July 29, 2021

Classy Leicester see off troubled Fulham

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Two fine first-half goals from Kelechi Iheanacho and James Justin put Leicester third with a 2-0 victory at third-bottom Fulham, who are now without a win in 11 games.

Iheanacho powered home his first Premier League goal of the season by meeting James Maddison’s excellent cross 17 minutes in and beating Alphonse Areola from close-range.

Maddison then turned provider again as he recorded two assists in the same game for the first time, teeing up Justin to round Areola and slot in a second moments before half-time as Leicester’s clinical touch returned after their poor defeat by Leeds on Saturday.

Fulham always looked competitive but rarely tested Kasper Schmeichel besides a Tosin Adarabioyo header moments before Justin’s goal, and remain rooted seven points adrift from safety, having now lost their game in hand on the two sides directly above them.

Player ratings

Fulham: Areola (6), Tete (6), Aina (6), Andersen (5), Adarabioyo (5), Robinson (6), Reed (6), Anguissa (6), Lookman (6), Mitrovic (5), Loftus-Cheek (6).

Subs: Cavaleiro (6), Lemina (5), Decordova-Reid (7).

Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Pereira (7), Soyuncu (7), Evans (7), Justin (8), Choudhury (7), Tielemans (6), Maddison (8), Perez (5), Barnes (5), Iheanacho (7).

Subs: Albrighton (6), Mendy (6), Armartey (6).

Man of the match: James Maddison

Leicester outfox Fulham to return to winning ways

Leicester needed little time to show why they have found life so much easier on the road than at home, moving ahead with 17 minutes gone as Iheanacho powered home Maddison’s delicious cross following a quick free-kick.

Fulham’s shortcomings were just as plain to see as their tidy approach play was snuffed out before it could cause any real danger, and with one rare clear-cut chance, Aleksandar Mitrovic sidefooted Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s square ball straight at Justin with the goal at his mercy.

The hosts remained in the game and would have gone in level had Tosin beaten Schmeichel with a bullet header from a corner. But they were immediately caught out by a silky Leicester counter, with a lovely Iheanacho turn feeding Maddison to tee up Justin, who rounded Areola and doubled the lead moments before half-time.

James Justin celebrates with team-mates after doubling Leicester's lead (AP)
Image: James Justin’s goal was his first away strike in the Premier League

Scott Parker boldly responded at the break with two changes which immediately galvanised Fulham, but not to the extent of threatening a comeback.

Indeed, while Leicester were twice denied a third when the offside flag penalised Iheanacho and then Ricardo Pereira, neither side registered a legitimate shot on target throughout the second period.

That allowed Leicester to see out victory in relative comfort, with Justin’s block on substitute Bobby Decordova-Reid’s goalbound effort, typical of his night’s work, their only moment of concern as the Foxes jumped back ahead of Brendan Rodgers’ former employers Liverpool, who have played a game less.

What’s next?

Both sides are live on Sky Sports this weekend; Fulham host West Ham in a London derby at Craven Cottage on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off at 5.30pm.

There’s another derby at Molineux on Sunday as Midlands rivals Leicester and Wolves face-off, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm; kick-off at 2pm.