Aston Villa add to managerless Leicester’s woes with late winner


Leicester began life after Brendan Rodgers in similar fashion to how his reign ended as they slipped to a late 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

Saturday’s defeat at Crystal Palace by the same scoreline – beaten by an injury-time goal – was enough to convince chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha that he had to part with Rodgers in order to avoid the drop.

It looked like the change was going to have a positive effect as the Foxes were heading for a credible draw after Harvey Barnes’ sublime goal cancelled out Ollie Watkins’ opener.

But the game turned in the 70th minute as Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was sent off for two quick yellow cards and Bertrand Traore hit a fine goal of his own to earn Villa three three points and enhance their European hopes.

There was even more late drama as Leicester had a penalty overturned by VAR after Graham Scott had originally pointed to the spot in injury time.

The Foxes slumped to a seventh game without a win, which keeps them in the bottom three and in real danger of dropping into the Championship next season.

For Villa, a fifth win from six games gives them a real chance of qualifying for Europe as Unai Emery continues to surpass expectations.

And it was a special night for Watkins, who marked his 100th Premier League game with an eighth goal in 10 matches.

Leicester, under interim bosses Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler, were bright and positive in the opening 20 minutes, with Barnes testing Emiliano Martinez with a low shot before a big chance came their way in the 19th minute.

Harry Souttar was left unmarked at the far post from James Maddison’s corner, but his downward header bounced off the outside of a post.

But familiar defensive frailties remained and three minutes later Villa led with a clinical move.

A brilliant through-ball from Emiliano Buendia sent Watkins clear and he sent a cool finish past the on-rushing Daniel Iversen and into the net to score for the sixth successive away game.

That goal changed the dynamic of the game and Villa went for the jugular in search of a second, with Alexandre Moreno firing wide.

But Leicester levelled in the 35th minute and it was all down to the brilliance of Barnes.

He collected Wout Faes’ long ball expertly on the left wing, outpaced Ashley Young into the area and then found the bottom corner to make it 1-1.

Neither side were able to gain control in a scrappy start to the second half before Villa began to put their foot down.

Moreno was regularly finding space down the left and he burst into the box and thundered a shot from an acute angle against the outside of a post.

The tone was set for attack versus defence in final 20 minutes when Dewsbury-Hall was sent off for his second yellow card in the space of six minutes after a foul on Young.

Jacob Ramsey soon had a chance to put Villa back in front, but he got his shot wrong from a knockdown, while Young curled over from distance and Watkins was denied a second by the legs of Iversen.

The pressure was mounting and John McGinn was denied as his deflected shot flew just wide before Leon Bailey shot off target from the resulting corner.

A Villa winner appeared only a matter of time and it duly arrived in the 87th minute and it was another delightful finish.

Wilfred Ndidi gave the ball away in a dangerous position and substitute Traore took advantage, curling a brilliant first-time finish into the top corner.

Leicester thought they would get the chance to level from the spot in injury time after Scott awarded a penalty, but VAR intervened and ruled there was a foul in the other direction.


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