Wilfred Ndidi

City Claim Four-Goal Victory Over Plymouth

Leicester City roared to their biggest win of the season – a 4-0 triumph over Plymouth Argyle at King Power Stadium – to remain top of the Sky Bet Championship table on Saturday.
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Stephy Mavididi's 14th-minute penalty put City on course for victory, although Enzo Maresca's men had to ride a mild storm at the end of the first half to preserve a clean sheet on Filbert Way. Patson Daka's maiden goal of the season, on his first 2023/24 league start, doubled the advantage, before a second from Mavididi and Wilfred Ndidi's stylish finish – three goals in 10 minutes at the start of the second period – saw Leicester’s quality come to the fore. The Foxes remain top of the pile in the second tier, still a point clear of Ipswich Town and eight ahead of third-placed Leeds United. They have 49 points after 20 matches, winning 16 of 20, with a goal difference of +26, 10 better than any other side. 

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Stephy Mavididi

Stephy Mavididi skids in celebration after putting City ahead from the penalty spot.

Daka’s inclusion was the pre-match headline, while Hamza Choudhury deputised as skipper for the suspended Ricardo Pereira and Abdul Fatawu – who ended the day with two assists to his name – also returned to the City XI. Two of the new faces in the line-up nearly combined on 10 minutes, although Daka couldn’t get a header on the end of Fatawu’s cross. Ndidi also nodded a high ball over Michael Cooper’s crossbar soon after. The deadlock was about to be broken in any case. Mavididi’s dart into the box was cut short by Julio Pleguezuelo, illegally in the view of referee Sunny Singh Gill. Plymouth’s players pointed to an earlier alleged handball from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, but the decision stood. With neither Jamie Vardy nor Kelechi Iheanacho in the squad, Mavididi himself stepped up, rolling a low spot-kick into Cooper’s bottom right corner. A rare early goal on Filbert Way for City, who more often than not strike in the second half of home games this term.

Leicester cut Plymouth in two shortly afterwards, with Dewsbury-Hall hitting a piercing forward ball down the middle, freeing Ndidi to run at goal. The Nigerian got a shot away, although it was straight at Cooper, who made the save with his legs. Daka, meanwhile, also galloped in at the far post in City’s next attack, latching onto Fatawu’s lofted cross. The Zambia striker, though, was under pressure from the Argyle shot-stopper and saw his effort trickle across the goalmouth. When Fatawu swung his left boot at the ball, cutting in from the right wing, some inside King Power Stadium thought it was on course for the top corner. It flew wide, but City’s first meeting with Plymouth in 14 years was going according to plan midway through the first half. 

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Patson Daka

A first goal on his first league start for Patson Daka.

Steven Schumacher’s visitors have acclimatised well to the second tier after winning League 1 last term – beating Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday to the title. All six of Argyle's wins this term have come at Home Park. Nevertheless, there were considerable away chances before the interval. Fatawu’s quick thinking took the ball away from Mustapha Bundu just before the Sierra Leone international could send it goalwards. Morgan Whittaker also curled wide after Argyle robbed City of the ball on the edge of the penalty box. Callum Wright, formerly a member of Leicester’s Development Squad, then saw a low drive blocked by Wout Faes. A huge opportunity for the Devon outfit landed to the feet of Bundu just after the half-hour mark. He was in behind the backline. Mads Hermansen, mind you, was alert to the danger and smothered his effort well.

After soaking up the pressure, the Foxes broke away, hurrying upfield in a flash from a Plymouth corner. Mavididi slipped the ball through tight traffic to Fatawu, with a sight at goal inside the box. The Ghanaian had two options, to have an attempt of his own, or to drag it across to Ndidi, scampering forwards to his left. He chose the latter, but Ndidi couldn’t stretch his 6ft frame to get a decisive touch. Plymouth's Wright also again let loose inside two additional minutes at the end of the half, forcing Hermansen into a strong save from an acute angle in front of the Spion Kop. The Blue Army will have been grateful to see the clean sheet still intact by the end of a busy opening 45 minutes.

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Stephy Mavididi

Stephy Mavididi made it two for him and three for Leicester early in the second half.

They were toasting the extension of their side’s lead three minutes into the second half, however. Fatawu’s creative flick gave former RB Salzburg striker Daka the freedom of Plymouth’s 18-yard box to stroke it into the bottom corner and make it 2-0 to the Foxes. In a heartbeat, it was 3-0. Fatawu was again involved, arrowing the ball across the pitch to Mavididi. Some silky trickery from the former Montpellier man allowed him to pick out a gap in the Argyle defence, sending a low drive past Cooper. Leicester were flying – and four to the good on 55 minutes. Choudhury’s brave challenge led to Daka threading it through to Ndidi, whose shot clipped the post and bobbled into the net. That's his fourth goal of the season. 

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Wilfred Ndidi

Wilfred Ndidi wraps up the scoring for Enzo Maresca's men.

The introduction of Tom Cannon from the bench, for the former Everton striker’s Leicester debut, was a welcome sight for the Foxes faithful. They were nearly celebrating a fifth goal later on, when Jannik Vestergaard got onto the end of Dewsbury-Hall’s floated cross. Cooper, however, made a brilliant stop to keep the Danish defender at bay. Cannon’s first sight of goal was then blocked by Lewis Gibson as Maresca’s men turned the screw. Academy graduate Ben Nelson’s league debut – at the end of a week when he signed a new deal at the Club – was the next talking point on Filbert Way. Leicester were firmly in control at the end, with only a tame Luke Cundle shot calling Hermansen into action in added time. Faes also dealt with Matt Butcher’s cross and Brendan Galloway headed over for the visitors. The majority of the 31,265-strong crowd could go home happy. It's Millwall next up, on home soil again, on Wednesday evening.

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