West Brom – Leicester City: Timothy Castagne scored and Jamie Vardy added two penalties as Leicester City beat new boys West Bromwich Albion 3-0 at the Hawthorns on Sunday.
It was all Leicester after some early energy from the Baggies, who were a clear second best in talent and class.
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West Brom’s tough start continues at Everton next week, while Leicester will enjoy a visit from Burnley.
3 things we learned from West Brom – Leicester City
1. Castagne as advertised: Leicester made a lot of money selling young Ben Chilwell and invested less than half of the proceeds in 24-year-old Castagne, who was fantastic in the win. The headed goal before the hour mark was a special moment but Castagne had already won all seven of his duels while registering two tackles and an interception. It’s only been 90 minutes, but the business looks shrewd for Brendan Rodgers.
2. Vardy again finds his moment: The veteran star with a brand new contract got his goal with a penalty he won himself. Vardy was denied a first-half header by Sam Johnstone and saved again by the keeper later in the half, but he snapped onto the scoresheet to salt away the game as he’s done so many times. He looked a lot like the Vardy from the second half of 2019-20, sniffing out chances and making them count after periods of quiet play.
3. Johnstone big for West Brom: While Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira offer some hope to Slaven Bilic’s attack, the Baggies will need goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to find the levels of former West Brom PL mainstay Ben Foster if they want to stay in the top flight. The keeper showed he had big saves in his bag on Sunday, one of few West Brom players to impress at the Hawthorns.
Man of the Match
Castagne was very good as was center back Wilfred Ndidi, but the straw who stirs Leicester’s drink is often Youri Tielemans. The ex-Monaco midfielder was very good in a playmaking position next to Dennis Praet and/or Harvey Barnes.
West Brom – Leicester City recap
West Brom was lively to start as Grady Diangana led a charge into the left side of the box in the 10th minute.
James Justin chopped down Darnell Furlong just before the West Brom man raced into the right side of the box and the Baggies had a dangerous 17th minute free kick.
The Foxes had most of the ball and started to produce some danger in the second 20 minutes but Baggies keeper Sam Johnstone and his defense were quick enough to thwart the efforts.
Johnstone twice denied Vardy including an excellent 30th-minute effort and steady parry five minutes later.
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Leicester looked the better money to score first and went ahead when Dennis Praet chipped a cross to the top of the six and Castagne nodded home.
Johnstone continued his business with a free kick save and a timely intervention on an onrushing Jamie Vardy that slowed the hard-running striker.
Vardy won a penalty kick with a hard off-the-ball run in the box and rolled his penalty kick to the right of a left-diving Johnstone.
Leicester got a second penalty in the 83rd when an otherwise strong Dara O’Shea got a piece of the splayed Justin and Vardy dispatched his effort to near the same location for 3-0.Follow @NicholasMendola