Determined not to let last season be seen as a flash in the pan, Leicester City have already started to grab this season by the scruff of the neck and lay down an early marker.
Despite the intervention of the lockdown, City had a fine season last time out under Brendan Rodgers but fell away once the season resumed. The brief season must be to be as competitive as they were during that interrupted season and to get in and around the top four places once again.
The Foxes have won three out of three games and sit top of the early table at the time of writing, the third of those games was a comprehensive dismantling of Manchester City, one of their rivals for Champions League places.
Granted City didn’t cover themselves in glory, three penalties given away in identical circumstances with defenders finding themselves on the wrong side of attacking players giving the referee no option but to point to the spot after the foul, Jamie Vardy dispatching two whilst Youri Tielemans had the third in the net after Vardy had been substituted.
Nothing should be taken away from Leicester’s performance despite the shortcomings of their hosts who looked vulnerable every time the visitors attacked their box. Vardy’s penalties were part of a hat-trick for the former England striker as Gareth Southgate looked on, maybe tempted to get on the phone with the international calendar just as congested as the domestic one.
It didn’t look initially as if this outcome was likely in the opening stages, Pep Guardiola’s side dominating and taking the lead with a fantastic strike from Riyad Mahrez but the first penalty conceded by Kyle Walker set the tone for the remainder of the game and with it a stunning defeat for a side expected to run Liverpool more closely this time around.
The goal of the day though belonged to James Maddison, a player Leicester missed during last season’s run-in and without his supply lines the Foxes struggled to get enough results together resulting in a 5th placed finish instead of guaranteeing Champions League football. His effort at the weekend curled in beyond the reach of Ederson was a goal of great quality and put the seal on a perfectly executed game plan put together by Rodgers and his staff.
With two home fixtures at the King Power stadium to come either side of the international break as October begins Rodgers would be confident of keeping his side’s momentum going and with the week’s break in between games some time for a few injuries to clear up suffering during the City game.
The club are still keen to pick up one or two more before the transfer window shuts and with added European competition this season there is a need for a bigger squad, a bid for Burnley’s James Tarkowski was turned down last week and is likely to be increased in the coming days, Timothy Castagne has so far proved to be a real steal in the market and if they can find another couple of gems like the defender to add to the squad then the Foxes might well be able to last the course this time around.
Without home support to back a team when things aren’t going their way, there is a likelihood of away teams picking up more points on the road than expected and if it continues beyond the end of 2020 then it has to be taken advantage of, that can only even things up in some cases on the pitch.
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