Harvey Barnes and James Maddison starred as Leicester City registered an impressive 2-1 win over Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.
Leicester City started the game strongly at Villa Park, controlling the proceedings for most of the early parts. And their control paid dividends in the 19th minute as James Maddison stroked the ball into the back of the net with a fine finish from just outside the box.
Four minutes later, the Foxes doubled their lead as Harvey Barnes reacted the fastest to pounce on a rebound after Jamie Vardy’s snapshot was stopped and smash the ball home. Aston Villa gradually grew into the game and started asking questions of the Foxes’ defence and when Bertrand Traore pulled one back early in the second half, it looked like a comeback could be on the cards.
However, Leicester recovered from the patchy start to the second period and managed the game professionally to hold on to their lead and bag all three points. The win saw Brendan Rodgers’ move to the second place in the table, although it was a temporary move as Manchester United reclaimed the spot later in the night after beating Newcastle United.
Here’s how we rated the performances of the Leicester City stars as they continued their impressive form on the road.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
Did not have a whole lot to do in the first half with Aston Villa not threatening a great deal. Could not stop Traore’s strike early in the strike and was involved in a heated exchange with the Villa attacker soon after the goal. Distribution was patchy.
Timothy Castagne: 7/10
Such an asset at right-back. The Belgian international provided a constant outlet for the Foxes with his willingness to push forward at every given opportunity. Played one key pass and was responsible defensively as well as he made a game-high five tackles. Solid return from injury.
So impressed with Castagne and how he’s slotted back in. Seamless.
— Jason Bourne 🗣🎙📻 (@JasonBourne1986) February 21, 2021
Jonny Evans: 7/10
Apart from getting dragged out in the lead-up to the Villa goal, the former Manchester United defender was a picture of solidity at the heart of the Leicester defence. Won his fair share of aerial duels and organised the backline well, ensuring Villa did not have a lot of chances.
Caglar Soyuncu: 7/10
Like his defensive partner, Soyuncu, too, was a largely assured presence at the centre of the Foxes defence. Kept a check on the dangerous Ollie Watkins with comfort, was strong in the air and on the ground as he won four aerial duels while making two tackles and interceptions each.
Luke Thomas: 8/10
The youngster, like Castagne on the right flank, provided a regular outlet and linked up well with Barnes throughout the game. Defended well for most parts as well, keeping Traore quiet for the majority of the game. Played one key pass, made three tackles and three important clearances.
Luke Thomas vs Villa
1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣% Long Ball Accuracy (1)
8️⃣5️⃣% Pass Accuracy
6️⃣7️⃣% Tackle Success (2)
6️⃣ Duels Won
4️⃣ Ball Recoveries
1️⃣ Shot Blocked
1️⃣ Chance Created
— 𝙇𝘾𝙁𝘾 𝙈𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙚𝙤𝙪𝙨 🦊 (@LCFCshitposting) February 21, 2021
Youri Tielemans: 8/10
Launched attacks from midfield effectively throughout the first half, starting the move for the opening goal and made three key passes over the course of the game. Did his bit off the ball as well and continued to make things tick after moving into the No. 10 role after Maddison was taken off. Grew tired with time, however.
Wilfred Ndidi: 6/10
Not as imposing as he can be with the early booking perhaps holding him back a bit. Nevertheless did his job in midfield and was neat and tidy in possession throughout.
Ricardo Pereira: 7/10
Starting in an advanced position on the right-wing, the Portuguese looked comfortable as he buzzed in and around the Aston Vila box with purpose. Showed some neat link-up play, fired a few shots early in the game as well. Made two key passes but faded with time as he still lacks that sharpness having returned from a lengthy absence.
James Maddison: 8/10
Most Premier League goals from outside the box since James Maddison joined Leicester City:
🥇 James Maddison 
🥈 James Ward-Prowse 
🥉 Harry Kane 
Specialist. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/nSp2PeyVUB
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 21, 2021
Opened the goalscoring for Leicester on Sunday with a fine hit from just outside the box. Afforded a lot of space by the hosts which allowed him to pull the strings in the final third. Tried to soldier one after picking up an injury but had to be taken off eventually.
Harvey Barnes: 8/10
A piercing run early in the game leading to a shot showed the kind of mood that the Leicester wide-man was int. A constant threat form the left, Barnes got the assist for Maddison’s goal before he showed good awareness to pounce on the rebound and make it 2-0. Completed a game-high four key passes.
Harvey Barnes game by numbers vs. Aston Villa:
91% pass accuracy
7 ball recoveries
5 touches in opp. box
4 chances created
4 duels won
2 fouls won
Superb again. pic.twitter.com/M0UD3BSRkT
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 21, 2021
Jamie Vardy: 6.5/10
May not have scored or assisted a goal on the night but kept the Villa defenders on their toes throughout. Held up the ball well at the top and brought in his teammates into play. Had a role in the second goal as it was his shot that was saved by Emiliano Martinez before Barnes reacted to net home the rebound.
Nampalys Mendy: 6.5/10
Came on for Maddison just past the hour mark to help protect the Foxes’ lead. Strong in the challenge, broke up play effectively in midfield.
Daniel Amartey: N/A
On for Pereira with less than fifteen minutes left. Solid in his brief cameo
Hamza Choudhury: N/A
Replaced Tielemans in the 88th minute. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.