James Maddison and Jamie Vardy came off the bench to score for Leicester City as they claimed a 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday.
The Foxes made an enterprising start to the game and had the better of the chances in the first half, but they could not beat an inspired Nick Pope in the Burnley goal, with the English international denying decent efforts from Ricardo Pereira and Youri Tielemans.
Pope was again called into action when James Tarkowski oddly ducked out of an aerial clearance and let the ball through to Leicester attacker Patson Daka, blocking the Zambian’s effort with his legs. Burnley grew into the game and had a few openings of their own, with Maxwel Cornet putting the ball in the back of the net past an advancing Kasper Schmeichel from Aaron Lennon’s cut-back, only to have the goal ruled out for offside.
The introduction of James Maddison and Jamie Vardy off the bench came in the 72nd minute and provided Leicester with the additional quality in the final third that they required to defeat Burnley. Soon after, Leicester got a well-deserved lead when Schmeichel’s long clearance found Vardy. Maddison collected the lay-off from Vardy to nestle the ball past Pope with a beautiful curling strike.
Wout Weghorst failed to take up a golden opportunity to level the score immediately after the opener, and the Clarets were punished moments later, when Vardy nodded home a tempting Ashley Barnes cross to seal all three points for the visitors.
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 1, 2022
The victory lifted Leicester up to 12th on the Premier League table, level on points with Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion with multiple games in hand. On the other hand, Burnley remain in the relegation zone in 18th with 21 points after 25 games.
Kasper Schmeichel: 7/10
Schmeichel made a few decent saves as he got down well to keep out Connor Roberts’s dangerous drive. Otherwise, the Leicester captain had a pretty comfortable evening between the sticks, with Burnley only mustering two shots on target. He also acted as a good sweeper-keeper and played a part in the first goal with a long ball upfield.
Ricardo Pereira: 6/10
Ricardo Pereira twisted and turned his way around the Burnley backline to draw the first of Pope’s great saves on the day. The Portuguese full-back was proactive on both ends of the pitch, but was subbed at half-time due to an injury scare.
Daniel Amartey: 7/10
Amartey was handed the tough task of containing Weghorst and Cornet, and the Ghanaian stood up to the job brilliantly, not giving the Burnley attackers a sniff at goal. He won a slew of headers from Burnley crosses, showcasing his good positioning and resilience, and making a match-high eight clearances. He also passed with precision between the lines and coped with Burnley’s aggression very well.
A huge defensive performance from 🇬🇭 Daniel Amartey against Burnley tonight:
• 8 clearances
• 2/4 aerial duels won
• 1/2 ground duels won
• 1 tackle
• 1 interception
• 0 times dribbled past
✅ Clean sheet secured pic.twitter.com/cCu4KueLxJ
— Owuraku Ampofo (@_owurakuampofo) March 1, 2022
Caglar Soyuncu: 7/10
Soyuncu also delivered a solid performance at the heart of the Leicester defence. He was caught off guard occasionally when he pressed strongly, but he timed his tackles well most times. He was dominant in the air and won a match-high nine aerial duels. He also played some nice long balls from the back.
Luke Thomas: 6/10
Although he lost a lot of duels, Thomas was solid defensively despite being a touch sloppy in possession. He was troubled by Aaron Lennon’s agility, but he did not back away from any physical duels and had a decent game overall.
Wilfred Ndidi: 7/10
Ndidi provided a solid base by winning a lot of duels in the middle of the park. He had a very mixed game in that his positioning was excellent as he efficiently cut off danger at times, but he also lost the ball on many occasions and conceded needless fouls. He was, as usual, willing to do the tough defensive work in front of the backline and ended the game with three tackles and five clearances.
Youri Tielemans: 6/10
Tielemans worked hard defensively and was combative but could not influence the game in forward areas against Burnley’s low block. He struggled to find the target with his rash passes and was replaced by Maddison in the second half.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall: 7/10
Dewsbury-Hall had a decent game as he made a few excellent progressive passes into the final third. As usual, he was full of endeavour and tidy in possession. He supported and covered for Barnes, but nothing much came off for him as his end-product from long balls and crosses was non-existent on the day.
Marc Albrighton: 5/10
Albrighton put in a solid defensive shift as he was always willing to track back and was later shifted to right-back when Pereira went off. He did not contribute much going forward and did not combine as well with Lookman as he had with Ricardo earlier in the game.
Patson Daka: 5/10
Daka had a poor game up front, as playing as a lone striker without a number 10 does not suit him that much. He barely had any chances all evening, barring one which he could not convert when James Tarkowski’s mistake let him through on goal. He could not make much of an impact on the game and was substituted in the second half.
Harvey Barnes: 8/10
Barnes was Leicester’s most potent threat all evening with his driving runs. He would have come away with a brace if it had not been for Pope’s brilliance in the Burnley goal. He was lively throughout the game, wreaking havoc with his promising crosses into the box. Got a much-deserved assist after cleverly picking out Vardy with a teasing cross late in the game.
Ademola Lookman: 5/10
Lookman had a relatively quiet game as he failed to seriously trouble the Burnley backline. He was squeezed out on the right side and could not dribble through the little gaps like he usually does.
Jamie Vardy: 8/10
Jamie Vardy has scored his first Premier League goal since November 2021.
First game back, first goal. pic.twitter.com/6uZFqhNrJ0
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 1, 2022
To say that Leicester sorely missed Vardy would be something of an understatement. In fact, the win gave the Foxes their first three points in the Premier League since Vardy picked up his hamstring injury more than two months ago.
Vardy made an immediate impact after coming on in the 72nd minute; he first controlled a loose ball to set up Maddison’s goal, before making the right run to head home Barnes’s cross. He was constantly causing problems with his lightning speed and had other chances to score, one of which he should have taken rather than falling down. Back with a bang.
James Maddison: 7/10
James Maddison has now scored more goals this season (12) than he did in the entire 2020/21 campaign (11).
It took him six games fewer. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/CSpG9qFMhd
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 1, 2022
Maddison continued his red-hot form in front of the goal with a superb left-footed curling finish from the edge of the box. He added a new dimension to Leicester City’s attacks and combined with Vardy very well.