Leicester recovered from a dire start to run out emphatic winners here. Huddersfield glimpsed a first league win of the season when Mathias Jørgensen swept them into the lead in the fifth minute but the home side soon drew level thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho, before sealing victory in the second half through goals by the former England striker Jamie Vardy and the excellent James Maddison, a 21-year-old who will become a prized part of England’s future if he continues to perform as he has done for Leicester this season.
This was an important victory for Claude Puel’s side on the back of two defeats, including last week’s 4-2 shellacking at Bournemouth. And it was a vexing defeat for Huddersfield, who arrived at the King Power with no wins but a fair measure of hope, as their previous two performances suggested results might improve if they could just fine-tune their finishing.
From the outset it became clear that Philip Billing’s long throw-in could yield opportunities for the visitors. Erik Durm, the Germany international making his first league start since joining Huddersfield in July, had a shot from 20 yards deflected wide in the third minute after one mighty throw was only partly cleared. Two minutes later another missile hurled by Billing led to the visitors’ breakthrough. Laurent Depoitre flicked it on at the near post and Jørgensen swept it into the net from close range.
Leicester were looking disjointed in a 4-4-2 formation, in which their most creative player, Maddison, was stationed wide on the left rather than in his usual position behind the central striker. Perhaps the lack of a threat from the hosts lulled the visitors into a false sense of safety but that is really no excuse for the way Huddersfield allowed Puel’s team to equalise.
The goal in the 19th minute originated from a Huddersfield corner. The set-piece was cleared and, as the ball bounced midway inside the Leicester half, two Huddersfield players rushed forward to try to collect it, vacating their defensive posts like bank security guards rendered giddy by the arrival of an ice cream van. Maddison got to the ball first and Leicester acted quickly to loot the vaults, the midfielder feeding Vardy, who served Iheanacho, who fired low into the net from the edge of the box.
Equalising inspired Leicester and they began to enjoy the majority of possession, involving Maddison more. Set pieces brought their best chances to go in front, thanks to admirable inventiveness. Maddison duped the home defence by dinking a pass over the wall when most were expecting him to shoot from a 20-yard free-kick, but that wheeze was undone by Vardy who, having been released by Maddison, skewed a volley wide from 10 yards. Harry Maguire then had a header saved by Jonas Lössl following another clever free-kick.
Huddersfield’s ventures into opposing territory grew rare. But they should have regained the lead in the 62nd minute, only for Maguire to dispossess the hesitant Depoitre after Rajiv van La Parra sent the striker lumbering clear. Four minutes later Maddison shot Leicester into the lead with a splendid free-kick.
There was nothing especially innovative about this one. It was just a viciously struck dead ball that whizzed over the wall and past the goalkeeper, who got a hand to it to no useful effect.
Demarai Gray, introduced at half-time for the ineffective Rachid Ghezzal, came close to making Leicester’s lead more comfortable but Lössl denied him with a fine save. The keeper was beaten decisively in the 75th minute, though, when Iheanacho sent Vardy running clear from halfway. The former England striker left Jørgensen in his wake before drawing Lössl to the edge of the box and dinking the ball into the net.
Source: The Guardian