Kelechi Iheanacho, Leicester City
Kelechi Iheanacho’s first goal since November set Leicester on their way to victory over Fulham

Leicester strengthened their position in the Premier League’s top four with victory over Fulham, whose survival hopes suffered a further blow at Craven Cottage.

James Maddison played a key role in both the visitors’ goals, delivering a delightful in-swinging cross for Kelechi Iheanacho to head home before teeing up James Justin to double the Foxes’ lead on the stroke of half-time.

Brendan Rodgers’ side had three goals disallowed – Caglar Soyuncu’s first-half header was ruled out for a push on Tosin Adarabioyo before Iheanacho and Ricardo Pereira were denied by the linesman’s flag in the second half.

Fulham had chances too – notably when Adarabioyo’s header was palmed over the crossbar by Kasper Schmeichel moments before the visitors’ second goal.

That header, however, was the Cottagers’ only effort on target in the entire 90 minutes.

The result lifts Leicester two points behind second-placed Manchester United, while Fulham remain seven points adrift of safety in 18th.

Maddison the key for Leicester

Rodgers admitted his team “weren’t good enough” in Sunday’s defeat by Leeds United – a result that saw them miss the chance to move two points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.

The Foxes were without injured defenders Timothy Castagne and Wesley Fofana at Craven Cottage, while key duo Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy were also still sidelined.

Leicester had earned just one point from their past four league fixtures without Vardy, while winning only six of their 22 league matches without Ndidi since the Nigerian’s debut in January 2017.

However, two superb assists from Maddison steered the Foxes to victory in west London.

The 24-year-old’s teasing delivery from the right gave Iheanacho the simple task of directing a close-range header past Areola, while he showed great composure to tee up Justin for the visitors’ crucial second goal.

Leicester were happy to contain their opponents for the majority of the second half, as Fulham struggled to penetrate their resolute, well-drilled defence.

Only Manchester United have collected more points on their travels this season than Rodgers’ side, who have now won eight of their 11 away league matches in 2020-21.

Toothless Fulham in deep trouble

Fulham came into Wednesday’s game without a win since beating Leicester 2-1 at King Power Stadium on 30 November.

The Cottagers have proved tough to beat in recent weeks, but their failure to convert chances into goals has seen them lose ground on the teams above the drop zone.

They carved out the first opportunity of the game after 12 minutes, but Justin produced a fine block to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic after a marauding run from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa down the left.

Adarabioyo forced Schmeichel into an outstanding one-handed save late in the first half, only for Justin’s goal moments later to leave Scott Parker’s side with a mountain to climb.

Parker brought on Mario Lemina and Ivan Cavaleiro at half-time and the latter went close to halving the deficit within minutes of the restart, dragging a low shot wide of Schmeichel’s left-hand post.

But that was the closest the hosts came to a route back into the match, as their winless league run stretched to 11 games.

What’s next?

Fulham welcome West Ham to Craven Cottage in their next league match on Saturday, 6 February (17:30 GMT), while Leicester travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers the next day (14:00).

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Rating range key1 = Give it up10 = Pure perfection

Fulham

  1. Squad number1Player nameAreola

  2. Squad number34Player nameAina

  3. Squad number5Player nameAndersen

  4. Squad number16Player nameTosin

  5. Squad number2Player nameTete

  6. Squad number21Player nameReed

  7. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa

  8. Squad number33Player nameRobinson

  9. Squad number15Player nameLoftus-Cheek

  10. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic

  11. Squad number19Player nameLookman

  1. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid

  2. Squad number17Player nameCavaleiro

  3. Squad number18Player nameLemina

Leicester City

  1. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  2. Squad number21Player nameRicardo Pereira

  3. Squad number6Player nameEvans

  4. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

  5. Squad number2Player nameJustin

  6. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  7. Squad number20Player nameChoudhury

  8. Squad number17Player nameAyoze Pérez

  9. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  10. Squad number15Player nameBarnes

  11. Squad number14Player nameIheanacho

  1. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  2. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  3. Squad number24Player nameMendy

Line-ups

Fulham

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Areola
  • 34AinaBooked at 59mins
  • 5Andersen
  • 16Tosin
  • 2TeteSubstituted forCavaleiroat 45′minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 21ReedBooked at 24mins
  • 29Zambo AnguissaSubstituted forLeminaat 45′minutes
  • 33Robinson
  • 15Loftus-CheekSubstituted forDe Cordova-Reidat 71′minutes
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 19Lookman

Substitutes

  • 3Hector
  • 4Odoi
  • 12Rodák
  • 13Ream
  • 14De Cordova-Reid
  • 17Cavaleiro
  • 18Lemina
  • 23Bryan
  • 25Onomah

Leicester

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 6Evans
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 2Justin
  • 8Tielemans
  • 20ChoudhurySubstituted forMendyat 61′minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 17PérezSubstituted forAlbrightonat 61′minutes
  • 10Maddison
  • 15BarnesSubstituted forAmarteyat 76′minutes
  • 14Iheanacho

Substitutes

  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 18Amartey
  • 19Ünder
  • 24Mendy
  • 28Fuchs
  • 33Thomas
  • 38Leshabela
  • 46Daley-Campbell

Live Text

Around the BBC iPlayer bannerAround the BBC iPlayer footer





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *