Harry Maguire broke Southampton hearts as a late winner from the England international saw Claude Puel’s men capitalise on Southampton’s ten man nightmare.
The 51st minute saw the opening goal of the game, which was one to be admired from Ryan Bertrand. Nathan Redmond, who had an excellent first half, made a darting run in to the Leicester box, only to be challenged. The ball fell nicely to Cedric Soares who played in Hojbjerg, who played a low ball across the box which fell deliciously for Bertrand, with the English defender marking his 150th appearance with a thunderbolt into the top left hand corner giving Schmeichel absolutely no chance.
Southampton’s lead was short lived however. Only four minutes later Leicester responded perfectly with considerable assistance from Cedric. Up until this point the Saints did not have much to do defensively, which was evident as the back four seemingly switched off. Iheanacho was gifted all the time and space in the world down the right hand side of the pitch under no real pressure from the Southampton defence, and was allowed to get a cross in to the box.
Cedric then made a complete hash of an unchallenged defensive header, which fell right at the feet of Demarai Gray, and with one touch to control and the next to put away, Gray made absolutely no mistake of putting Leicester back on level terms at St. Mary’s. It was certainly a game of two halves as the Leicester goal gave the Foxes a new lease of life and really tested Southampton in the second half.
A hugely decisive moment in the game occured in the 76th minute. After assisting the goal, Hojbjerg did not want to stop there for his team, as he attempted to win a penalty via evident simulation. Hojbjerg, already being on a yellow card, was correctly dispatched to the sidelines by Jonathon Moss. It’s difficult to imagine Mark Hughes going easy on him in the dressing room.
Heartbreak came for the Saints in the 91st minute as Harry Maguire made a bombing run from centre-half along the left hand side of the field, and exchanged a one-two with Ben Chilwell. The England international then cut inside and unleashed a shot in to the bottom left hand corner, completely wrong footing Alex McCarthy in nets. This left little time for the Saints to react and the game finished 2-1. A very pleasing result for Leicester as prior to the game, they had lost six of their last nine Premier League matches.
Harry Maguire silences critics
After his outstanding performances in the World Cup, Maguire acquired the attention of some of England’s top clubs, including Manchester United.
Rumours were floating around of a big money move which did not materialise in the end. However, there was speculation as to whether his head was really in the game while still playing for Leicester.
All speculation was put to bed today as a fantastic defensive performance away from home, capped by a goal; Leicester’s rock at the back, or affectionately known as ‘Slab head’ by his team-mate Jamie Vardy, has certainly got his head rooted in the East Midlands.
Southampton’s struggle since Ronald Koeman was replaced by Mauricio Pellegrino has been scoring goals. The 2017/18 season saw them score less than a goal a game on average, only scoring 37 goals.
With only one point from three games and two goals scored, it is evident to see that there is still an issue. However, the style of play that Mark Hughes has Southampton playing is much closer to the football that the fans on the south coast want to be seeing, and with the introduction of El Younoussi and Danny Ings to the side, the goal scoring intent is there.
Is confidence in front of goal the issue? If so then Mark Hughes has limited time on the training field to sort it, as another relegation battle beckons.
Man of the Match: Mario Lemina
My personal man of the match has to be awarded to Mario Lemina. Despite being on the losing side, he is a player with so much about him. His ability on the ball and vision for passes is one that every manager wishes for in a player, followed by his defensive work today and tenacious tackling it would be difficult to give it to anyone else. He was unfortunate to be on the losing side today, but if he could transfer his mental attitude on the pitch to everyone else in the Southampton team, they would be in a considerably better position than they are now.