Match report as requested by Jackie G

Inspired by Guinness.

A stunning strike by Ross Barkley ensured Aston Villa won their opening four games in the top flight for the first time in ninety years.

The midfielders late strike took all three points back down the M6 in a game in which up to that stage both sides had huffed and puffed but neither threatened to create a disturbance never mind a goal scoring opportunity.

Barkley changed all that when he found a freedom in the middle of the park that had been unavailable when Papy Mendy was on the pitch abd shot past a partially unsighted Kasper Schmeichel.

If this game showed anything about Brendan Rodgers Leicester it illustrated what players are not rather than what they are.

Kelechi Iheanacho is not Jamie Vardy, and although the Nigerian showed flashes of his ability he never put the visitors back line under the type of pressure Vardy, absent with a calf injury, would have.

It showed that Hamza Choudoury is not Papy Mendy, never mind Wilfed Ndidi.

Mendy closed off all avenues of Villa attacks and when he was replaced by Choudoury the winners had the whole central area of attack to ramble into as they willed and certainly the winning strike saw hapless Hamza chasing forlornly after Barkley who was speeding into the distance.

What the game also showed was that Harvey Barnes is a long way from the finished article.

Tome after time the freshly capped England attacker had the ball at his feet and defenders back pedalling but each and every time he failed to run at them and instead cut inside and wasted the opportunity.

The whole game was a classic example of two average teams performing averagely, so much so that even the slightly above average Jack Grealish looked better than he actually is, although one late shimmy inside the area took three Leicester opponents out of the game.

In what must have been one of the easiest team selections of his managerial career, Dean Smith opted to start with the same side that inflicted that vibrant, outrageous 7-2 defeat on Liverpool two weeks ago.

The talismatic Vardy was not Leicester’s only absentee, with centre-back Caglar Soyuncu also ruled out, in addition to Wilfred Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira. Rather than turn to the veteran Wes Morgan, Rodgers decided the time was right to give a Premier League debut to Wesley Fofana, the 19-year-old centre-back bought from Saint-Étienne this month for more than £30m.

And even when faced by an attack whose last outing saw them fire seven past Liverpool the youngster did not look out of place, one notable attribute being a most prodigious leap.

Leicester's game plan this season has been based on counter attack but without the out ball to former Fleetwood flyer Vardy they struggled and indeed for both sides end product was in short supply throughout, never more so than in the opening period in which both teams seemed determined to prove they are in a false position in the league.

In the second half Tielemans fizzed one in from distance which Martinez saved easily and James Maddison did liven things up for the home side when introduced.

Islam Slimani came on for his first City game since 2018 and did offer an alternative route to goal in terms of at least being an aerial threat.

Overall though the one decent strike on goal ended up in the back of the net and decided the game.

Villa are in a false position Leicester equally so.

The losers at least can hold out the hope that when their injured players return they may improve.

Villa on the other hand had their best side out and were fortunate in the extreme to take all three points.


If it was a boxing match Vila earnt a narrow points win.
Villa were the better side and just about deserved there win. We looked a bottom half team today, i think the next few results wont be good and we will drop down the table! With the injured players back i think we can finish 8, 9 or 10 come the end of the season. So not to bad.


CBA to do a full report but, in summary:

An evenly contested match was settled by a sumptuous Barkley strike that had Dean Smith singing like a nightingale. However, things are not so rosy in the garden for his counterpart Brendan Rodgers, whose young Leicester side are now in danger of going back to square one after their high flying start. Of course, they have been beset by injuries to key players, with the absence of talismanic goal scoring phenomenon Jamie Vardy this evening leaving not so much a gaping hole as a full blown crater. Optimistic City fans will believe that, once the indomitable Golden Boot winner recovers from his calf injury, then normal service will be resumed; that the recent capitulation to a well drilled and tactically adept West Ham was merely a bad day at the office and that the first three games of the season provided a more accurate indication of the direction of travel for this exciting and talented City side. Onwards and upwards mes braves...
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