·4 February 2023
·4 February 2023
Aston Villa twice took the lead but still conspired to lose 4-2 at home to Leicester City in a helter-skelter contest on Saturday afternoon.
Brendan Rodgers won both top-flight matches against Unai Emery's Arsenal side and continued his personal Premier League superiority over the Spaniard with Leicester's first win since the World Cup hiatus.
Ollie Watkins prodded the hosts in front inside ten minutes, snaffling up the rebound of Emi Buendia's long-range rasper which rattled off the underside of the crossbar. However, Villa were the architects of James Maddison's equaliser three minutes later.
Tyrone Mings was caught dallying in possession by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall before Maddison gratefully accepted the gift of an unguarded goal - the returning midfielder's 19th direct goal contribution in his last 18 Premier League starts.
Villa responded defiantly, laying siege to Danny Ward's net with a raft of chances. On another day, Villa's second goal may well have arrived long before Harry Souttar inadvertently turned Watkins' cross into his net shortly after the half-hour mark.
Yet, that was hardly the last loop in a rollercoaster first half. After clearing the first cross into the box, Villa's rearguard collectively switched off while Harvey Barnes' delivery arced into the area and onto the forehead of an unmarked Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Nigeria international turned provider before the break. Collecting the ball between Villa's widening lines after a turnover, Iheanacho slid a defence-splitting through ball behind a beleaguered MIngs. Tete scampered onto the pass, rounding Emiliano Martinez before tucking in a debut goal in first-half stoppage time.
Emery turned to his bench during the interval, bringing on Alex Moreno and Philippe Coutinho. While Villa desperately sought a route back into the match - going close through Leon Bailey after an hour - Leicester not only avoided the familiar habit of giving up a lead but extended their advantage.
Dennis Praet came off the bench to seal three points for the visitors, rounding Martinez and stuffing in the Foxes' fourth goal of the afternoon in the 79th minute. Across their previous five Premier League games post-Qatar, Leicester had collected just one point and scored three goals. They bettered both tallies in 90 riotous minutes at Villa Park on Saturday.
GK: Martinez (4); RB: Young (6), CB: Konsa (6), CB: Mings (5), LB: Digne (5); RM: Ramsey (6), CM: Kamara (6), CM: Luiz (7), LM: Buendia (7); ST: Bailey (6), ST: Watkins (7)
Subs: Coutinho (6), Moreno (5), Cash (6)
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