Shinji Okazaki

Slick City Dominant In Southampton

A superb display at St. Mary’s Stadium saw Leicester City make it four Premier League wins on the bounce by defeating Southampton 4-1 on Wednesday night.
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Claude Puel, making a return to the home of the Saints, made three changes to the side that beat Newcastle United 3-2 last time out.

After an even start, Riyad Mahrez worked his magic once again by conjuring up a fine finish from distance. Despite losing his footing initially, the Algerian recovered before surging towards goal and driving past Fraser Forster on 11 minutes.

Shinji Okazaki went close on two occasions, as Forster denied the Japan international, before Mario Lemina raced back to clear his effort off the line midway through the first half.

Next to test the Southampton stopper was Jamie Vardy, who after playing a one-two with Mahrez, saw his close-range effort turned away.

City did not have to wait much longer for their second, though, as Okazaki was on hand in the six yard box to poke home Christian Fuchs’ deflected strike from distance.

Just six minutes later, Andy King, who made his first start since September, arrived at the back post to turn home Harry Maguire’s low cross for 3-0.

With a commanding three-goal lead at the break, the Foxes knew Southampton would get forward in their numbers in the second half and when Maya Yoshida’s header found its way in at the back post, a potential comeback was on the cards.

Kasper Schmeichel had to make a huge stop shortly after as he spread himself well to deny Charlie Austin and that proved pivotal as City had a fourth two minutes later.

Vardy delivered from the right wing and Okazaki fired his cross past Forster to eradicate any form of Saints revival, as the Foxes surged to another victory under Puel.

Major moment

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Shinji Okazaki
Shinji Okazaki

The Japan striker makes it 2-0 on the south coast.

With Southampton flowing forward after pulling a goal back through Maya Yoshida, it was imperative that the Foxes weathered the storm to prevent the hosts from scoring a second of the evening.

After a point-blank save from Kasper Schmeichel, Shinji Okazaki’s 69th-minute strike relieved the pressure and from that moment, City were happy hit the Saints on the counter attack.   

Who impressed?

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Shinji Okazaki
Shinji Okazaki

The striker celebrates in front of the Blue Army after netting against Southampton.

Japan international Shinji Okazaki came off the bench to help win City the game on Saturday against Newcastle and that saw him earn a spot in the starting XI against Southampton.

His work rate and sheer determination are some of his finest characteristics, but this season, he has also been productive in front of goal.

His brace against the Saints has seen him take his tally to seven goals in 15 games in all competitions this term, while he also provided the assist for Riyad Mahrez's opener.

Where do we stand?

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Andy King
Andy King

Andy King makes it 3-0 in the first period at St. Mary's Stadium.

While the Foxes remain eighth in the Premier League table, they now sit four points above ninth-placed Watford and just four points off Arsenal in seventh.

Coming up…

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Claude Puel
Claude Puel

Thumbs up from Claude Puel following a successful return to Southampton last season.

Leicester City will be hoping to make it five Premier League wins on the spin when they host Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium on Saturday (12:30pm kick-off).

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