Soccer

Leicester 0-1 Fulham: Mitrovic strike continues Cottagers' fine form

Leicester 0-1 Fulham: Aleksandar Mitrovic ends his seven-game goal drought in the Premier League as Marco Silva’s win their third straight match to move level with Liverpool in sixth

  • Fulham won their third successive Premier League game by beating Leicester
  • Visitors got off to the dream start with Aleksandar Mitrovic opening the scoring
  • Mitrovic’s opener ended his seven-game goal drought in the Premier League

It is tempting to ask exactly how much time Leicester City spent on the defensive side of the game during the World Cup break.

This result made it three defeats in a row for the Foxes since the restart, with six goals conceded.

It took two freakish own-goals from Wout Faes to ensure defeat at Liverpool and but it was a far simpler effort that cost them here, as Aleksandar Mitrovic took advantage of woeful work at the back to equal his best-ever Premier League goal tally.

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates after breaking the deadlock against Leicester on Tuesday

The Serbian forward ended his seven-game goal drought in the Premier League for Fulham

Mitrovic collected a smart pass from Willian to finish brilliantly inside the box for Fulham

Mitrovic (left) celebrates with Willian after the two combine brilliantly in the 18th minute

LEICESTER: (4-2-3-1) Ward 6; Castagne 5.5, Amartey 4.5, Faes 5, Thomas 5 (Iheanacho 72, 6); Ndidi 4.5 (Mendy 72, 6), Soumare 6 (Albrighton 8, 5); Perez 5, Tielemans 7, Barnes 6; Vardy 6

Subs not used: Iversen (GK); Soyuncu, Dewsbury-Hall, Vestergaard, Brunt, McAteer

Goals: None

Bookings: Ndidi (63), Castagne (76)

Coach: Brendan Rodgers 6

FULHAM: (4-4-2) Leno 8; Tete 7, Adarabioyo 7.5, Ream 6.5, Robinson 7; Decordova-Reid 7 (Wilson 66, 6), Reed 7, Palhinha 7, Willian 7 (Diop 82); Mitrovic 7, Pereira 7 (Cairney 60, 6)

Subs not used: Rodak (GK); Kurzawa, Solomon, Chalobah, James, Vinicius

Goals: Mitrovic (18)

Bookings: Adarabioyo (52), Palhinha (61), Cairney (63), Tete (69), Mitrovic (79), Leno (90+8)

Coach: Marco Silva 6

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire) 6

Man of the Match: Bernd Leno (Fulham)

Venue: King Power Stadium

Attendance: 30,813

Season at a glance

With this win Fulham surpassed their points total for the entire 2018-19 season, and levelled their tally for the 2020-21 campaign. 

They were guilty of time-wasting throughout and rode their luck, especially in the second half, as Youri Tielemans hit the bar with a stunning volley and Ayoze Perez, Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy missed excellent chances, but the Londoners were always dangerous going forward.

After their rapid improvement before the World Cup, these are troubling times again for Leicester. 

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was injured before kick-off and Boubakary Soumare pulled up inside eight minutes, meaning they are without nine first-teamers including their best player, James Maddison, and captain Jonny Evans.

Leicester suffered an early injury blow after Boubakary Soumare was forced off early on

Willian (left) holds off the challenge of Youri Tielemans in a tightly-contested match

Vardy runs as hard as ever but turns 36 later this month and is struggling to find the old spark. Boss Brendan Rodgers would like three new signings this month and the club need to back him if they are to avoid being dragged again into relegation trouble.

Leicester were already missing seven players when Dewsbury-Hall had to be replaced before kick-off by Wilfred Ndidi due to a late injury, and things went from bad to worse when Soumare came off after only eight minutes with what appeared a hamstring problem.

By that time, Willian had already wasted two good chances for the visitors against a desperately flat Leicester side, and it was no surprise when the home side fell behind in the 17th minute.

Mitrovic had just had lengthy treatment following a heavy challenge on his ankle by Ndidi, but he had recovered in time to control Willian’s cross and guide home his 11th goal of the season from close range.

Tielemans tries his luck at goal from a free-kick but the Fulham wall are able to block his effort

Referee Darren Bond was forced to brandish his yellow card several times in a fiesty affair

Tielemans tries his luck from range but fails to test Bernd Leno in the Fulham net

It was a tidy finish by Mitrovic but the defending was appalling. First Daniel Amartey played Ndidi into trouble, and his poor touch allowed Willian to race clear. Then from the cross, Mitrovic found it far too easy to hold off Faes before scoring.

Leicester were giving the ball away with startling regularity and it was no surprised when the boos from the home fans started after only 20 minutes.

Though they remained as jittery as ever at the back, Leicester did at least rally in attack. Perez somehow fired over from an unmarked position six yards out after fabulous work by Tielemans on the right. Moments later, bosses Marco Silva and Rodgers had to be kept apart on the touchline after disputing a challenge by Faes on Harrison Reed that left the Fulham man on the deck.

A deflected shot from Barnes had Bernd Leno scrambling to concede a corner, before the German goalkeeper did well to palm away Vardy’s cross with Barnes waiting at the far post. Timothy Castagne met a cross from Marc Albrighton, who had replaced the injured Soumare, but steered his header wide. The slight improvement did not spare Leicester from more boos when half-time came.

Leicester’s Wout Faes battles for possession of the ball with Fulham’s Harrison Reed (left)

Whatever Rodgers said at half-time did not work initially as Leicester were still careless in possession, but they should have levelled when Barnes ran on to Luke Thomas’ long pass but failed to lift his shot over Leno, who stood up well.

Soon afterwards, Perez set up Vardy for the sort of chance he takes with ease when in top form. Frustratingly for Leicester, this one was drilled against Leno’s legs. Tielemans looked the Foxes’ most likely source of inspiration and curled just wide from 20 yards.

Into the final quarter, substitute Kelechi Iheanacho teed up Perez to bring another important save from Leno. And when Leno was finally beaten by Tielemans’ ferocious effort from the edge of the box, the crossbar came to his rescue.

Substitute Harry Wilson could have made stoppage time a breeze for Fulham only to stab wide when one on one with Danny Ward.




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