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Match Report: West Bromwich Albion 1 - 2 Leicester City

The Foxes stay top of the table with a nod and a Winks

West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship - The Hawthorns Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Recap

Leicester City left it late to overcome high-flying West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns in the Saturday matinee. Both sides hit the post in a goalless first half that was in dire need of quality. A Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall header gave the Foxes the lead in the second period before a late Josh Maja goal levelled for the Baggies in the 88th minute. Deep into injury time, Harry Winks gave City the three points with a sliding finish on a breakaway.

You have the right of it. I’m thinking of that Jamie Vardy goal. No, not that one. The other Jamie Vardy goal at the Hawthorns. The first one.

It was by no means a dominant performance, but that was probably never in the cards against an excellent West Brom side playing at home. The first half had an almost perfunctory, “let’s just get to the important bits” feel to it. Neither side took care of the ball and, somehow, both shots that hit the post were against the run of play.

City looked better in the second half, especially when Fatawu came on. He works that one-two with Ndidi so well. It’s a simple move and everyone knows they’re going to do it, but it’s really difficult to stop when they get the spacing right. Maybe some teams have yet to come to terms with the awesome force of Wilfred-Ndidi-as-a-number-eight.

The win gives us 46 points from 19 matches. We remain top of the table with an 11 margin over 3rd placed Leeds United before their match today against Middlesbrough. Next Saturday, we host Plymouth Argyle for the first time in 14 years (a match we won thanks to a 90th-minute Andy King goal). The following Wednesday, Millwall make their first appearance at the King Power since 2013 as the last three times we’ve faced them it’s been at the New Den.

Lineups

Leicester City: Mads Hermansen, Ricardo Pereira (C), Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, James Justin, Wilfred Ndidi, Harry Winks, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Kasey McAteer, Stephy Mavididi, Kelechi Iheanacho

West Bromwich Albion: Alex Palmer, Semi Ajayi, Cedric Kipre, Conor Townsend, Darnell Furlong, Grady Diangana, Alex Mowatt, Okay Yokuslu, Brandon Thomas-Asante, Jeremy Sarmiento, Matt Phillips


Key Moments and Notes

1’- It’s 6:30 AM my time, which is rough. My friend Christian, who is a West Brom supporter, has it worse. It’s 4:30 AM where he is, but I’m certain he’s dragged himself out of bed for this match. Or perhaps he’s been out all night and just arrived home. I’m not here to judge.

10’- The Foxes have the ball in the back of the net, but you don’t need VAR to see that Iheanacho is offside in the buildup. Ndidi’s pressing in advanced positions is really bothering the Baggies.

20’- On the other hand, VAR probably would have given that one. Diangana comes to a complete halt just inside the penalty area and Mavididi bundles him over from behind. It would be soft, but you’ve seen them given.

23’- Close! Hermansen got away with one there. He plays Winks into trouble and turns the ball over. The keeper is out of position, but the Baggies settle for a corner. The ball dribbles through to Kipre at the far post. He makes contact, but it comes back off the post.

35’- Close! After a good spell from the hosts, City put together a nice patient move. The ball is worked to Mavididi, whose shot is deflected onto the post and out for a corner. The Foxes are yet to put a shot on target.

West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship
This only works for Maradona, Stephy...
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

40’- Close! A long straight ball out of defence comes off for the first time. Faes finds Iheanacho in space, but the Seniorman drags his shot wide.

45’- Only a minute of time added on and it passes without drama. Poor Christian getting out of bed at 4:30 for this one. The Foxes have seen 60% of the ball and haven’t had a shot on target yet.

HALF TIME: West Bromwich Albion 0 - 0 Leicester City

46’- No changes at the break for the Foxes.

49’- Close! Mavididi blocks a West Brom cross, causing it to loop menacingly towards the far post. Hermansen is alert and punches it clear.

60’- The commentators describe this as “a rather untidy spell in the game” and they’re not wrong.

62’- Abdul Fatawu is on for Mavididi, with McAteer moving to the left. Not the player I expected to see come off.

65’- Captain Ricardo sees yellow for arguing against a foul called on Winks. That’s his fifth of the season, so he’ll miss the Plymouth match.

69’- Close! The match opens up a bit as the Foxes break out of their area. Ndidi finds Fatawu on the wing. The Ghanaian plays the return ball and Wilf gets off a terrific shot from a tight angle. The first shot on target for the Foxes.

72’- GOAL! It’s literally the same move. Ndidi finds Fatawu on the wing. Fatawu’s lays a heavy ball into Ndidi’s path, but the Nigerian does well to get it to it before it goes out. He stands up a beautiful first-time cross to the centre of the area and Dewsbury-Hall meets it and beats Palmer from close range.

West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City - Sky Bet Championship
The madness of “Ndidi as an attacking force” is nearly matched by that of “KDH as an aerial threat,” but here we are.
Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

81’- Close! Townsend rises highest to meet a cross at the far post. He sends it across the face of the goal. Faes does remarkably well to head over before it’s turned in by Josh Maja.

86’- Cesare Casadei is on for Ndidi. The transformation is complete. We’re now taking the formerly defense-first midfielder off to protect a late lead. Wilfred Ndidi: Elite Attacker.

88’- GOAL! A long throw causes chaos in the Leicester box. A half-clearance is headed back in and no one can clear it. Ricardo takes the ball off an attacker’s toes, but it only goes as far as Maja, who taps home from close range. I’m sure Christian is thrilled. A draw wouldn’t be an unfair result.

90+4’- GOAL! The Baggies are putting the pressure on with another long throw, but they have too many men forward. Iheanacho does well to pick up the clearance out of the Foxes’ area and sends the ball into the WBA half. KDH latches on it and it’s just him and Winks against the keeper. Dewsbury-Hall draws Palmer over and then squares for Winks, who keeps his cool and scores the winner.

Me re-writing the match report on the fly.

FULL TIME: West Bromwich Albion 1 - 2 Leicester City