Leicester 0-1 Aston Villa: Barkley rocket earns FOURTH straight win
Leicester 0-1 Aston Villa: Stoppage time Ross Barkley rocket earns visitors FOURTH straight victory to start the season as Foxes fall to back-to-back defeats without scoring
- Aston Villa travelled to the King Power to face Leicester in Midlands derby
- The first-half ended without a goal as the sides locked each other out in midfield
- Villa couldn’t repeat their seven-goal rout of Liverpool, with a similar second-half
- In the 90th minute loan signing Ross Barkley smashed-in the winner from range
- Dean Smith’s side have won all four of their opening Premier League games
Less than three months after avoiding relegation by a single point, Aston Villa can go top of the Premier League if they avoid defeat by Leeds on Friday after a remarkable turnaround in fortunes.
Ross Barkley’s glorious stoppage-time strike sealed their fourth consecutive victory and should make people sit up and take notice just as much as the 7-2 triumph over champions Liverpool a fortnight ago. They now have the only 100 per cent record in the top five leagues in England.
Barkley ran to celebrate with club doctor Ricky Shamji after boss Dean Smith revealed the player had not trained until Saturday due to a knee problem. Leicester, meanwhile, lacked cutting edge without the injured Jamie Vardy, who hopes to have recovered from a calf injury in time to face Arsenal on Sunday.
Aston Villa earned their fourth straight win to start the season at Leicester on Sunday night
An stoppage-time Ross Barkley rocket proved the difference after at the King Power Stadium
Leicester have now recorded back-to-back defeats since a 5-2 thrashing of Manchester City
How different it was when these sides last met, when Leicester won 4-0 on March 9 in the last Premier League fixture to be played before a crowd. Villa looked relegation certainties back then, but they emerged a much stronger side after the three-month coronavirus shutdown and given their summer business, they will now feel the possibilities are endless after on-loan Chelsea midfielder Barkley’s superb 25-yard effort.
‘Ross is a high calibre player and we are thankful to Chelsea for loaning him to us,’ said Smith. ‘I sold him the project: if he came here I would try to get him into the England squad for Euro 2020, and he would try to help us win matches. He’s certainly doing that so far.’
Barkley scored on his debut against Liverpool and made a decisive impact once again.
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
Leicester (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel 6; Castagne 6.5, Fofana 7, Evans 6, Justin 7; Mendy 6 (Choudhury 78), Tielemans 6; Perez 6.5, Praet 6 (Maddison 68, 6.5), Barnes 6.5; Iheanacho 6 (Slimani 71). Subs not used: Ward, Morgan, Albrighton, Under.
Booked: Perez, Tielemans, Castagne, Evans
Manager: Brendan Rodgers 6.5
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): Martinez 7; Cash 7, Konsa 6.5, Mings 7.5, Targett 6; Luiz 6.5, McGinn 7; Trezeguet 7 (Traore 81), Barkley 7, Grealish 7; Watkins 6.5. Subs not used: Steer, Hourihane, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Engels, Elmohamady.
Scorers: Barkley 90
Booked: McGinn, Cash, Luiz
Manager: Dean Smith 7
Referee: Jon Moss 7
Man of the Match: Mings
Villa humiliated Liverpool with a 7-2 win in the last game but were frustrated at the King Power
Leicester were stunned by the late strike after failing to score for the second game in a row
Leicester were solid enough and played some nice football but how they missed Vardy, who was absent with a calf problem. The fact Brendan Rodgers turned to Islam Slimani – whose previous appearance was nearly three years ago – for the final 20 minutes, showed just how much Leicester rely on their premier striker.
‘The second half was like basketball and to lose so late was disappointing,’ said Rodgers. ‘We have to learn from it and go again.’ Rodgers also revealed that defender Caglar Soyuncu would be sidelined for three months with a thigh injury.
With Barkley’s arrival, Villa are no longer as dependent on Jack Grealish, who shone intermittently after being left on the bench twice by England following his man-of-the-match performance against Wales on October 8.
James Maddison returned to first-team action after a long spell on the sidelines and impressed
Barkley was a late loan signing from Chelsea this summer and he’s had an instant impact
Meanwhile, Wesley Fofana was impressive on his Leicester debut following a £31.5million move from St Etienne.
Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez had only one difficult save to make in the first half – a close-range effort from Timothy Castagne from a tight angle which the Argentine pushed wide of his near post.
His Leicester counterpart Kasper Schmeichel had an even quieter time before the break, though Villa did come close when Trezeguet fired just wide in the 26th minute following Villa’s best move of the match.
Villa piled on Leicester’s recent misery after a 3-0 defeat by West Ham in their last match
The first-half passed with very few chances as both sides were locked in a midfield battle
Matty Cash was impressive for Villa at right-back, and when he did make a mistake, Cash did not think twice about dragging Harvey Barnes back by the shorts as the winger tried to race clear. A yellow card was inevitable, but Tyrone Mings clearly approved. ‘Don’t mind it, Cashy – well done,’ bellowed the England centre-back.
After a quiet 45 minutes, Grealish drew two defenders in stoppage time and produced a brilliant back-heel to release Matt Targett, whose cross was too high for Trezeguet at the far post.
Villa were starting to gain some control yet Leicester remained a threat when they had the ball. A mistake by Barkley near the edge of the box presented the ball to Youri Tielemans, and Martinez did well to push away the powerful low drive from 25 yards.
Dean Smith’s side have made a sensational turnaround after narrowly avoiding relegation
Yet at this stage, Villa looked the stronger side. Justin did well to take the sting off Watkins’ strike after another powerful break, while moments earlier John McGinn just failed to pick out Trezeguet after Mings had released him down the left, and Douglas Luiz shot straight at Schmeichel.
Grealish wasted two chances on the break after Leicester had introduced first James Maddison and then Slimani – whose previous appearance for the club was on January 16, 2018 – to try to open the door.
Villa came closer to doing so, however, when substitute Bertrand Traore headed McGinn’s cross straight at Schmeichel in the last minute, and they finally blew it off the hinges when Barkley crashed past Schmeichel from distance.
RE-LIVE ALL THE ACTION AS IT HAPPENED…
FULL-TIME: That’s the game and what a start to the season this is from Aston Villa. It wasn’t an easy watch but Barkley’s superb strike was the kind of class it needed.
Dean Smith’s side win Premier League games in a row for the first time since 2009. Is it time for Villa fans to get excited?
90+4: What a moment for the on-loan midfielder who has surely won it for Villa. They look like they want another here, though!
90+1 mins: GOOOAL!! VILLA FIND THE BREAKTHROUGH
The game was just fading away but what a goal from Ross Barkley! He finds space outside the box and the midfielder drills a superb strike to the bottom left-hand side.
90 mins: Late chance for Villa. McGinn finds Traore at the right post but his header is striaght at Schmeichel.
87 mins: Some flashes of brilliance from certain players, but this is a far-cry from some of the games these two teams have been involved in recently.
Worth the £14.95? No comment.
86 mins: Corner for Villa. Grealish finds space and brings in Traore who’s cross takes a nick and goes behind. Targett has a drive after the corner is cleared but the block takes all the sting out of it.
83 mins: Maddison’s introduction has certinaly helped Leicester. They look on top in the last stages here.
80 mins: Leicester posing more of a threat. Substitute Slimani heads over.
Meanwhile, Bertrand Traore comes on in place of Trezeguet for Villa’s first change.
It’s been scappy tonight at the KP. Several players walking tightropes on yellow cards.
76 mins: An strange routine comes to absolutely nothing. Villa having the better of it but Leicester still posing a threat. Harvey Barnes fires over with his left foot.
75 mins: Watkins wins the ball in Leicester’s half and nicks in in front of Evans to win the free-kick. The defender goes into the book but another chance for Villa here…
73 mins: Castagne is finally into the book after a few fouls. It is, of course, for a foul on Grealish.
70 mins: Good spell for Villa. They find their second shot on target straight after their first. Watkins cuts inside but his weak shot is straight at the keeper.
69 mins: Another corner for Villa is overhit but Mings and Targett manage to recycle it. Grealish finds Luiz on the edge of the box but his shot is straight at Schmeichel.
67 mins: First change for Leicester and no prizes for guessing who’s coming on. James Maddison enters the field in place of Denis Praet with his side in desperate need of creativity.
65 mins: Missed opportunity for Villa there! Grealish plays McGinn through with Watkins and Trezeguet in support. The Scot opts for the Egyptian but it’s not accurate enough.
Villa have a corner which is into Schmeichel’s hands again.
63 mins: Save! Tielemans tests Martinez again. His curled free-kick is comfortable in the end for the Argentinian.
62 mins: Matty Cash tries to find Watkins with a well hit cross but it’s turned away only as far as Grealish. The talisman eventually tries to do too much and it’s out for a goal-kick.
60 mins: Save! After a long period of pressure from Villa Tielemans finds himself with space 20 yards out and fires an effort which Martinez has to deal with.
This man is beginning to make an impact…
56 mins: More bright play from Grealish wins another corner. Much better from Villa so far.
54 mins: Chance! Best chance for the away side. After winning the corner, Konsa meets Grealish’s ball in but he heads just wide after making good contact.
53 mins: Villa keep hold of it after the free-kick is cleared. A smart backheel allows Konsa to cross and it wins the corner.
52 mins: Lovely footwork from Grealish draws a foul by Castagne. Targett is standing over this on the left…
51 mins: Smith appears to have moved John McGinn into that attacking midfield role with Barkley dropping deeper.
50 mins: Good play from Villa with Grealish at the heart of it again. He lofts it over to Trezeguet and it is cleared for a corner.
48 mins: Scrappy start here. Trezeguet commits his second foul of the half already to stifle a potential opening for the away side.
46 mins: Early free-kick for Leicester and a half opening for Perez. His shot is bundled behind for a corner which is cleared.
45 mins: We are back under way.
No changes for either side but will we see some changes of approach?
HALF TIME: That’s the end of the half of few chances.
While they’ve both had their moments, the managers have some work to do to get their sides to pose more of a threat in the second period.
45+1: Grealish shows his brilliance to allow Targett to cross in from the byline. His ball is just too high for Trezeguet. Villa’s success in this game will very much depend on their captain having more bright moments like that.
45 mins: Watkins gets in behind but is called for offside. It looked on, in truth, but the Villa front man is really struggling to get involved so far.
42 mins: Targett is the man who takes it and his effort is well… off target.
41 mins: Jon Moss yet again brandishes a yellow. Tielemans’ late challenge is rightfully cautioned. Free-kick in range here for Villa…
40 mins: Yellow card for Cash and Leciester have an attacking free-kick on the left. Villa just about get it away, though.
37 mins: Villa win a corner after some smart play by Grealish and Barkley. McGinn takes but it comes to nothing. A long ball back in sees Watkins find a cross from the left but Villa’s attackers can’t conjure up the opening.
That’s the first time I’ve mentioned Watkins, which probably tells you all you need to know about Villa’s display so far.
35 mins: It’s the third foul on Jack Grealish which is actually low by his standards. Castagne is at fault this time.
32 mins: Players from both sides go into the book. Ayoze Perez and John McGinn the culprits.
30 mins: Overall, it will be Brendan Rodgers who will be the happier of the two managers. That said, his side will have to imporve if they are to break down this Villa side.
26 mins: Chance! John McGinn finds Matt Targett in acres of space on the left. He finds Jack Grealish who cuts it back to Trezeguet but the Egyptian fires wide under pressure from Evans. Best bit of play from Villa.
24 mins: Save! Martinez is called into action as Iheanacho’s powerful left-footed strike is parried.
23 mins: This game is starting to liven up. The resulting corner cmes to nothing and Grealish surges forward. McGinn picks it up in the center and clips a nice ball over but Trezeguet can’t find it.
22 mins: Save! First chance for Leicester. Iheanacho does well to hold the ball up before playing in Castagne on the right. His effort is blocked from close range by Martinez.
20 mins: Grealish, the man who won the free-kick, swings in the free-kick but it’s straight into the keeper’s hands.
19 mins: Aston Villa have a free-kick on the right side after some sustained possession from the away side. First chance to test Schmeichel.
17 mins: A smart one-two sees Castagne surge forward but Barnes’ delivery is poor. First bit of positive play we’ve seen so far.
16 mins: It’s not quite been the fast start we might have anticipated. Villa were already 1-0 up by this time two weeks ago but it’s hard to remember many times they’ve had the ball in Leicester’s half this time.
14 mins: Mings is called into action and it’s mostly his own doing. He gives the ball away cheaply to Mendy but the defender recovers. Leciester still in Villa’s half here, though.
11 mins: Iheanacho gets in behind and Martinez had to on the ball to come out and clear that. He takes a whack for his efforts.
8 mins: No side has stamped their authority on this game yet in truth. While Leicester have had more of the ball they are yet to find a cutting edge. Villa cearly trying to press the way they did so well against Liverpool but it hasn’t happened so far.
7 mins: First shot at goal and it’s Ayoze Perez. His shot from distance is comfortably gathered by Emi Martinez.
5 mins: Leciester have controlled possession so far and are finding space in Villa’s half. The away side are yet to get into this.
2 mins: Some early pressure from the home side. Timothy Castagne’s floated ball from the right loops just too far. Leciester recycle but it ends in a foul on Tyrone Mings by Iheanacho.
KICK OFF! We are under way at the King Power…
The players are making their way onto the pitch and we are nearly ready to go here in the East Midlands…
These two have played 22 times in the Premier League with the Foxes coming out on top overall with nine wins compared to Villa’s four.
It’s a full Premier League debut for Wesley Fofana this evening. The Saint-Etienne recruit is thrown straight in following an injury to Caglar Soyuncu. He is one of three changes for Leciester along with Iheanacho and Praet.
Just over 15 minutes until kick-off in this Midlands clash.
It’s third vs fourth in the Premier League tonight. The last time Dean Smith’s side played here they were beaten 4-0 in the final top flight game to let fans in. A lot has changed for them since then…
Tonight’s game is another Premier League game only available via Sky Sports Box office for a cost of £14.95.
Buyers were less than impressed with the coverage yesterday, will this evening be any different.
Read more on how fans reacted to the first day of Premier League PPV…
Jamie Vardy absent from Leciester’s matchday squad after failing a late fitness test, with Kelechi Iheanacho coming in.
While it’s a blow for the Foxes, Iheanacho loves a goal against Villa. He has scored six and assisted two in his career against them in his career.
Leicester starting 11: Schmeiche (c), Castagne, Evans, Fofana, Justin, Mendy, Praet, Tielemans, Perez, Barnes, Iheanacho
Subs: Ward, Morgan, Choudhury, Maddison, Albrighton, Under, Slimani
Aston Vila starting 11: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Luiz, McGinn, Trezeguet, Barkley, Grealish (c), Watkins
Subs: Steer, Elmohammady, Engels, Nakamba, Hourihane, El Ghazi, Traore
Hello and welcome to Sportsmail’s live coverage of Leciester City vs Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Dean Smith’s men are the only team with a 100% record this season looking to make it four out of four wins out of four at the King Power Stadium.
Team news shortly…
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