Leicester City 1 – 2 Aston Villa. Managerless Leicester City’s relegation worries deepened as in-form Aston Villa secured a dramatic late win at King Power Stadium.
The Foxes looked set to secure a valuable point in their first game since sacking Brendan Rodgers despite Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s red card.
Ollie Watkins marked his 100th Premier League appearance by slotting Villa ahead with his eighth goal in 10 appearances after being sent through by Emiliano Buendia.
Villa had only conceded once in their previous five games but were undone by Harvey Barnes’ excellent finish after he had shrugged off Ashley Young and cut in from the wing following Wout Faes’ raking pass.
Dewsbury-Hall was sent off midway through the second half for a second bookable offence but the Foxes held on until Bertrand Traore curled in Villa’s 87th-minute winner.
The drama continued when Leicester were awarded a 92nd-minute penalty – only for referee Graham Scott to overturn his decision after looking at a replay on the pitchside monitor.
The alarm bells are ringing at the King Power seven years after Leicester’s extraordinary Premier League title triumph.
The Foxes are without a manager and remain in the relegation zone, two points from safety, after an agonising defeat.
They looked on course to secure a hard-earned point despite Dewsbury-Hall’s red card, only to be undone by Traore’s finish from outside the box.
To rub salt into their wound, they thought they had a late penalty after a challenge between Watkins and substitute Patson Daka, only for the decision to be overturned after referee Scott watched a replay.
With just nine games remaining, Leicester’s fate remains in their own hands with five matches against teams near the bottom – starting with Saturday’s visit of 18th-placed Bournemouth.
Whether they will have appointed a permanent replacement for Rodgers by then remains to be seen, but the Foxes desperately need to start picking up points.
Leicester can only hope their new permanent appointment will make as positive an impact as Unai Emery has at Villa.
They were 17th when they sacked Steven Gerrard and replaced him with the former Arsenal boss last October.
Under Emery’s guidance, Villa have won 10 of their 16 Premier League games and their latest success lifted them to seventh, with a place in Europe now a real possibility.
Their sixth Premier League away win in eight games under the Spaniard epitomised the spirit flowing through this Villa team, while Watkins continues to impress in front of goal.
He has not appeared for England since March 2022 but was name-checked by Gareth Southgate when he announced his Euro 2024 qualifiers squad and he will be hard to ignore if he carries on his impressive scoring form.
source – BBC