Jamie Vardy

Leicester Beaten By Nottingham Forest

Leicester City lost 2-0 in their East Midlands derby visit to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday.
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Brennan Johnson's second-half double condemned the Foxes to their fourth top-flight defeat in a row.

Two changes to the XI which lost at Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup facilitated the return of Jamie Vardy at the tip of Leicester’s 4-3-3 shape. Papy Mendy, on the other hand, added an extra body in the middle too. It was a dull, damp day in truth, but the occasion was lifted by an intense City Ground crowd, which included 2,953 Foxes fans.

There were half-chances for each side early on; Ryan Yates nodding wide for Steve Cooper’s hosts, and Harvey Barnes curling into Dean Henderson’s gloves for Leicester. A loose ball seemed to play Yates in again on 10 minutes, but instead of slipping it to Johnson, the Forest man scuffed wide from the outskirts of Danny Ward’s box.

A precious chance for City came and went moments later. Vice-captain Marc Albrighton whipped a perfect cross deep into the penalty area and the space opened up for Barnes, who side-footed wide, unchallenged, from around eight yards out. It marked the start of a positive spell for Brendan Rodgers’ men. Youri Tielemans’ drive was deflected behind before a succession of corners ended with Barnes’ effort being blocked without troubling Henderson.

The tide turned again further into the first half. While Forest struggled to carve out shots on goal, they led the possession charts, forcing City into a deep 4-5-1 system. Their clearest opening was when Mendy lost the ball under Forest’s high press. Yates slid it wide to Serge Aurier in a hurry, but the Ivory Coast international couldn’t find his intended target in the centre.  

There were moments of opportunity before the break. Tielemans flashed wide for City and Wout Faes halted Morgan Gibbs-White’s advance at the other end. Both sides could make cases for shading the half, but this was a tight affair, unlike recent clashes.

Another chance was about to land at Barnes’ feet early in the second half – in front of the Blue Army. When Scott McKenna’s clearance was closed down well by Albrighton on the right, it fell to Tielemans, who teed up City’s No.7, galloping into the box. He could only knock it inches wide, however. Forest looked to punish City immediately and almost did just that when Johnson squared it across goal. Gibbs-White, though, didn’t read the situation and wasn’t ready for it. Remo Freuler then blazed over too, but the side in red were about to take the lead in Nottingham.

When Gibbs-White’s poke found Johnson, the Forest man leapt into action. He nudged it beyond Ward – 30 yards off his line – and converted into an empty goal. The flag was raised the second the ball bulged the net, prompting a lengthy hush around the ground as VAR checked the footage. That lull was broken by a roar when Cooper punched the air on the touchline. The Forest manager had heard the news before everyone else. Johnson was marginally onside. Forest were ahead.

There could have been an instant second when Sam Surridge made contact – although not enough – on Aurier's cross from the right. Leicester were now in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Lewis Brunt, Dennis Praet and Kelechi Iheanacho on the pitch. There were appeals for more from Forest's players and fans when Amartey was booked for a high boot on Lewis O'Brien. The presence of Castagne, covering behind his defensive colleague, probably saved the Ghanaian from a 77th-minute dismissal.  

The home faithful were on their feet again, appealing for another red, when the already-cautioned Tielemans fouled O'Brien midway into Forest's territory. Another escape. Leicester's probing for a leveller was ultimately their downfall late on. Gibbs-White, a menace throughout, sprayed the ball out wide. Johnson was there to arrow it past Ward. It was 2-0 on 84 minutes. 

Amartey stopped Surridge in added time and Henderson needed some treatment for Forest, but City couldn't muster another chance and it would end in defeat.

Major moment – The second goal

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Wilfred Ndidi

The second goal stopped City from working a way back into the goal.

Brennan Johnson's first was a blow for the Foxes, but his second put the game beyond reach for Brendan Rodgers' men.

Where do we stand? – 15th

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Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes carries the ball forward for the visitors.

Leicester drop to 15th in the table. They're on 17 points from 19 matches.

Coming up – Brighton (H)

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Marc Albrighton

Marc Albrighton was Leicester's skipper for the day in Nottingham.

Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton & Hove Albion visit King Power Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick-off), before City go to Bescott Stadium to tackle Walsall in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup on 28 January (12:30pm kick-off). All times GMT.

The details…

Leicester City Crest