West Bromwich 0, Leicester 3, positives and negatives, player ratings, and match report

An opener away against a newly promoted team will always be a nervous and scary affair, and at first it looked a bit difficult. Leicester playing with great possession but mostly on their own half, without really putting any real pressure on West Bromwich.

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After almost half an hour things started to change and keeping a clean sheet in those first minutes was vital for the future of this game, and as we predicted, Brendan Rodgers taking a huge gamble in playing Wilfred Ndidi in the back and without doubt weakening the midfield.

Dennis Praet, Youri Tielemans and Nampalys Mendy were the three players making up the midfield and managed after a while to get to grips with the fact that Ndidi wasn’t there, but in the area behind them, were he, as we also predicted, played a solid and steady game.

Harvey Barnes started to show promise as he had a few attempts saved and from the last quarter of the first half it was no doubt that Leicester would go for the win, despite not scoring in the first half we did see that West Bromwich started to struggle with the tempo.

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Coming out to second half it was put pressure on West Bromwich from start and when Dennis Praet combined well out to the left and after a clever chip did find new man Timothy Castagne in the box, and with his header being perfect, Leicester City were 1-0 up.

It was no doubt about what would happen further as Leicester put more pressure on West Bromwich and after 74 minutes Harvey Barnes is the man to watch as he sprints into “The Baggies” penalty area and in that moment Jamie Vardy is pulled down and it is a clear penalty given. Jamie himself takes the penalty and continues his great run of goalscoring at The Hawthorns, placing the ball down in the left corner with goalkeeper Johnstone going in the opposite direction.

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers had to our satisfactory decided on that 4-3-3 system and when making his substitutions just slotting in players in those positions, firstly Marc Albrighton came in for Ayoze Perez and later fantastic to see James Maddison back in action.

Both of them were on the field when Leicester scored their third and final goal in the 84th minute, a new penalty situation when James Justin was hit hard and taken down, Jamie Vardy again scored form the penalty spot just as he did ten minutes before.

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Leicester then controlled the game towards the end against a West Bromwich team that looked weak in most areas of the field, not really showing Premier League quality at all, so we cannot really judge the level of this performance, though scoring three goals away and keeping a clean sheet in any day of the week is good.

But all in all a solid performance, three points in the opening game, and just good to see the team in a shape that looks positive even with a few players out and of course a great start for Timothy Castagne.

  • Positives
    • Playing a 4-3-3 formation, hopefully it will continue this way
    • Timothy Castagne in his preferred position and scoring a goal in his opening game
    • Wilfred Ndidi showing how great he is, and what a pairing with Soyuncu
    • Mendy secure and clever in the central holding midfield position
    • Vardy converting two penalties as he continues his great goalscoring
    • James Maddison back in action
  • Negatives:
    • James Justin getting a yellow card
  • Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6, Castagne 8, Justin 6, Ndidi 7, Soyuncu 7, Tielemans 6, Mendy 7, Praet 6, Vardy 8, Barnes 7, Perez 6 Subs: Albrighton, Maddison
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  • Leicester City, Man of the Match
    • Timothy Castagne

Match Stats (H/A):

  • Possession: 37 / 63
  • Corners: 2 / 5
  • Shots on target: 1 / 7
  • Fouls: 12 / 9

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