Leicester 2-4 Newcastle: Brendan Rodgers’ side stumbles in the Champions League race against Magpies
Is Leicester going to blow it up again? Callum Wilson scores twice as Newcastle rebels at the King Power before holding on to a massive win as Brendan Rodgers’ side drop more points in the Champions League race
- Leicester fell to a damaging 4-2 defeat to Newcastle at King Power Stadium
- The Foxes continued their sad home form and stumbled in the race for the top four
- Newcastle almost secured their Premier League status with a stunning away win
- Brendan Rodgers’ side will take on Manchester United in the middle of the week and then in the FA Cup final
If Leicester gets another dip late in the season that costs them Champions League football, it will be easy to pinpoint the root of the problem as Newcastle took advantage of their opponents’ sad home form to claim the Premier’s victory. League security.
This was the eighth defeat of the season on their own patch for the Brendan Rodgers team – as much as West Bromwich Albion-threatened relegation – and arguably the most damaging.
Friday’s implosion cannot be attributed solely to the heel injury defensive ‘brain’ Jonny Evans sustained during the warm-up, which paved the way for Newcastle to take a decisive victory. Marc Albrighton admitted that Leicester was nervous early on.
Leicester’s sad home form was on display again when they lost 4-2 to Newcastle United
Callum Wilson scores the first of his two goals in a stunning away win for Steve Bruce’s side
The impressive result effectively secured Newcastle’s place in next season’s Premier League
Schmeichel 6; Castagne 4.5, Fofana 5, Soyuncu 4.5; Pereira 5 (Thomas 69, 6), Tielemans 6, Ndidi 5.5 (Perez 63, 6.5), Albrighton 5.5; Maddison 5 (Mendy 77,6); Iheanacho 6.5, Vardy 6. Subs not used: Ward, Fuchs, Amartey, Under, Choudhury, Praet.
Scorers: Albrighton 80, Iheanacho 87
Manager: Brendan Rodgers 5
Dubravka 8.5; Murphy 7.5, Krafth 7, Fernandez 8, Dummett 7.5, Ritchie 7.5; Almiron 7 (Hendrick 88), Shelvey 7, Willock 8.5 (Longstaff 75, 6); Saint-Maximin 7 (Joelinton 84), WILSON 9. Subs not used: Gillespie, Clark, Carroll, Gayle, Lewis, Manquillo.
Scorers: Willock 22, Dummett 34, Wilson 64, 74
Manager: Steve Bruce 8
Referee: Darren England 6
Leicester must now show their mettle as it approaches a terrifying run-in with matches against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham in the league, as well as a second meeting with Chelsea in the FA Cup final a week on May 15. Evans is now a doubt for those matches.
Goals from Joe Willock and Paul Dummett in the first half – his first goal since January 2016 – brought Newcastle under control before Callum Wilson sealed it a second half double. Albrighton – Evans’ late replacement – and Kelechi Iheanacho answered for Leicester in the last 10 minutes, but it was a gloomy night for them in what should be the last game without supporters at King Power Stadium.
“Jonny is the brains in our line of defense,” said Rodgers. ‘It was a big blow to us. We’ve made so many mistakes and you can’t afford to do that. We lacked concentration and we made it a lot harder for ourselves, but it is still in our hands. ‘
Leicester’s fate remains in their own hands, but this will give courage to the chasing peloton. Impressive as Newcastle was, Rodgers knows his defense should not be cut open by any of the division’s weaker teams. Leicester dropped out of the top four on the last day of last season and some supporters fear a repeat.
Newcastle fans hate owner Mike Ashley and most have little sympathy for boss Steve Bruce, but he deserves huge credit for outwitting Leicester here. His job is to keep Newcastle in the top flight and he’s nearly fulfilled it.
“We’re not safe, you can’t take it for granted,” Bruce said. ‘We are almost there. The first half is probably the best we’ve played in my time here. ‘
With owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha in the stands for the first time in more than 12 months, Leicester took an early blow when Evans was injured before kickoff. The defender played through a heel problem and had to be replaced by Albrighton, with Timothy Castagne falling in the back three.
The switch confused Leicester and Kasper Schmeichel made an excellent save to keep them level in the 17th minute. He stuck out his left shoe to pass Alain Saint-Maximin’s scoreless attempt.
Leicester fans will fear a repeat of last season’s collapse to miss the Champions League
Jonny Evans was injured in warm-up and the late switch seemed to make the Foxes unsettled
Allan Saint-Maximin should have put the hosts ahead, but Kasper Schmeichel had other ideas
Leicester didn’t learn their lesson, however, and Joe Willock made it 1-0 just five minutes later
Paul Dummett rose well above Wesley Fofana and doubled Newcastle’s lead in the first half
But five minutes later, Caglar’s bad touch let Soyuncu Willock in. The loaned Arsenal man rushed into the box, and when his shot cut off the recovering Soyuncu, Schmeichel was helpless.
It was Willock’s fourth goal in as many games, the first Newcastle player in nine years to achieve such a prolific streak. “We were so obsessed with trying to get that first goal and calm our early nerves,” said Albrighton. “But we have to keep it tight and let them in.”
Leicester may have been right immediately, but was denied by Martin Dubravka’s save from Wesley Fofana’s header – and Newcastle soon doubled their advantage. Dummett climbed above Fofana, producing a header from the corner from Matt Ritchie that was too hot to tackle. Dubravka continued to impress as he made major saves from Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy.
Wilson rubbed salt into the wound as he tapped home after his first shot hit the post
Martin Dubravka made a stunning save to keep Ayoze Perez from ending 4-3 late
Despite two late goals, the trip from Leicester to Old Trafford is a game that now looks very daunting
Leicester accelerated the pace after the break, but looked so vulnerable on the defense and were exposed again just after an hour.
Ritchie played the ball into the space behind the Leicester defense and Castagne could only help him in the path of the excellent Wilson, who rounded Schmeichel and slid home.
Wilson then tapped in on the second attempt after his first shot hit the post after a more chaotic defense. Late goals from Albrighton and Iheanacho – both clean hits – couldn’t change the picture, although there was still time for Dubravka to make another stunning save from substitute Ayoze Perez. Leicester’s trip to Old Trafford on Tuesday suddenly looks incredibly daunting.