Aston Villa face a reality check following an embarrassing scoreline against Leicester City at Villa Park.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Title contenders Leicester City travelled to Villa Park for the third game of the week – one a draw, one a loss in the other two.
Aston Villa were the first side to get into their opposition’s box, but Leicester responded instantly after a casual pass from Tyrone Mings forced Tom Heaton to put the ball out for a throw. This allowed Leicester into the game – and they did so via two saved shots from James Maddison and Jamie Vardy.
The weather changed for the worse in the sixth minute as heavy rain and strong winds engulfed Villa Park.
Aston Villa looked the stronger side in the opening ten, despite Leicester’s chances – with the home side playing some beautiful football – just not getting shots on goal.
Johnny Evans could have put Leicester a goal to the good in the 10th minute, but Heaton was smart to stand firm and save the ball. In direct response, Matt Targett played a teasing ball into the Leicester box which Anwar El Ghazi found, before his shot rattled against the crossbar.
Tyrone Mings was booked for dragging Ricardo Pereira to the floor right on the edge of the Aston Villa box after the Portuguese right-back had beaten him to the ball.
The English defender then worried fans, dropping down clutching his hamstring – but electing to carry on. In hindsight, he should have come off as his reluctance to sprint for a ball allowed Jamie Vardy through on goal before he rounded the goalkeeper – with Heaton tripping Konsa – who then slipped, allowing Vardy to round the ball past Konsa and into the net.
Tyrone Mings was subbed off for Bjorn Engels in the 23rd minute.
Jamie Vardy found himself through on the right as he looked to play a ball across the box for Kelechi Iheanacho in the 32nd – but Bjorn Engels was perfectly placed to slide the ball back to Tom Heaton.
Marvelous Nakamba was booked for a late stamp on Wilfried Ndidi ten minutes before the end of the first half. Iheanacho was booked for Leicester for a late slide on Matt Targett.
Leicester made it two five minutes before the end of the first half as James Maddison sprung a cross into the box which Iheanacho got to ahead of Konsa and kneed into the net past Tom Heaton.
Ricardo Pereira was booked for a foul on Jack Grealish in the first minute of added time at the end of the first half.
Aston Villa picked up a foothold in the game just before the end of the half as Jack Grealish took a ball on the half-volley and struck it towards the goal, where it took a deflection – and then off the post – before nestling into the back of the net.
Aston Villa started the most aggressive of the two sides and had an opportunity via El Ghazi at the start of the second half.
Johnny Evans restored Leicester’s two goal lead in the 49th minute as a corner found the defender, who looped a header into the top right corner.
Matt Targett was booked for a possible red-card challenge on Pereira in the 50th minute.
Trezeguet arrived onto the pitch in the 59th minute as he replaced Marvelous Nakamba. John McGinn was booked for a foul on James Maddison shortly after.
Kelechi Iheanacho was replaced by Harvey Barnes in the 64th minute.
Jamie Vardy grabbed his second goal of the game in the 75th minute following a quick ball over the top from Denis Praet, which the forward latched onto before firing just to the left of Tom Heaton.
Soyuncu nearly made it five shortly after, but Tom Heaton’s face denied the Turkish international from further adding to Aston Villa’s misery. Frederic Guilbert replaced an injured Matt Targett just before this.
The game stagnated a little following this, with a number of opportunities going awry for both sides.
Jack Grealish was booked for an unnecessary, frustrated push on Ndidi in the 91st minute.