Demarai Gray

Defiant Foxes Beat In-Form Burnley

Leicester City recorded back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season after defeating Burnley 1-0 at King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
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After beating Tottenham Hotspur in midweek, Claude Puel, who made one change to his starting XI by bringing in Demarai Gray, prepared his side to face an in-form Clarets side on Filbert Way.

That switch in personnel paid dividends as after just six minutes, Gray bundled home Nick Pope’s parry from just two yards out – his third goal of the 2017/18 campaign.

Burnley responded, though, and Kasper Schmeichel was called into action with 20 minutes gone, as the Dane held onto Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson’s well-struck volley.

Clarets midfielder Robbie Brady, who scored his side’s second in the win at Bournemouth on Wednesday, was taken off on a stretcher following a challenge on Harry Maguire and that proved to be a blow for Sean Dyche’s men.

Shortly after, the magical Riyad Mahrez, who provided the cross in the lead up to Gray’s opener, picked the ball up in his own half before sprinting towards goal and unleashing a powerful drive that Pope was equal to.

After the break, Ben Chilwell fired just wide from the edge of the box, while only a well-timed challenge from Phil Bardsley prevented Gray from netting a second from close range.

Jamie Vardy, searching for his 50th Premier League goal for the Club, then hooked an effort towards goal that skipper Wes Morgan came just inches away from turning into the net.  

Burnley grew into the game midway through the second period and only a big save from Schmeichel with his right leg denied Gudmundsson.

Two stops followed from Pope, first from Marc Albrighton and then Gray, before the latter struck the Burnley upright just moments later after good work from Wilfred Ndidi.

Chances came at both ends of the pitch late on. Substitute Sam Vokes headed off target, Vardy flashed wide of the mark and Mahrez had a strike denied by Pope, while Schmeichel was on hand in injury time to hold onto Ashley Barnes’ low strike at the front post.

Major moment

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Demarai Gray
Demarai Gray

The winger applauds the Blue Army after finding the back of the net.

“Every time I see Demarai Gray, he seems to be improving.” – Gerry Taggart

Down at King Power Stadium, the Blue Army are used to seeing Wes Morgan and co. throw their bodies on the line to protect the City net, but it was at the other end of the pitch that they saw huge commitment from a Leicester star with just six minutes gone.

Riyad Mahrez delivered a fine pass from the right wing and while Nick Pope attempted to push the ball to safety, Demarai Gray was there to bravely scramble home the loose ball before clattering into the post.

Thankfully, after some treatment on the pitch, the winger was able to continue and was a significant threat throughout, hitting the post with just under 20 minutes to play.

Who impressed?

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel celebrates at the full-time whistle following City's win over Burnley.

If you’re after a big save at a vital moment, Kasper Schmeichel is your man.

The Denmark international has been excellent this term and on Saturday afternoon pulled off a number of fine stops to record another shutout.  

The pick of the saves came on 62 minutes, as Schmeichel stood strong to deny Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson while one-on-one with the Burnley attacker.

Where do we stand?

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Wilfred Ndidi
Wilfred Ndidi

The Foxes remain ninth in the Premier League table, but have closed the gap on eighth-placed Watford to just two points. After 15 games, City now sit 10 points above the bottom three.

Coming up…

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Vicente Iborra
Vicente Iborra

The Spaniard puts in a big midfield shift for the Foxes.

Two testing away fixtures follow for Claude Puel’s men. First up is a trip to St. James’ Park on Saturday 9 December (5:30pm kick-off), before a journey to Southampton follows just four days later.

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