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Timothy Castagne and James Maddison each produced superb first-half strikes as Leicester beat Brentford 2-1 at the King Power Stadium and moved into the top half of the Premier League.

Castagne marked his return from injury in style by powering a shot into the top corner in the 20th minute to put the Foxes ahead, and Maddison added a delightful free-kick 13 minutes later.

Having brought some good saves out of Kasper Schmeichel after the break, Brentford pulled a goal back through Yoane Wissa with five minutes of normal time remaining but they were unable to save themselves from defeat.

A third victory in four league outings for Brendan Rodgers’ men sees them move up two places to 10th in the table.

Thomas Frank’s Bees, who were without Christian Eriksen due to coronavirus, remain 15th, eight points above the relegation zone.

The first real attempt of the contest was registered in the fifth minute as Maddison struck wide, before Bryan Mbeumo went down under the attentions of Caglar Soyuncu and Daniel Amartey. Visiting supporters called for a penalty but none was given.

The build-up to that incident had featured a mistake by Castagne – but the Belgian, making his first appearance since December after recovering from a thigh problem, then had Leicester fans on their feet three minutes later as he collected the ball from Harvey Barnes and fired in from just outside the box.

After Schmeichel blocked a Mathias Jensen effort the home crowd were then sent into raptures by another show-stopper, this time from Maddison as he curled a free-kick past David Raya.

Leicester continued to pressurise, with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall hitting a shot wide having dispossessed Christian Norgaard, and James Justin being denied by Raya just before the interval.

Things continued where they had left off at the start of the second half as Maddison had a shot saved by Raya, and Iheanacho advanced from the halfway line into the box and tried a chip that hit the outside of the post.

Brentford then brought two decent stops out of Schmeichel, the Dane tipping a Pontus Jansson header over and blocking Mbeumo’s nodded effort.

Applause rang around the ground as Rodgers replaced Castagne with Jonny Evans, another man returning to action for the first time in three months.

Either side of that, Jensen and Ivan Toney sent attempts over the Leicester bar, and Brentford then reduced the deficit in the 85th minute as Wissa cracked a shot in.

Schmeichel subsequently dealt with a Tariqe Fosu effort as Brentford searched in vain for an equaliser, and Barnes then sent an effort wide before the final whistle confirmed Leicester as victors.

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James Maddison maintained his red-hot form as Leicester routed Newcastle 4-0.

The midfielder grabbed a goal and two assists and has now netted four times in his last six games.

Youri Tielemans’ double, including a first-half penalty, marked his 100th Premier League appearance while Patson Daka also netted following a brilliant Maddison pass.

The Foxes climbed to eighth and it was also their first league clean sheet since the opening day as they overcame the early loss of Jonny Evans and recovered from Thursday’s elimination from the Europa League.

The Magpies remain second bottom, three points adrift of safety, and now face daunting games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.

They would have hoped for last week’s 1-0 win over Burnley to be the catalyst for survival but the game turned on a controversial penalty decision when Maddison was felled by Jamaal Lascelles to allow Tielemans to open the scoring.

Up until then Newcastle were comfortable, with Jamie Vardy again named as a substitute by Brendan Rodgers having played the full game as the Foxes lost in Napoli on Thursday.

That defeat dropped them into the Europa Conference League, with Rodgers without seven players due to coronavirus or illness.

Kelechi Iheanacho, Ayoze Perez, and Ademola Lookman were already missing and the hosts’ worries worsened when Jonny Evans was forced off with a hamstring injury inside the first six minutes.

Without a senior defender on the bench Boubakary Soumare replaced him and the reshuffle saw Wilfred Ndidi become a makeshift centre-back.

Newcastle looked to take advantage and Callum Wilson’s effort deflected wide before Fabian Schar’s shot was blocked.

Leicester gradually began to see more of the ball and Maddison’s free-kick whistled over, while Martin Dubravka turned away Ndidi’s header.

Yet the Foxes were laboured in front of an unusually subdued King Power Stadium, peppered with rare empty seats.

They desperately needed a lift, with Newcastle looking comfortable, if limited, and got it six minutes before the break.

Lascelles was tempted to dangle a leg towards Maddison, who appeared to already be going down, and referee Peter Bankes awarded the penalty which Tielemans dispatched high past Dubravka.

The Magpies had reason to feel aggrieved but they needed to be bolder going forward, especially considering Leicester’s patched-up backline, to salvage anything.

Victory would have moved them level on points with Watford in 17th but Eddie Howe’s side were too tentative. Joelinton’s tame shot was gathered by Kasper Schmeichel eight minutes after the break and, soon after, Newcastle’s problems grew.

It took until the 57th minute for Leicester to really find their groove but they carved the Magpies open and a neat passing move ended with a sublime flick from Maddison to slip in Harvey Barnes.

He unselfishly squared for Daka to tap in for 2-0 and score his seventh goal in just eight starts this season.

It knocked the stuffing out of Newcastle and, while Joe Willock shot over and Allan Saint-Maximin fired at Schmeichel, there was no way back – despite Leicester’s attempts to gift them a goal with 12 minutes left.

Timothy Castagne’s overhit backpass forced Schmeichel to race back to his line and produce a sliding clearance to stop a calamitous own goal.

But Tielemans wrapped up the points with nine minutes to go when he fired in from close range, following another Maddison assist.

England international Maddison then got the goal he deserved four minutes later when he swapped passes with Daka and drilled beyond Dubravka.

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James Maddison scored for the third successive game as Leicester twice came from behind to salvage a 2-2 Premier League draw at Southampton.

In-form Maddison conjured a moment of magic early in the second period but the Foxes squandered golden chances to complete a comeback success on the south coast.

Jamie Vardy blazed over when through on goal, while Harvey Barnes was denied by a fine save from home goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

Defender Jonny Evans had initially fired the visitors level, in between first-half goals from Saints duo Jan Bednarek and Che Adams.

Brendan Rodgers’ men have fallen agonisingly short of Champions League qualification in the past two seasons and cracking the top four this term already looks a tall order.

A point at St Mary’s was sufficient to move to eighth but left them with just one win from five as their inconsistent form continued.
Southampton, meanwhile, hold a five-point buffer on the relegation zone after scoring more than once in a top-flight fixture for only the third time this campaign.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl reacted to Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool by recalling Kyle Walker-Peters, Nathan Tella and Nathan Redmond, while the visitors stuck with an unchanged 20-man squad following a 4-2 win over Watford.

Leicester fans were back at the ground for the first time since a record-breaking 9-0 win in October 2019 and took little time to mock the hosts.

But chants of ‘Who put the ball in Southampton’s net? Half the f team did’ were silenced inside three minutes.

Tella and James Ward-Prowse worked a short corner on the left and, after Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel saved Mohammed Salisu’s initial effort, Bednarek scuffed the rebound into the bottom right corner.

Leicester were not behind for long and their 22nd-minute equaliser had hallmarks of the opener.

This time Saints keeper McCarthy could not keep hold of a stinging shot from Wilfred Ndidi following good wing play from Maddison and Evans thumped home the loose ball. The emphatic finish was the defender’s first goal since equalising in a 1-1 draw here in April.

Southampton regained the lead 11 minutes before the break, benefiting from some incredibly slack Leicester defending.

Following a partially-cleared corner, Redmond was given time to pick out a cross from the right and the unmarked Adams sent a diving header into the far corner from just outside the six-yard box.

Kick-off for the second half was delayed by around 15 minutes after a fan required medical treatment in the Kingsland Stand.

Saints had a golden chance to double their advantage less than a minute after the restart when the unmarked Tella headed high and wide after being picked out by Ward-Prowse.

That miss looked even more costly just three minutes later as Maddison continued his purple patch.

The creative midfielder collected the ball from Luke Thomas inside Southampton’s crowded 18-yard box and expertly cut inside the sliding Tino Livramento before lashing past McCarthy at the near post.

Leicester should probably have gone on to take all three points but were denied by a combination of exceptional goalkeeping and uncharacteristic profligacy.

Firstly, McCarthy somehow kept his side level by superbly tipping wide from Barnes in the 71st minute, although a possible handball in the build up may have ruled it out anyway.
Vardy should then have won it with 15 minutes to go. The Foxes talisman was sent clear after a Walker-Peters back pass clipped team-mate Salisu but, with most inside the ground waiting for the net to bulge, the former England man smashed over.

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First-half goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes helped Leicester City move to within seven points of leaders Manchester City with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.

Leicester took the lead on 19 minutes when Barnes teed up Maddison on the edge of the penalty area and his sweeping low finish was beyond the reach of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Barnes added a second only four minutes later, lashing the ball into the roof of the net after Martinez spilled Jamie Vardy’s shot into his path.

Bertrand Traore gave Villa hope of a second-half comeback with a close-range finish from Matt Targett’s cross on 48 minutes.

Morgan Sanson went close to conjuring an equaliser for Villa with seven minutes remaining but he fired narrowly wide from distance.

Leicester’s third victory in four matches takes them up to second, one place and three points clear of Manchester United, who face Newcastle United on Sunday.

Villa stay in eighth place, level with Tottenham Hotspur on 36 points but ahead of them on goal difference.

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Goals in each half from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes earned Leicester City a 2-0 win over Southampton at King Power Stadium.

Maddison fired the Foxes ahead on 37 minutes when he collected a pass from Youri Tielemans, and finished emphatically into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Leicester were twice indebted to goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who, on his 400th appearance for the club, superbly denied Che Adams and Ryan Bertrand.

Stuart Armstrong struck the crossbar as Southampton pressed for an equaliser, while at the other end, Jan Bednarek cleared Barnes’ shot off the line.

However, Barnes did strike in stoppage time, keeping his cool to finish beyond Alex McCarthy after racing on to another assist from Tielemans.

Leicester, now unbeaten in five Premier League matches, go second on 35 points, a point behind leaders Manchester United, who face third-placed Liverpool on Sunday.

Southampton drop to eighth on 29 points.