Report: Burton Albion 1 Leicester City 2
- All of City’s starting XI complete 90 minutes in Burton
- Andrej Kramarić and Andy King both hit the woodwork in the first half
- Substitute Mark Duffy scores late on for the Brewers
A double from striker Jamie Vardy saw Leicester City record a deserved pre-season friendly victory over Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Foxes twice went close in the first half, with Andrej Kramarić and Andy King hitting the woodwork in a hard-fought 45 minutes.
City upped their intent in the second period and Vardy eventually opened the scoring 11 minutes after the restart with a cool finish.
Then, just seven minutes after the forward had put City into the lead, he made it 2-0 with a well-weighted header that dipped over oncoming substitute goalkeeper Dean Lyness.
The Brewers did pull one back late on through substitute Mark Duffy, but Vardy's work beforehand meant Leicester secured the win.
The clash saw all of the starting XI complete 90 minutes as manager Claudio Ranieri continues to prepare his side for the 2015/16 season.
The trip to Burton was the first of three pre-season friendly fixtures this week, with Rotherham United and Birmingham City to still to come.
A lightning counter-attack from City would carve out the first opportunity of the fixture. Shinji Okazaki released Andrej Kramarić down the left, who cut inside and floated a ball to Marcin Wasilewski at the back post. The former Anderlecht man nodded down to Dean Hammond, who saw his shot blocked on 10 minutes.
The movement of Kramarić caused havoc, and when the Croatia international broke away shortly after Hammond’s chance, he looked to have executed a perfect lob over Jon McLaughlin, only to hit the top of the Burton crossbar.
Another effort from Kramarić followed on 18 minutes. The City forward wriggled away from three defenders with a fine piece of skill before firing in a low effort that forced McLaughlin into a low save.
Ever a danger in wide positions, Marc Albrighton then did well to latch onto a pass from Hammond, whipping in a cross to the near post that England striker Vardy glanced over with his head.
Burton’s best chance of the first came on 25 minutes, with Callum Butcher forcing captain Kasper Schmeichel into a good stop, before the rebound was flashed across goal.
McLaughlin was called into action again just after the half-hour mark, halting Vardy, who looked to round the goalkeeper, but couldn’t get past.
The Foxes upped their pressure as the game approached half-time, with King first hammering the post with a sweet strike from the edge of the box, before Hammond hit an excellent volley goal-bound that McLaughlin gathered.
Both sides emerged unchanged at the break, and it was Burton who would first go closest as former City Academy youngster George Taft nodded over a Matty Palmer free kick.
Good work from Albrighton just moments later fed Vardy, who sprinted past his marker but couldn’t hit the target from the edge of the box.
A sensational effort from Butcher nearly beat Schmeichel from all of 40 yards, hitting the City bar as the game neared the hour mark – the Dane doing well to punch away the loose ball to prevent the follow up.
Kramarić’s curling 20-yard strike then whistled just over, but City wouldn’t have to wait much longer to break the deadlock.
Vardy pinched the ball in midfield and burst through before opening up his body and side-footing in in front of the Blue Army for a well-taken goal that had certainly been coming.
The former Fleetwood Town man turned provider moments later, delivering into Christian Fuchs. The Austria international pulled the ball back for Okazaki, who couldn’t get a clean connection.
A wayward shot from Kramarić followed as the Croatian worked some space on the edge of the area, before Vardy’s instinct provided a second goal for the Foxes.
Substitute goalkeeper Lyness came out to meet a cross, but Vardy’s quick-thinking saw him race in and head over to double his side’s lead.
A chance for Vardy to net a hat-trick came eight minutes from time, only for the forward to slot into the hands of Lyness from a tight angle.
Substitute Mark Duffy curled in an effort from distance late on, but there would be no comeback for the hosts as Ranieri’s men recorded their second win of pre-season.
City next head to Championship outfit Rotherham United on Wednesday 29 July for their penultimate pre-season fixture.
BURTON: McLaughlin (Lyness 69), Cansdell-Sherriff (c), Taft, A. Trialist, Reilly, Butcher (Naylor 78), B. Trialist (El Khayati 69), Thiele, Palmer (Duffy 73), C. Trialist (Akins 64), Maynard
SUBS NOT USED: Edwards, Weir, Beavon, McCrory, Harness, Austin
GOAL: Duffy 90
CITY: Schmeichel (c), Wasilewski, Huth, Chilwell, Albrighton, King, Hammond, Fuchs, Okazaki, Kramarić, Vardy
SUBS NOT USED: Sesay, McCourt, Dodoo, Blyth, Maddison
GOALS: Vardy 65, 72
REFEREE: Mr S. Martin
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