Jamie Vardy scored the only goal as Leicester City kicked off their 2021-22 Premier League season with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wolves at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
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3 things we learned from Leicester – Wolves
1. Leicester bend, but don’t break: The Foxes enjoyed a 56-44 advantage in possession, but were massively out-shot by a margin of 17-8. Part of that is down to the fact they had a lead to defend for 50 minutes, and part is down to the ease with which they can concede two-thirds of the field before putting opposing attacks into a stranglehold once into the final third. Leicester is a side full of well-rounded, highly disciplined footballers who are, to a man, delighted to go the extra mile.
2. Best of Leicester still to come: Wesley Fofana, a blossoming star at center back, is out for the start of the season after breaking his leg in preseason, and star summer signing Patson Daka didn’t even see the field on Saturday as he rounds out fitness and sharpness at his new club. To say Leicester have more levels to climb and improve this season, given their incredible scouting and recruitment efforts in recent years, is an understatement.
3. Jimenez returns: Raul Jimenez made his long-awaited return after suffering a fractured skull nearly nine months ago, and though he was starved for service and touches against Leicester, it was clear to see that Wolves were right at home with the Mexican international often occupying a center back (or two) to open up space for secondary attackers.
Man of the Match: Youri Tielemans – The brilliant Belgian central midfielder continues to raise his game time and again, with another stellar display of progressive passing and tempo setting.
James Maddison put the game’s first shot on target midway through the first half as he rose high at the back post and headed the ball down, but he put it right into Jose Sa’s hands for an easy save.
Three minutes later, Jamie Vardy tested Sa from distance, but his effort was tame and easy for Sa to handle.
Wolves’ first chance of the game came in the 36th minute, and Adama Traore will be kicking himself for quite some time after failing to take it. A through ball from midfielder slipped Traore in behind the Leicester defense and he surged past two defenders to receive the ball and meet Kasper Schemichel one-on-one. Unfortunately for Traore, his shot was never heading for the target and always going wide.
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Vardy’s goal came in the 41st minute, and what a sensational strike it took to beat Sa (above video).
The final few minutes were, predictably, all Wolves as they desperately pushed for an equalizer, but Schmeichel made a pair of key plays to deny Traore and Max Kilman in the 79th and 87th minutes, respectively.
Conor Coady put the ball in the back of the net from a corner kick in the dying moments, but a brief video review revealed that he was offside when the ball was last touched.