A late attempt from Ross Barkley secured all three points for Aston Villa against Leicester this evening.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa travelled to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City, their first Premier League game since their 7-2 demolition of the reigning champions Liverpool, hoping to continue their 100% start to the season.
With Leicester’s side depleted through injury and fitness issues and Aston Villa playing an unchanged eleven, the scene was set for a Sunday evening of football.
Neither side really got into the game in the opening ten minutes, creating a cagey affair early on.
In fact, not much had happened in the opening twenty minutes, either.
Leicester were the first side to register a shot in the game, with Timothy Castagne forcing Emiliano Martinez into a strong save with his torso at the near post. Just a few minutes later, after an Aston Villa counter attack, Leicester took another shot as Iheanacho forced Martinez into a diving catch.
Aston Villa’s best chance of the game so far came in the 25th minute after McGinn found Targett outside on the left, before playing the ball into Grealish who cut the ball across the box. Trezeguet found the loose ball but sliced his shot just wide.
Ayoze Perez was booked for a foul on Jack Grealish from behind just after the half-hour mark. McGinn was booked for a cynical foul just minutes later.
Matty Cash was also booked five minutes before half-time as he held onto Harvey Barnes’ leg after the winger attempted to leave him behind.
The sides went in all square at the break, with both managers likely to be berating their sides and asking for improved performances moving into the second half.
Both sides returned to the field for the second half with no personnel changes.
Although Leicester started the half the more attacking of the two, it was Aston Villa who enjoyed the majority of the forward play in the opening eight or so minutes.
Ezri Konsa missed a header at the back post as he jumped the highest to meet Jack Grealish’s corner in the 53rd minute.
Youri Tielemans forced Martinez into a tough save with a long ranged shot on the hour mark, as the game looked all the more likely to be the first goalless draw of the Premier League season.
The 67th minute saw the first change of the night, as Dennis Praet was replaced by James Maddison for Leicester.
Douglas Luiz attempted a shot from outside of the box in he 69th, Aston Villa’s first shot on target of the game, but it was saved easily by Schmeichel. The Leicester keeper saved a deflected shot from Watkins just thirty seconds later.
Douglas Luiz was booked in the 70th minute for a cynical foul on James Maddison. Kelechi Iheanacho was then replaced by Islam Slimani. Timothy Castagne was booked in the 73rd for his fourth foul on Jack Grealish. Johnny Evans was booked a minute later for a foul on Ollie Watkins.
With just over ten minutes remaining, Leicester made their second change and replaced Nampalys Mendy with Hamza Choudhury. A minute or so later, and Trezeguet was replaced by Bertrand Traore for Aston Villa.
Bertrand Traore had a headed chance in the 90th minute, but the Burkina Faso international’s attempt was straight at the Leicester ‘keeper.
Ross Barkley was the man to take the game into his hands in the 90th minute, finding himself in acres of space and inching forward before taking a chance on his right foot – which dropped underneath the diving Schmeichel and into the net.
Aston Villa pick up all three points away from home, and remain the only side in the Premier League with a 100% record.