Leicester City took on Burnley on an emotional day at the King Power as City and its supporters honored the late Khun Vichai. The Foxes on the pitch did the same with a spirited effort against difficult opposition. A 74th minute winner from Youri Tielemans cracked a stubborn Burnley defense and earned City a 2-1 win.
Kasper Schmeichel - 6
The Danish keeper was coming off an impressive performance over the international break but couldn’t quite keep his form at that level. Burnely’s goal came from a strong Chris Wood header, that Schmeichel got a hand to but couldn’t keep out of the net. Still, blaming him for the goal would be unfair. Otherwise, his distribution was not always as sharp as he’d like.
Ricardo Pereira - 8
The right back is as consistent as they come. He once again dominated at both ends of the pitch. Pereira totaled five tackles, three interceptions, and two clearances, as well as two successful dribbles and five key passes.
Jonny Evans - 6
Occasionally unsteady trying to contain Burleny’s forwards, though he did register four clearances. Chris Wood caught himself between Evans and Söyüncü for his goal.
Çağlar Söyüncü - 8
Could be blamed for losing track of Wood on the goal, but a good ball split him and Evans. He was otherwise strong in all aspects. Söyüncü won three aerial duels, and made five tackles, six clearances, and three blocked shots. He also hit several cross-field switches with accuracy and generally passed very well despite a higher difficulty on many of his 87 attempts than is typical for a center back.
Ben Chilwell - 7
A steady yet unspectacular day from the left back. He tallied one tackle, two interceptions, three clearances, and one blocked shot while providing a calm presence in possession.
Wilfred Ndidi - 7
Put together his typical stat line with three tackles, five interceptions, and two clearances as well as six aerial duels won. He wasn’t particularly influential in possession, but the team comfortably controlled that aspect of the game anyway.
Youri Tielemans - 8.5
Was in the midst of what felt like one of his most impactful performances of the season before adding the perfect capper with a 74th minute winner. His 76% pass completion rate may not signal it, but Tielemans’ passing was essential for the Foxes. He probed the defense and found or created space for his teammates with regularity. He also compiled two fouls drawn, two successful dribbles, and three key passes in addition to his winning goal (which was of high quality).
James Maddison - 7
Found himself starting back in the middle of the pitch rather than out on the wing. He wasn’t at his efficient or incisive best, but the volume of production from him was necessary against Burnely’s solid defense. Maddison attempted five shots, 10 crosses, and 70 total passes, many of which didn’t come off, but his effort was helpful. He also chipped in with two tackles.
Ayoze Perez - 6
The lasting image of Perez from the game will likely be his two sliced clearances, but the performance wasn’t as bad as those would suggest. He also wasted a good opportunity with a poor shot, but overall he combined well with his teammates, even in tight spaces with little time to think. Perez also tracked back and defended when it was required.
Jamie Vardy - 7.5
A typically efficient day from Vardy saw him score from one of his two shots. His goal was impressive, too, as it wasn’t a particularly great chance. He leapt above his marker and buried a header with power despite not looking likely to score at the start of the chance.
Harvey Barnes - 7.5
Too often drifted out of the game, but left his mark with a spectacular left-footed cross assist to set up Vardy’s goal. Despite the intermittent nature of his influence, he still drew three fouls and completed two successful dribbles in addition to his assist.
Demarai Gray - 7
Came on for Perez in the 66th minute and made an impact. A neat passing triangle between Gray, Praet, and Ricardo in the 74th minute culminated with Gray sending in a cross that found its way to Tielemans for the winning goal.
Dennis Praet - 6
Involved in the aforementioned passing triangle in the build-up to the winner, though in simple fashion. Wasn’t otherwise involved much after coming on in the 72nd minute, but held shape as Burnley pushed forward in the later stages of the match.
Wes Morgan - 6
Subbed on for Barnes in the 78th minute to add an extra body in defense. The ball didn’t find its way near him too often, but when it did he chipped in with one clearance and one blocked shot (for old time’s sake).
*all stats courtesy of whoscored.com
The win and accompanying three points temporarily placed the Foxes second in the Premier League table. While that may have been short-lived, the impact of collecting all three points will be impactful in the long term, and City will likely be happy with a spot in third or fourth (pending Arsenal’s Monday result).
City’s players lived up to the occasion on a day designated to honor Khun Vichai. They didn’t always play at their sharpest, but their fight propelled them to the victory in the end, which has been the club’s ethos since the Srivaddhanaprabha family took over.
Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes were felt by Burnley in spurts, Ndidi protected the defense with some consistency, and Söyüncü provided his exciting brand of center back play (and almost killed some unfortunate soul in the crowd with what can only be estimated as a header moving at the speed of light). The Fosse Posse Man of the Match, however, was Youri Tielemans. Without his passing creativity and timely goal the Foxes would surely have been left with little to show for the match.