Leicester City hammered Newcastle United 4-0 in the Premier League on Sunday, with James Maddison and Youri Tielemans starring on the day.
Leicester were a class above Newcastle as James Maddison inspired the Foxes to a comprehensive 4-0 victory at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes went two-up with goals on either side of halftime, first a penalty from Tielemans and then a tap-in from Patson Daka. Late goals from Tielemans and Maddison further condemned Newcastle to their heaviest defeat of the season.
The visitors started well with Callum Wilson nipping the ball before firing wide, but the home side soon took control of the game. Still, they did not create any clear-cut chances to start with. However, their persistence culminated in a penalty in the 38th minute when Maddison cleverly went to the ground under minimal pressure from an unlucky Jamaal Lascelles. Tielemans made no mistake from the penalty spot sending Martin Dubravka the wrong way.
Leicester doubled their advantage in the 57th minute when Maddison found Harvey Barnes, who raced through on goal before putting the ball on a plate for Daka to score. Tielemans scored his second goal late in the game, firing the ball into the roof of the net from inside the box before Maddison put the icing on the cake with his fourth league goal of the season.
The result lifts Leicester up to eighth in the table while Eddie Howe’s Newcastle remains stuck at 19th, boasting an unwanted record of conceding the most number of goals in the division (34). The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over both sets of players in what was a convincing victory for Brendan Rodgers & co., while an equally woeful defeat for the visitors.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6.5/10
Scrambled back and hooked Castagne’s errant back-pass off the line for one of his finest saves of the campaign. He had nothing more to do aside from that, but he positioned himself properly to save some feint efforts as Newcastle registered only three shots on goal.
Timothy Castagne: 5/10
He was penalised early on with a yellow card for hauling down Allan Saint-Maximin. However, the Leicester full-back defended tenaciously to keep the French winger quiet for long periods until one sloppy back-pass nearly cost his side their long-awaited clean sheet.
Jonny Evans: N/A
Evans had to come off early in the game with a hamstring injury, and with no apparent leaders at the back, Rodgers will be hoping his senior centre-back recovers sooner rather than later.
Caglar Soyuncu: 7/10
Soyuncu put up a brave display without his usual defensive partner Evans, flying into headers, winning four aerial duels and fiercely shutting down Newcastle attackers; he man-handled Callum Wilson out of the game. His poise in getting the ball down also launched the move for the second goal. He made one tackle, one interception, six clearances and three blocks in total.
Luke Thomas: 6.5/10
He made an excellent block in the first half and surged effectively with the ball before sneaking in to initiate the attack for the third goal. He was bold in attack and strong in defence and looks to be getting better with each passing game.
Wilfred Ndidi: 6.5/10
Had the ball nicked off him shortly after switching to centre-back and lost a fair few physical battles with Wilson than he would have wanted. But he improved as the game went by and played his part in preserving the clean sheet.
James Maddison: 9/10
🏴 James Maddison vs Newcastle:
• 88 minutes
• 1 goal
• 1 assist
• 1 penalty won
• 2 key passes
• 1/1 accurate long balls
• 8/10 ground duels won
• 1 tackle
• 6 fouls won
• 1 accurate cross
— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) December 12, 2021
Cunningly won the penalty by anticipating the slightest of contacts, then did the same to win free-kicks to ease the pressure on Leicester. He stepped up his performance in the second half. The Englishman looked confident, flashy and had some precise passing moments. He provided a fantastic flicked through-pass for the second while producing a great finish for the fourth.
With an assist and a goal, Maddison was the creative hub for the Foxes while he also combined with Daka efficiently on several occasions.
Youri Tielemans: 9/10
Tielemans was a class act in the middle of the park and dictated the tempo of the match, producing an all-action display on the afternoon. The Belgian broke the deadlock with a penalty into the top corner sending goalkeeper Martin Dubravka the wrong way.
His second goal displayed his box-to-box qualities, as he ran from deep to get in support before smashing the ball home emphatically. He moved the ball well to keep things ticking along while the 24-year-old was highly industrious off the ball, complementing his all-round game and ended the match with five tackles, three clearances and one interception.
Youri Tielemans’ game by numbers vs. Newcastle United:
91% pass accuracy
5/8 tackles won
4/6 long passes
3 shots (2 on target)
A top performance on his 100th PL appearance. 💯🇧🇪 pic.twitter.com/ac9Vc93Bsm
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 12, 2021
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall: 7/10
Solid yet unremarkable. Offered a lot of energy and was all over the pitch, helping Thomas and Barnes on the left, while getting stuck in, defensively. He linked the play well, although he did not produce anything noteworthy.
Harvey Barnes: 6.5/10
Barnes timed his run to perfection for the second goal and displayed great awareness and unselfishness in putting it on a plate for Daka as well. Nonetheless, most of his runs were cut off at the start, and he was unable to make a real impact in the final third as much as he would like to. He was substituted off just as the game began to catch fire in Leicester’s favour.
Patson Daka: 8/10
Patson Daka’s Premier League career by numbers:
◎ 7 appearances
◎ 2 starts
◉ 3 assists
◉ 2 goals
Directly involved in a goal once every 57.6 minutes. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ntZUusHuur
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 12, 2021
He did not get to the grips of the game for much of the first half but was superb after the break. He worked the channels well. He was committed to providing an option alongside Barnes and was rewarded with a tap-in finish while he showcased some good one-touch passing for the third and the fourth goal.
Boubakary Soumare: 6.5/10
Soumare produced some good defensive blocks and passes after coming on as a substitute in the fifth minute. Shielded the defensive line effectively.
Marc Albrighton: 6/10
Brendan Rogers made a strategic decision to put Albrighton on for Barnes. This proved to be a wise move as it allowed Leicester to soak up the pressure from Newcastle and resulted in a counter-attacking goal in the dying minutes.
Kasey McAteer: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Martin Dubravka: 5.5/10
The Slovakian shot-stopper looked decent in patches between the sticks and was not at clear fault for the goals. Dubravka could have done better with the fourth goal but was not helped by a shaky backline in front of him.
Javier Manquillo: 4/10
He did a pretty decent job of keeping Barnes’ involvement to a minimum in the first half but had a pretty forgetful second period. He first played Barnes onside for the second goal and was sloppy in possession to gift Leicester the third goal. He needs to iron out these individual errors. A very casual display from the Spaniard.
Fabian Schar: 6.5/10
Schar was excellent technically and tactically at the back. He made three vital clearances to prevent Leicester attacking trio from getting into scoring situations while he won a massive seven aerial duels covering up for his defensive partners. He saw an early shot blocked while his trademark runs reminded of his ability with the ball at his feet.
Jamaal Lascelles: 4/10
Some may give Lascelles the benefit of the doubt that Maddison acted to fall over, but he brought on his own downfall by sticking out his standing foot. He struggled to play out from the back while he failed to track the movements by Barnes, Maddison and Dewsbury-Hall.
A dismal showing consisted of losing out on three of his five contested duels, failing to make a tackle or an interception and losing the possession a massive nine times. There is a good chance he could be replaced by Federico Fernandez for the next game.
Jamal Lewis: 5/10
Lewis struggled to contain Daka and Maddison’s attacking combination throughout the game. He displayed several good plays in the attacking build-ups but failed to produce any clear-cut chances while he did not complete a single cross in his time on the pitch. He was withdrawn at the hour mark.
Miguel Almiron: 6/10
A lot of running and defensive contributions, making six tackles before being taken off at the hour mark. Newcastle certainly missed his energy once he was substituted.
Jonjo Shelvey: 5/10
Shelvey laid a reckless elbow on Maddison and struggled alongside Willock to keep up with Leicester’s buzzing midfield. He played Lascelles into trouble for the penalty goal. It was disappointing that the Englishman could not build on his impressive displays lately. He needs a solid defensive workhorse alongside him to operate to his strengths.
Joe Willock: 5/10
Another poor performance from the former Arsenal man, but somewhat better than in recent weeks. Also, he is not a defensive midfielder nor he is technical enough to be an attacking midfielder; he only offers a box-to-box presence. Newcastle need a top-level defensive midfielder to play possession-based football under Eddie Howe.
Allan Saint-Maximin: 6.5/10
Newcastle’s sole creative outlet on the day, but apart from his flashy dribbles and maverick runs, he offered very little and was doubled down well by Leicester on many occasions. Despite having an off day in the office, he completed a match-high nine successful dribbles on the evening.
One of the few players who did well on the day, Joelinton put in another tireless shift and enjoyed driving through Leicester’s midfield while creating a couple of chances. He battled hard to try and knit up a pretty disjointed attack to varied success. Defensively, he completed five tackles, one interception and two clearances. He did not have much joy aerially, though, only winning two aerial duels.
Callum Wilson: 5/10
Starved of service, Wilson offered more defensively with his work rate. He had one opportunity early on in the game, which he fired wide. Otherwise, it was a wrestling match between him and Leicester’s defence bearing no fruits.
Jacob Murphy: 6/10
Coming in as a substitute at the hour mark, he was bright with some direct running to help Newcastle gain possession and keep the attack ongoing. He also contributed with two key passes but was a part of the side that crumbled in the last quarter of the game.
Ryan Fraser: 5/10
Fraser was subbed on for Almiron and brought some creativity to this Newcastle side. He made numerous runs but failed to deliver that final pass or cross.
Matt Richie: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.