Patson Daka

Five-Star Foxes Run Riot At Stoke

Leaders Leicester City's opened up a 12-point cushion in the Sky Bet Championship's top two on Saturday with a scintillating 5-0 rout of Stoke City at bet365 Stadium – their biggest win in nearly three years.

Patson Daka and second-half substitute Jamie Vardy both hit braces in Staffordshire, with Kasey McAteer also on the scoresheet, to seal a 23rd league win of the season for the Foxes. City's biggest win of 2023/24 – and first five-goal haul without reply since March 2021 – this was a dominant statement win from Enzo Maresca's relentless table-toppers. With 16 games still to play, Leicester are top on 72 points, 11 ahead of Southampton in second, 12 clear of third-placed Leeds United. Their goal difference, on the other hand, is a huge +41, some 15 goals better than the second highest in the division. There were joyous scenes among the Blue Army at full-time but a shared understanding too that there is still work to be done. 

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Patson Daka

Patson Daka has six goals for the Club this season.

Abdul Fatawu, back in the City XI after suspension, was at the heart of an encouraging start from the Foxes. Early on, the impressive Harry Winks rolled the ball into his feet, on the right channel, and the Ghanian carried it into the box. His powerful hit, though, flew across the goalmouth and wide of the far post. Fifteen minutes in, Fatawu’s inch-perfect cross then found Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s head in the middle. Potters goalkeeper Jack Bonham, mind you, was able to tip the ball over the crossbar at full stretch. A third quick-fire chance, with Fatawu again the source, was then nodded over by Daka. The City tide was too strong for Stoke to hold back and, on 26 minutes, Maresca’s men had a deserved lead.

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Kasey McAteer

It's now five league goals and six in all competitions for Kasey McAteer in 2023/24.

Dewsbury-Hall clipped the ball across goal from the byline, on the left. Fatawu was at the far post but had the foresight to notice the tight angle to goal. Instead of going for goal, he headed ball back from where it came – and Daka was waiting to prod the ball into an empty net. It was flowing football, typical of ‘the Enzo Way’ as one flag in the away end proclaimed. The 2,604 Foxes fans over there would be celebrating again moments later, but not before Mads Hermansen was given work to do. Tyrese Campbell’s breakaway effort was on target, but the Dane stuck out a leg to make an assured stop. On the half-hour, though, it was 2-0 to Leicester. McAteer’s low drive from 30 yards out took a hefty deflection off Ben Wilmot, leaving Bonham stranded. There was nothing the home ‘keeper could do to reset his feet as he watched the ball trickle over the line. 

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Patson Daka

Patson Daka wheels away after striking from the penalty spot.

Only excellent tracking back from Ricardo Pereira halted Stoke’s bid to immediately half the deficit, stopping the ball from reaching Lynden Gooch in front of goal. Medhi Léris couldn’t keep his effort down inside two additional minutes at the end of the first half too, after Jordan Thompson’s delivery on the left side. Ben Nelson and Dennis Praet came on for Leicester at the break, with Jannik Vestergaard and McAteer making way, as the visitors’ authority on the game continued. A superb through-ball from Winks released Stephy Mavididi early on in the new half, although Wilmot did especially well to take the ball from under his feet. Bonham also made a strong save to frustrate Mavididi again after the former Montpellier winger burst away down the left flank. After the hour mark, Leicester clicked into a higher gear, taking complete control of the game. 

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Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy gets in on the act with a late brace from the bench.

Their third came after Wout Faes barrelled forward from defence, cutting Stoke open down the middle. Before long, the Belgian centre-back was in the area, inviting a late challenge from Thompson. Referee Lewis Smith pointed to the spot and up stepped Daka to belt the spot-kick into the top right corner. The Zambian, who’s only recently returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, leapt into a summersault, quickly followed by Fatawu following suit, delighting the away end. With 17 minutes to play, the Foxes kept the pedal down. Less than three minutes after coming off the bench together, James Justin skidded the ball across the box for Vardy to convert from five yards out. That was the 37-year-old's ninth goal of the season in all competitions.

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Abdul Fatawu

Abdul Fatawu impressed on his return from suspension.

Determined not to yield their clean sheet, some desperate defending was required later on, as Hermansen palmed Bae Junho’s effort away, before also sensationally getting in the way of Wilmot’s follow-up from close range. Callum Doyle, meanwhile, flashed a low strike wide inside the final 10 minutes, before Bonham diverted a thunderous effort from Dennis Praet over the bar. Vardy also clipped over after Winks' delivery on the counter-attack. City's iconic No.9 would get Leicester's fifth in added time though, after Michael Rose felled Dewsbury-Hall in the 18-yard box. Vardy's composed finish was his 10th of the campaign in all competitions. The momentum keeps rolling for Maresca's Foxes. Sixteen games to go, Watford away next. 

Leicester City Crest





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