After a challenging road trip of fixtures which included Manchester United and Chelsea, Aston Villa found themselves back at home facing off against Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City. Coming into the game the Foxes found themselves second in the league with incredible form having won in their last 8 games in all competition and their star man Jamie Vardy is top scorer in the league having scored in the last 7 league games. The game also began with a moment of remembrance for Ron Saunders, one of Aston Villa’s all time great managers and a favorite of the Holte End.
The match opening minutes looked to be fairly expansive until a flash storm came through and dampened the initial action but soon lightened up and let the football play. In the 10th minute the first meaningful action of the game came off of an amazing run from Elmo in which the right back took up 20-30 yards of space and then switched the play to Grealish who soon gave off to a charging Douglas Luiz who just missed the final ball to Wesley. Right after, Villa came back with another chance with a low cross from Targett that found its way right onto Anwar El Ghazi’s foot who put it squarely onto the crossbar.
Leicester were not to be outdone though as they dominated the coming minutes after with several chances falling to Maddison and Evans which Heaton did very well to get in front of. Within this onslaught from the Foxes, Mings picked up a yellow card on a move down the Villa left wing and pulled his hamstring. Mings looked to be hobbled, yet refused to come off and the man in form, Jamie Vardy, made him pay with a goal from a run in between the Center Halves.
20th minute: Aston Villa 0-1 Leicester City
Soon after the goal, Mings conceded that he was unable to continue and was taken off. The substitution was made in the 23rd minute which brought Bjorn Engles on for Tyrone Mings.
For the following 20 minutes the visitors dominated the play with multitudes of chances and a resolute defense which snuffed the momentum that the home team attempted to build This culminated with the second goal of the day for the visitors, James Maddison put in a low cross to the near post to Iheanacho who neatly finished for the goal.
40th minute Aston Villa 0-2 Leicester City
In the closing moments of the first half while Villa looked down and out there was an attempt to regain some momentum after being squarely knocked about on their own pitch. The Villa captain took this on his shoulders as he won a free kick in extra time just outside of the box, which was knocked out for a corner kick. The first ball on the corner was not put away but in the scramble within the box Grealish got the opportunity and he slotted the ball into the bottom right, across the face of goal. This was the final act of the first half as Villa went back into the dressing room with something out of the first half.
End of the 1st Half: Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester City
Starting the second half, Aston Villa committed more men forward from the off and looked to make a chance to El Ghazi and to Wesley but the final balls simply didnt materialize. However, this soon didnt matter as sloppy defending on a Leicester corner led to a free header to Jonny Evans who didnt miss. Disappointing to have given up the third goal on such a standard play so early in the half.
49th Minute: Aston Villa 1-3 Leicester City
After an almost ten minute period which saw some Villa chances but largely comfortable play from the Foxes. A Villa substitution in the 59th minute was made, Trezeguet was brought on for Marvelous Nakamba. The Egyptian Winger also dictated a change in the shape of the squad as Grealish moved to a central role and the sub took his spot on the left for a more attacking shape.
The move hardly worked however as Villa failed to look more dangerous with the 15 minutes afterward and continued to be faced with the Leicester attack which persisted. While Villa were focused on getting back into the game, Leicester were primed to counter. On a Villa corner in the 74th the visitors founder their opportunity as Vardy got on the end of a ball and ran himself into a one on one with Heaton who was powerless to stop the top goalscorer in the league.
75th minute: Aston Villa 1-4 Leicester
Soon after the fourth goal, Targett went down with an injury and was taken off in the 78th for Frederic Guilbert who was selected to play out of position at left back. From then on Villa simply played in frustration and had created some pressure but never really moved the needle. Within the frustration Grealish earned a yellow in the 90th and the time mercifully ended with the scoreline being 1-4 to the visitors. On the bright side, Villa sit just outside of the relegation spots on goal differential after facing 6 of the top seven and will face a better run in the festive season ahead.
Final Score: Aston Villa 1-4 Leicester City.