Leeds end Leicester City’s nine-match unbeaten run
Patrick Bamford shines in comeback win to stop Leicester from going second
Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford scores against Leeds at the King Power Stadium. Photograph: PA
Leicester City 1 Leeds 3
Patrick Bamford loves playing away from home. Leeds United’s leading goalscorer scored a sumptuous goal either side of making two others as Leicester City lost for the first time in 10 games to miss out on returning to second place in the Premier League.
Leeds’ No 9 belted a memorable left-footed shot into the top corner 20 minutes from time as Marcelo Bielsa’s high-energy side made it two away wins in five days following their victory at Newcastle.
Eight of Bamford’s 11 league goals have come away from Elland Road and he was also responsible for the assists for Stuart Dallas and Jack Harrison as Leeds deserved their victory against a Leicester side missing the cutting edge of Jamie Vardy.
Leeds’ unique system was responsible for the opening pair of early goals: one conceded and one scored. Their insistence on going man for man when out of possession offered Harvey Barnes the room to run from deep through midfield, after James Justin had headed him Liam Cooper’s errant long pass, to arrive on the edge of the penalty area. There he played a one-two with James Maddison before his neat feet allowed him to steer a right-footed shot just beyond Ilan Meslier’s dive into the far corner.
It was his sixth goal or assist in the last seven games and, in the continued absence of Jamie Vardy, who recuperating from hernia surgery, this penetration has been integral in Leicester staying in the hunt.
Within 127 seconds however, Leeds had equalised in a very Bielsa-ball fashion. The central midfielder Dallas made a fine diagonal run from left to right behind the Leicester defence to collect Bamford’s astute prompt and shoot, right-footed, past Kasper Schmeichel after Luke Ayling had easily intercepted Maddison’s pass.
The Leicester goalkeeper played a crucial part in keeping his team level as Leeds, typically, pushed on hard before half-time. There were a pair of disallowed goals at either end while both teams made a substitution before the interval as the game proceeded at full rattle.
Ayoze Pérez was correctly given offside as he shot home after Maddison’s shot deflected off a defender in the 20th minute while, after 30, Harrison was standing offside as Schmeichel parried Bamford’s header from Kalvin Phillips’ corner out for him to volley home.
Leeds lost Rodrigo to an injury, Mateusz Klich coming on, while Ricardo Pereira replaced Timothy Castagne as both teams went at each other hell for leather. Schmeichel made another superb save as Raphinha burst through on to a one-two with Bamford to shoot hard and low. Leicester were probably glad for the half-time breather.
They made good use of the break, as well. Brendan Rodgers has excelled at his in-game switches but knowing Leeds are fully committed to their system, he changed his shape to three at the back and three up front for the second half, Caglar Soyuncu replacing Marc Albrighton.
With Maddison and Barnes playing closer to Pérez, Bielsa instructed Dallas to drop in alongside centre-backs Cooper and Pascal Struijk, so Phillips could stay in his anchorman role in midfield.
Leicester did get in immediately after half-time, with some superb interplay culminating in Tielemans playing in Justin but, with a clear sight of goal, the full-back took too long and his shot was blocked for a corner.
Just as it appeared the game was getting boxed off, Leicester forcing Leeds back, came Bamford’s super goal. Jonny Evans did not manage to get as much purchase on his clearance from the right-back slot as he would have wished and Struijk stepped in to beat Pérez to the ball. It fell to Raphinha whose exquisite first-time pass round the corner invited Bamford to strike, left-footed, a brilliant shot into the far top corner.
Bamford was then the provider as Leeds sealed victory six minutes from time. It was from Leicester’s attacking free-kick that Dallas, in the left-back slot, managed to send the ball down the line.
Klich faced a one-on-one race towards the touchline in his own half with the last Leicester defender – and won it. By poking the ball forwards into a gaping Leicester half, Bamford led the charge with three Leeds players ahead of Evans. Leeds’ leading scorer tempted Schmeichel out and squared the ball for Harrison to sidefoot into the empty net. - Guardian