In fact, it will possibly’t be Leicester. Not little outdated Leicester. Nicely, not once more, anyway. Having embarrassed all of us who patronised them 5 years in the past, they certainly wouldn’t have the audacity to repeat the trick?
However right here we’re, virtually half manner by way of this strangest of seasons and there they sit fairly in second place, some extent off the lead.
They rode their luck at instances right here, but in the end have been good for his or her win. Any aspect that has Youri Tielemans choosing out the midfield passes, James Maddison swaggering at No.10 and Harvey Barnes each bettering will fare nicely.
Leicester Metropolis climbed to second within the Premier League desk due to a win over Southampton on Saturday night
The sport in opposition to Southampton on the King Energy Stadium marked Kasper Schmeichel’s four-hundredth look for Leicester
Southampton can take into account themselves unlucky, having greater than contributed to a thoroughly-absorbing contest of end-to-end attacking. The pattern to press excessive, counter assault shortly and all the time look to move ahead served this recreation nicely. So hat tip to Brendan Rodger and Ralph Hassenhuttl for moulding two superb sides. And demonstrating that smashing the glass ceiling of the massive six might not be unreachable for sides exterior the self-appointed giants of the sport.
Two wonderful groups, each nicely coached and very good at turning assault into defence made for a totally entertaining contest. The excellent characteristic of each Brendan Rodgers and Ralph Hassenhuttl sides is the velocity at which they transfer the ball by way of midfield, be it James Ward-Prowse or Youri Tielmans; and the tempo at which their ahead gamers reply to that, be they Theo Walcott, Harvey Barnes, Che Adams or Jamie Vardy.
It made for a compelling opening half. England supervisor Gareth Southgate had a lot to ponder: whether or not he can persuade Vardy out of worldwide retirement; whether or not to select Maddison; or give extra possibilities to Barnes and Ward-Prowse. All made robust circumstances for inclusion and Southgate would have been inspired by James Justin, enjoying left again right here however more proficient at proper again. If his lengthy listing of world class England full backs ought to undergo a collective breakdown, Justin will certainly be subsequent on the listing.
Southampton’s defender Jan Bednarek heads the ball off the road as Southampton appeared to get again into the match
Play switched from finish to finish with the 18th minute bringing the primary break by way of with Tielemans uncharacteristically shedding possession and permitting Stuart Armstrong to set Che Adams away down the correct. He misplaced Jonny Evans, lower inside and shot throughout objective. The person again to clear off the road? It was Teilemans, having lined virtually the size of the pitch, to make good his error.
Inside two minutes Leicester had responded. Southampton have been caught enjoying out from the again and Teilemans fed Marc Albrighton. His cross was delightfully dummied by Vardy to provide Barnes a strike on objective, a rasping shot which introduced a superb save from Alex McCarthy.
The goalkeeper was in motion, however was capable of preserve a clear sheet as Leicester climbed the desk into second place
On 24 minutes, Adams was in once more, making that acquainted run inside Evans, The angle was slim however his shot was low and agency, convey a pointy parry from Kasper Schmeichel on his four-hundredth look for Leicester.
Either side had made their case; each side have been dedicated to entertain. Nevertheless it was a second of top quality soccer that broke the impasse, Tielemans, with an intricate passing vary, noticed the run of Maddison and threaded the ball by way of the Southampton again 4 for him to run on to.
It appeared favored it had overrun, so tight was the angle as Maddison out-paced Jack Stephens. But Maddison thumped the ball, a shocking stike which beat McCarthy and virtually burst the roof of the online. Little doubt some will say no goalkeeper ought to get beat at his hear publish. But the strike had such ferocity, it was exhausting to be vital.
James Maddison celebrates scoring his aspect’s profitable objective together with Youri Tielemans throughout the first half of the sport
Maddison celebrated in applicable model – socially distanced from his team-mates and mimicking handshakes. Southgate would certainly permit himself a smile on the new-look mature and composed Maddison.
Inside a minute of the restart there was a marker that the tempo wouldn’t let up, Southampton catching Leicester out with a sensible counter assault as Armstrong discovered William Smallbone, whose strike was pushed away adeptly by Schmeichel.
But Southampton obtained fortunate on 49 minutes when Ibrahima Diallo, already on a yellow card, rashly pulled again Maddison. The screams of accusation from Leicester gamers reverberated across the empty stadium however ref Stuart Atwell refused to be sways and Diallo was reprieved. Kasper Schmeichel would later supply some extra direct recommendation over one other foul. ‘Fxxxxxx guide him then!’ he bellowed. To no avail.
Caglar Soyuncu got here on for Wesley Forfana, who appeared to have an ankle damage whereas Smallbone needed to retire, to get replaced by Dan N’Lundulu, after he injured his knee making an attempt to sort out Timothy Castagne. And Ryan Bertrand obtained himself booked by launching himself at Albrighton to stop a fast throw.
Leicester Metropolis striker Jamie Vardy rues lacking an opportunity throughout the second half of the sport in opposition to Southampton
On 67 minutes, Vardy, lastly escaping the attentions of his markers, would head over after Barnes looped n an inviting cross whereas a minute later Armstrong virtually benefitted on the different finish from a mixture up within the Leciester defence which had Schmeichel leaping to smother the ball.
On 72 minutes, Southampton virtually made the breakthrough. Armstrong sized up his possibilities exterior the field, struck the ball with some energy and noticed it crash off the bar. The rebound fell for Shane Lengthy who was bundled over within the field by Evans but the Southampton striker had been offside when the preliminary shot was taken, so Leicester have been reprieved. And, persevering with the pattern of exchanging blows, on 75 minutes Barnes might need sealed the sport for Leicester however his scuffed shot allowed Jan Bednarek to clear off the road.
They solely sealed the win in fifth minute of damage time when Tielemans picked out Barnes, who struck firmly and exactly previous Alex McCarthy, just about the final kick off the sport. Till then, the competition had ebbed and flowed as each side impressed and imposed themselves on the sport
Sportsmail’s Spencer Morgan offered stay protection of Leicester vs Southampton together with the rating, lineups and build-up.