Patience was the order of the day for the Foxes, who have now won seven of their eight league matches this term. Vardy stepped up to lash his 67th-minute spot-kick into the top corner for the dominant home side. They are perched at the table's apex on 21 points, the same as in-form Ipswich Town, but with a superior goal difference.
There were warm pre-match welcomes for Nigel Pearson, Andy King and Matty James – all of whom played key roles in the Club’s greatest-ever era over the past 15 years. That trio, now with the Robins, will have felt the love from the Blue Army on their returns to Leicester, but there were three points at stake for two sides looking upwards in the second tier. Abdul Fatawu’s full debut was the headline from a Foxes perspective, with Maresca’s men looking to keep their momentum rolling. Another full house greeted City on Filbert Way, following consecutive wins on the road over Southampton and Norwich City.
"My feeling before the game was that, if we win, it would be an important win," Manager Enzo Maresca said. "After Southampton and Norwich, I think [the players] showed how professional and how serious they are working. They were brilliant today, the fans. From the touchline, I saw them enjoy the way we played. We suffered a bit in the last five mins, but the opponent is also there to try and to win and to score a goal. [Bristol City] were in a good moment. We played very well on the ball and completely dominated the game."
A 173rd goal in Leicester City's colours for Jamie Vardy.
Early on, Fatawu volleyed wide, before Callum Doyle’s header was comfortably stopped by Max O'Leary in the Bristol City net. Only a last-ditch intervention from Kal Naismith prevented Vardy from getting on the end of Fatawu’s fizzed cross into the box. It was Wilfred Ndidi’s piercing pass which opened Pearson’s visitors up in the first place. O'Leary then palmed Fatawu’s powerful drive away shortly afterwards. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall opted for a direct route as well, scampering through the middle, unchallenged, until Naismith slid in to shield the goal from his shot. A passage of pinball in Leicester’s box also ended with Naismith’s low, drilled effort being cleared by Doyle.
The home side began the second half on the attack. Vardy couldn't make sufficient contact on his header from Ndidi's cross. Dewsbury-Hall's shot was deflected wide. Stephy Mavididi curled over. Jannik Vestergaard then stepped up to hit a free-kick – from 25 yards out – into the Robins’ wall. Only a stunning stop from O'Leary denied City an opener on 55 minutes. Fatawu’s cross was nodded with considerable intent by Dewsbury-Hall, but the Bristol City ‘keeper got a hand to it. Rob Dickie then dived bravely into the path of Mavdidi’s follow-up. The visitors’ resolve wilted after the hour. Ndidi was hauled to the floor by Naismith in the penalty area and referee James Bell pointed to the spot. It was Vardy to step up from 12 yards, whipping the ball magnificently into the top corner. The Club’s third top goalscorer of all time then galloped the length of the pitch to toast his strike with the visiting supporters, who didn’t seem to appreciate the gesture. The rest of Filbert Way, mind you, was in raptures. It gets better and better for Leicester City as their Club-record start to a new season continues.
Enzo Maresca celebrates another Foxes win at full-time.
There was work to be done, though. Andreas Weimann reminded City of that fact when his rocket whistled narrowly over Mads Hermansen’s crossbar from the outskirts of the 18-yard box. When Hermansen uncharacteristically spilled a high ball in the area, Weimann was loitering at the back post, ready to pounce, and he half-volleyed it towards goal. Fortunately for Leicester, half-time substitute James Justin had watched all this transpire and put his body on the line to get in the way of it. Ndidi then danced around Naismith and Cameron Pring before scuffing a shot into O’Leary’s grasp later on. Pockets of space were opening up as Bristol City pushed for a leveller. James diverted another Ndidi drive away from danger after Fatawu broke suddenly down the left channel. There was a cheer almost as loud as the one which greeted Vardy’s penalty in the third minute of four added on. The visitors had a free-kick, 20 yards out, on the left-most angle of the area. It was Taylor Gardner-Hickman who struck it, straight through the bodies who had gathered in the box, but it was straight at Hermansen. Job done, again.
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