100%LCFC Scott Davies brings you the views from a superb 3-0 home win against Burnley…..
Burnley visited the King Power Stadium with the Lancashire outfit on a poor run of form with 2 losses and a draw in their last 3 games. One of those defeats was at the hands of Accrington Stanley (who are they!?) in the EFL Cup 2nd Round.
City were buoyant after their midweek Champions League bow following a convincing 3-0 away win to Brugge, but Claudio Ranieri was adamant that game needed to be forgotten and we move on, particularly having been beaten 4-1 by Liverpool last weekend.
Incidentally, Burnley’s only win this season was against Liverpool in a 2-0 victory, so they weren’t to be taken lightly.
Team news brought a surprise of Ron-Robert Zieler in the sticks after Schmeichel had received mild concussion in training on Friday. It normally takes around a week to recover from such injury, but he’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get back for Old Trafford. Slimani also kept his place over Shinji Okazaki, making his home and league debut.
Both teams started off steadily in an attempt to work each other out. Burnley were confident in possession and City were equally as confident without it, letting Burnley have the ball and to just concentrate on their shape and to hit on the counter.
Daniel Amartey had the first real sight of goal on 8 minutes, however he blazed his shot over from a corner on the left.
Burnley’s first real threat did t come until 37 minutes, as Steven Defour headed straight at Zieler from a Scott Arfield headed pass. The Belgian midfielder perhaps should have done better to test the Foxes understudy.
Leicester broke away at the other end and equally, Riyad Mahrez should have converted his header from a Fuchs, but the Algerian flashed it just wide of the left hand post with Tom Heaton beaten.
City were now turning up the heat and the attacks were building with more frequency. Vardy raced through on 42 but an awkward bounce stopped him in his tracks, however, he cleverly switched the ball back to debutant Slimani who fired a 20 yard shot which was saved comfortably by Heaton.
3 minutes later, City took the lead on the stroke of half time. Marc Albrighton was challenged clumsily by Matthew Lowton on the left wing and the resulting free kick was whipped in by Christian Fuchs. Islam Slimani rose above everyone to blast his header home for a deserved lead at half time.
After the break, it didn’t take City long to double their lead. The impressive Mahrez took control of the ball on the right and ploughed forward into the box. Two trademark stopovers allowed him space to chip the ball to Jamie Vardy who brilliantly flicked the ball to Slimani who did well to react quickly and head home from close range.
The Foxes dominated the second half and the game was put to bed on 78 following an own goal by former City loanee Ben Mee. Mahrez broke down the right and again forced his way into the box. His cross-come-shot was then turned in by Mee to cap off a miserable day for the Clarets.
Andy King replaced Danny Drinkwater in a late change on 79.
Burnley finally tested Zieler in goal following a direct free kick from Clarets substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson. The shot took a slight deflection and almost wrong footed Zieler, however the German World Cup Winner managed to change his direction and dive to turn the ball to safety with a fine save.
Damarai Gray replaced Mahrez on 85 and City saw the game out for a comfortable home win, which made it 12 calendar months being unbeaten at the King Power Stadium.
An impressive home debut by Islam Slimani and possibly the best I’ve ever witnessed. It’s up there with Stan Collymore v Sunderland in March 2000. The Algerian has scored 22 in 23 appearances in 2016 with 9 of those being headers. He looks composed, he’s aggressive and he has slotted straight in. A clear upgrade on Leo Ulloa who is now going to find it tough to break into the starting lineup, but he will probably get his chance v Chelsea as it’s likely Ranieri will ring the changes in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
The Foxes are unbeaten in 10 league games to Burnley, 7 wins and 3 draws. The win takes City up to 11th in the early season table on 7 points. 33 more points required……
Man of the Match – Islam Slimani.
We asked the fans to VOTE on their Man of the match… and they AGREED with Scott