Soccer

Leicester 3-0 Norwich: Vardy grabs a brace on return to starting XI

Leicester 3-0 Norwich: Foxes bounce back from European exit as a Jamie Vardy brace and James Maddison strike heap more misery on Dean Smith’s already-relegated Canaries

  • Leicester returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 win over Norwich
  • Teemu Pukki came close to breaking the deadlock but his effort hit the post
  • But it would be the hosts who’d score the opener with Vardy getting the goal
  • Vardy then grabbed his second goal of the game on the hour mark for Leicester
  • James Maddison then made it 3-0 with an emphatic finish with 20 minutes left 

As he approaches a decade of service as a Leicester City player, Jamie Vardy proved he remains as hungry for goals as ever.

The 35-year-old struck twice against relegated Norwich early in the second half to lift the mood around the King Power Stadium and help his side climb into the top 10, with James Maddison adding a third against his former club.

Leicester were booed off at half-time for the second game running and unusually, boss Brendan Rodgers chose to sit in the dugout – rather than stand in his technical area – for most of the second period.

Jamie Vardy scored a brace as Leicester comfortably beat Norwich 3-0 at the King Power

Vardy broke the deadlock with a fortunate deflection that looped over the Norwich goalkeeper

Angus Gunn can only helplessly watch as the ball loops over him and lands into his goal

Vardy celebrates with Youri Tielemans after breaking the deadlock in the second half

LEICESTER: (4-3-3) Schmeichel 7; Castagne 7, Amartey 6, Evans 6.5, Justin 6.5; Maddison 6.5, Tielemans 6, Dewsbury-Hall 6; Lookman 6 (Mendy 46, 7), Vardy 7.5, Barnes 7

Subs not used: Ward (GK); Soyuncu, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Perez, Daka, Thomas

Goals: Vardy (54, 62), Maddison (70)

Coach: Brendan Rodgers 7

NORWICH: (4-3-3) Gunn 7; Aarons 6, Hanley 7, Byram 6.5, Giannoulis 6.5; Rupp 6 (Sorensen 59, 6), Lees-Melou 6, Gilmour 6; Springett 6.5 (Placheta 67, 6), Pukki 5.5, Rashica 6 (Rowe 67, 6)

Subs not used: Krul (GK); Gibson, Dowell, Tzolis, Williams, Gibbs

Coach: Dean Smith 6

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire) 6

Man of the Match: Jamie Vardy

Venue: King Power Stadium

Season at a glance

This has been a disappointing domestic campaign for Leicester but it might have been so different had Vardy been fully fit throughout. He was restored to the starting XI after the Foxes played poorly in losing 2-1 at home to Everton last weekend and he should have given them the lead in the 10th minute.

Maddison – back in the side after hamstring trouble – saw his powerful effort from 25 yards blocked by Angus Gunn, who reacted superbly to keep out the follow-up effort from Vardy.

Gunn had been drafted in for Tim Krul after the 4-0 home defeat by West Ham and he thwarted Maddison again moments later. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall charged unchallenged into Norwich territory and fed Maddison, whose fierce strike on the angle was brilliantly turned behind.

Then it was Kasper Schmeichel’s turn to match Gunn’s work and keep Leicester level. When Norwich broke following a Leicester corner, Schmeichel swept the ball away from the feet of Tony Springett and then was up quickly to save when Teemu Pukki hammered the loose ball goalwards. 

The 35-year-old then doubled Leicester’s lead with a solid finish past Gunn

It was Vardy’s 12th Premier League goal of the season, helping Leicester dominate the game

The Foxes were in complete control with the visitors struggling to muster a response

In what was becoming a duel between the goalkeepers, Gunn made another outstanding contribution just before the half-hour, sticking out a leg to stop Ademola Lookman converting Dewsbury-Hall’s cut-back from six yards.

Leicester have conceded 23 goals from set pieces in all competitions this term, including 19 from corners alone. So when the home side managed to negotiate Norwich’s first corner – in the 39th minute – without mishap, the home fans celebrated as they normally would for a goal.

And they were breathing another sigh of relief in stoppage time when after more poor defending, Springett sent Pukki clear and though this time the shot beat Schmeichel, the ball struck the post and rebounded to Jonny Evans.

James Maddison (centre) then wrapped up the points with 20 minutes left on the clock

Maddison refused to celebrate his emphatic goal out of respect to his former club

Leicester were booed off again at the interval and for the second half, Rodgers brought on holding midfielder Nampalys Mendy for winger Lookman.

The home side looked more solid and took the lead in the 54th minute, albeit with a huge slice of luck. Harvey Barnes’ long pass sent Vardy scurrying behind the Norwich defence and when he shot, the ball clipped Grant Hanley and looped over the helpless Gunn.

It was Vardy’s first goal at home since November 28 and eight minutes later, he made it two. James Justin was quicker than Springett and found Barnes, whose first-time pass was the perfect invitation for Vardy to send a rasping strike beyond Gunn.

Leicester’s third arrived when Gunn could only parry Dewsbury-Hall’s cross shot into the path of Maddison, who volleyed in his 15th of the campaign from 12 yards.




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