Leicester – Fulham was supposed to be an easy home win. Think again.
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The Cottagers were 2-0 up early as Ademola Lookman set them on their way and Ivan Cavaleiro scored a penalty kick, yes, Fulham scored a penalty, to secure a first away win of the season for the west London side.
Harvey Barnes scored a late consolation for Leicester, but they huffed and puffed throughout and Fulham were dangerous on the break as they held on to move out of the relegation zone.
3 things we learned: Leicester – Fulham
1. Fulham counter to perfection: This was a great away display from Fulham. They soaked up plenty of pressure early on and were brilliant on the counter attack, as Lookman, Cavaleiro, Loftus-Cheek and Reid gave them a real outlet. Fulham are settling into life in the Premier League well and they have being playing well without picking up points. If they can stay solid at the back, like they were at Leicester, they will cause plenty more upsets.
2. Leicester’s Europa League hangover: You could perhaps forgive the Foxes for their slack display. After a taxing 3-3 draw at Braga last Thursday, Rodgers’ side achieved their goal of reaching the Europa League knockout round with two games to spare in the group stage. But they looked jaded against Fulham and even though they rallied late on, Brendan Rodgers will be disappointed with sloppy defensive mistakes. Playing five at the back against Fulham seemed to be too defensive and it was, as the Foxes couldn’t get the ball to Jamie Vardy and he hardly had a sniff.
3. Penalty kick woe ends: After Lookman, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Cavaleiro all missed penalty kicks in recent games, Fulham have finally ended their PK woe. Bobby Reid took the ball but Scott Parker seemed to tell Cavaleiro (who slipped last week when he missed a penalty against Everton) to take it and he smashed home. Is that the end of Fulham’s penalty woes? Those struggles have been long standing in the Premier League, but this is a good start to rectify their poor penalty kick record which could be crucial this season and the difference between staying up and going down.
Man of the Match:
Ademola Lookman – Such a threat on the counter, calm finish, and a great response after his penalty kick woe at West Ham.
Leicester went so close to taking the lead as a shot from outside the box by Youri Tielemans hit the post, then Wesley Fofana’s rebound hit the crossbar.
After good work from Dennis Praet down the right, Vardy went close as he sent a clever back-heel flick towards goal that Alphonse Areola saved at this near post. USMNT left back Antonee Robinson hit a shot straight at Kasper Schmeichel as Fulham grew into the game.
The Cottagers took the lead before half time as Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa surged forward and played in a perfect pass for Lookman to slot home.
Vardy’s cross-shot was then cleared from close range by Tosin Adarabioyo but then Fulham launched another counter as Reid was fouled in the box but Jonny Evans and VAR was used to award Fulham a penalty.
The spot kick was scored by Ivan Cavaleiro, as Fulham finally scored a penalty kick after Aleksandar Mitrovic, Lookman and Cavaleiro (in the last game v. Everton when he slipped) have all missed so far this season.
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Leicester brought on Harvey Barnes and Cengiz Under at half time, as the Foxes switched to a back four.
The hosts tried to get back in the game but James Maddison and Vardy hardly had a sniff, as Evans then put Leicester in big trouble at the other end.
His poor free kick but his defense under pressure in their own box and it led to Ruben Loftus-Cheek having a shot deflected over. Robinson then raced into the box and set up Lookman but his shot was saved by Schmeichel.
Substitute Barnes rifled home late on to set up a nervous finish and although Kelechi Iheanacho was found in the box on three occasions, Fulham blocked and held on for a huge win.