Leicester City defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 to win the opening match of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign. It was, inevitably, Jamie Vardy who scored the lone goal, an instinctive first-half strike, in front of tens of thousands of City supporters at the King Power Stadium.
Before we get to the match, thank you for joining us for another year of covering the Foxes here at the Fosse Posse. It was another awful summer of getting to sleep in on Saturday mornings and we’re ready to get right back into it, so, with that out of the way, let’s go to the match.
Manager Brendan Rodgers made one change to the starting XI that defeated Manchester City in the Community Shield last week: Kasper Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Daniel Amartey, Çağlar Söyüncü, Luke Thomas, Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi, Ayoze Perez, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and Jamie Vardy. Fullback Ryan Bertrand missed out due testing positive for COVID-19, but new signing Jannik Vestergaard was available off the bench.
The match started at a breakneck pace with both sides looking surprisingly crisp on the ball given the disjointed nature of the pre-season friendlies. The Foxes were asking most of the questions and had the ball in the net on the quarter hour mark. A beautiful one-two allowed Tielemans to find Vardy in the box. The former Fleetwood Town man rounded the keeper and blasted home, but he was well offside when the pass came in.
After a brief flurry of action, the match shifted down a gear or two. The assistant referees reasserted their right to lift the flag and did so with aplomb (and, in fairness, accuracy) as the fluidity drained from the proceedings. It was in one of these lulls that Amartey gave the ball directly to a gold shirt, allowing Wolves to set Adama Traore on his merry way. He outpaced both centre-halfs to bear down on Schmeichel. It was sheer dumb luck that the Spain man put the ball wide when it genuinely might have been easier to score.
The visitors were finally made to pay as the half-time whistle approached. Ricardo’s throw in on the right didn’t reach Ayoze, but it came back to the Portugal full back. He drove into the box, allowing him to fire in a low cross to the near post. Vardy got in front of his man and flicked the ball with the outside of his boot into the back of the net.
Jamie Vardy scores against Wolves and goes in front of the Wolves supporters and starts howling at them.— Football Shithousery (@FootyRustling) August 14, 2021
The king of shithousery is back. pic.twitter.com/tOlipn6Uqi
If you haven't captained him on your FSHL team, what are you even doing?
City continued to pile on the pressure, ending the half on the front foot with Wolves looking wobbly at the back. The Foxes went into the tunnel with a well-deserved 1-0 lead and looking extremely comfortable if you ignore one defensive lapse.
The visitors came out of the gate quicker to start the second half as another Amartey giveaway gifted Wolves a fine opportunity. A pass out of his own area went directly to Joao Moutinho. He spotted Trincão’s run to the near post. The former Barcelona winger took a touch too many, allowing Söyüncü to make a critical block.
With Leicester struggling to get the ball out of their own area, Rodgers made a double substitution, hauling off Madders and Ayoze and handing debuts to Boubakary Soumare and Jannik Vestergaard. You’d think this would result in a tighter game, but the world is full of surprises as both sides carved out (and spurned) glorious chances almost immediately.
The basketball-esque pace wasn’t to Rodgers liking. Since bringing on two defensive players poured gasoline on the fire, he must have deduced that bringing on Iheanacho for Barnes would lower the temperature.
Tielemans laid a ball in the bath of Vardy, but the former England striker put it wide from a good position. At the other end, Traore knocked the ball on the edge of the area, but Wolves weren’t able to make anything of the handful of corners they won.
The Foxes were holding on at the end, with Wolves pouring forward and the makeshift back line looking decidedly makeshift. The West Midlands side had the ball in the net on 89’ minutes when a corner was cleared to Moutinho, who dinked it back in to Conor Coady. The defender slid it past Schmeichel, but he was well offside when the pass came in.
The proved the last gasp for the visitors and the Foxes saw out the three minutes of time added on. Job done, three points in the bag.
Poor finishing by the visitors glossed over the fact that the defense looked a little shaky, but it was a positive first outing. The pace was brisk and, while there were more stray passes than you’d like, the positive intent and quick-thinking were there. Oh, and once again 34-year-old Jamie Vardy proved that he’s really two 17-year-olds in a trench coat.
actually i remember seeing vincent adultman pic.twitter.com/rGPl2ICw0u— kaaaaaaz (@ostylezene) August 8, 2021
Or football kit. Look, I know the analogy breaks down if you think too hard, but just give me this one.
One down, three points in the bag, 37 to go. The table is silly right now: We have a 100% record and we’re 7th, but let’s not worry to much about that right now. We travel to London next Monday to take on West Ham and then square off against Norwich at Carrow Road two weeks from today.