Leicester City beat Leeds United 1-0 at the King Power Stadium, as American coach Jesse Marsch got off to a losing start as a Premier League manager.
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However, his Leeds side played very well and forced Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel into a man of the match display. Harvey Barnes scored the winner for Leicester in the second half, as a moment of quality won it for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Leicester sit in 10th place after back-to-back wins, while Leeds have lost six of their last seven games and have played more games than the teams around them as they look likely to slip into the relegation zone in the coming weeks.
Leicester vs Leeds final score, stats
Leicester 1-0 Leeds
Goals scored: Barnes 67′
Shots: Leicester 7, Leeds 19
Shots on target: Leicester 5, Leeds 4
Possession: Leicester 51, Leeds 49
Three things we learned from Leicester vs Leeds
1. Jesse Marsch brings solidity, organization to high-press: This was much better from Leeds as they looked balanced in Marsch’s first game in charge. They had defensive solidity and were better organized and they were hardly opened up on the counter. They still pressed Leicester high but it was as a group instead of individually. The tweaks made by Marsch to the team Marcelo Bielsa built were instantly recognizable and the American coach will be pleased with pretty much everything he saw from his side. However, they have to be more clinical when they do get chances as they won’t get as many as they did under Bielsa. With 11 games to go, Leeds need points and not positive performances.
2. Battling Leicester impacted by defensive injuries: Look, it’s easy to say that injuries are to blame for Leicester’s sloppy season so far, but they have been hammered defensively. Evans, Fofana, Castagne and Bertrand have missed most of the season and Rodgers’ played Hamza Choudhury out of position at right back. It didn’t really work and they looked much better with Marc Albrighton there. If Leicester go far in the Europa Conference League and end up finishing in the top 10 of the Premier League, given all of their injuries, this will still be a very decent season for Leicester.
3. Barnes has Leeds’ number: In his four Premier League game against Leeds he’s scored four goals and Barnes seems to thrive on making the most of the space they give him. The young English winger is finally getting back to his best after his serious injury at the end of last season and at the age of 24 he could still push to be in the England squad at the 2022 World Cup. His moment of quality won Leicester the game.
Man of the Match: Kasper Schmeichel – Made two fantastic saves in quick succession at 0-0 and that seemed to spur Leicester on and deflate Leeds.
Marsch gets solid start
Leeds started brightly as Daniel James and Jack Harrison were both denied by Kasper Schmeichel as Marsch’s side looked dangerous on the break.
Rodrigo flashed a shot over as Leeds continued to look sharp on the break but Leicester were having more of the ball.
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Caglar Soyuncu blocked efforts from Junior Firpo and Raphinha at one end, while Wilfred Ndidi sent a header straight at at Illan Meslier from a corner.
Schmeichel stands tall
In the second half James’ shot hit Raphinha and flew behind, as Leeds continued to press Leicester high.
Rodrigo’s header was pushed away superbly by Schmeichel, with Leicester almost undone at another corner.
Firpo then crossed for Raphinha who looked destined to score but Schmeichel once again pulled off a miraculous save from close range.
Foxes show their bite
Leicester then made Leeds pay for those missed chances, as Barnes linked up with Kelechi Iheanacho and slotted home into the far bottom corner.
Buoyed by that goal, Leicester were much better late on and secured the victory with ease.