himself into the ground. It was excellent form him. Wout Faes and Boubakary Soumaré were both excellent. One man stands out for me, and that was Dennis Praet. He was immense for Leicester City, I thought he was brilliant."

Where do we stand? – 19th

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Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans gives a thumbs up to the Blue Army during City's 2-0 success over Leeds.

Moving off the foot of the Premier League table, City are now 19th in the division. Three points separate them and 13th-placed West Ham United.

Coming up – Wolves (A)

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Danny Ward

A Premier League trip to Molineux Stadium to face Wolverhampton Wanderers comes on Sunday (2pm kick-off) prior to tackling champions Manchester City at King Power Stadium six days later (12:30pm kick-off).

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All times BST.

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