Aston Villa XI
Emiliano Martinez 6Embed from Getty Images
The much busier of the two goalkeepers, Martinez made some very picturesque stops in the first half and was also quick of his line a couple of times in the second to deny Jamie Vardy. Looking back on it, certainly the first goal he will be very disappointed to have let it past him after getting a decent hand to the ball.
Ahmed El Mohamady 3Embed from Getty Images
It was a very noticeable drop off with Matty Cash coming out the side for the Egyptian, Harvey Barnes ran him ragged all game highlighted specifically by the goal the winger scored. The full-back also offered very little going forward down the right-hand side having a lot of his cross attempts thwarted.
Ezri Konsa 5Embed from Getty Images
The young centre back who has been a staple of Villa’s very solid backline this season had quite an average afternoon although not at much for the second goal or the first, there were more than a few occasions when he had allowed Vardy to break beyond him freely without the ball without tracking him and if it weren’t for Martinez being quick off his line he may have been punished.
Tyrone Mings 6Embed from Getty Images
Similarly to Konsa, Mings was not directly at fault for the goals perhaps for the first he could have been quicker to close Maddison on the edge. Although his distribution and organisation were of a good standard thus he is given a slightly higher rating than his centre-back partner.
Matt Targett 6Embed from Getty Images
Despite Ricardo Pereira giving him some trouble in the first period, he really came into the game in the second half setting up the goal for Traore early into the second half. He made some very positive runs down the left-hand side and was one of the driving forces in their attempts to come back into the contest.
Douglas Luiz 4 (81)Embed from Getty Images
It was a very poor outing for the Brazilian who has been very impressive this season but playing as the holding midfielder in the pivot he really offered no cover for his back four and allowed Maddison and Barnes to operate in between the lines whenever they pleased.
John McGinn 4Embed from Getty Images
Despite setting up as part of a holding midfield pairing McGinn was essentially playing as the eight in today’s game and had very little impact in that role. He was also culpable of leaving too much space in behind him and was simply outplayed by his oppositions midfield.
Ross Barkley 4 (76)Embed from Getty Images
Poor scores across the board for the Villa midfield and Barkley may have been the least effective of the three, acting as the number 10, Dean Smith would have hoped Barkley would somewhat replace the creativity they lacked with Jack Grealish missing out due to injury. But Barkley couldn’t find the ball at all in effective areas and when he did, he took too many touches, taking the pace out of multiple attacks.
Bertrand Traore 6Embed from Getty Images
One of Villa’s better performers today by getting a goal and showed glimpses of positivity with some of his ball carries. But lost basically all of his one on one battles with Luke Thomas and outside of his goal didn’t trouble the Leicester defence.
Anwar El Ghazi 3 (67)Embed from Getty Images
One of the least memorable performances of the afternoon, El Ghazi a usually very creative tricky winger, he was really uninspiring today and on very few occasions did he successfully take on any defender.
Ollie Watkins 6Embed from Getty Images
As the lone striker, Watkins did as well as he could with very little service outside of balls in behind the channel which he did really well to create opportunities out of those kinds of balls. But he found it difficult to hold the ball up with Jonny Evans so tight on him the entire game and lost most of his aerial duels in the process.
David Trezeguet 4 (67)
Trezeguet was brought on to try and help find the equaliser but showed no quality or invention in the final third giving Leicester virtually no issues.
Jacob Ramsey 5 (76)
Very little impact on the game but he was also given very little time to do so so a default five is given.
Morgan Sanson 5 (81)
Only came on with 10 minutes to go and was also his debut so you cant have much expectation he would make a difference in a game like this, therefore a standard five is given.
Leicester City XI
Kasper Schmeichel 6Embed from Getty Images
It was a quiet day between the sticks for Schmeichel, although conceding the goal there was not much he could have done to prevent it. He sowed great organisation from corners and showed great command of his area on the few occasions he was needed.
Timothy Castagne 6Embed from Getty Images
Other than being one of the players at fault for the goal the Belgian displayed a very competent performance on his first start in over a month. He had some good link-up play with Ricardo Pereira down the right and dealt with the tricky El Ghazi and runs of Targett very well outside of the goal.
Jonny Evans 7Embed from Getty Images
He capped off his 100th appearance the foxes with an elite display. He dealt with the ever-dangerous Watkins effortlessly while showing great composure on the ball and playing some sumptuous balls up towards the front men.
Caglar Soyuncu 6Embed from Getty Images
There were a few instances where Soyuncu needlessly kicked the ball out of play instead of being composed and trying to keep possession of the ball. But other than that he was very aggressive in the tackle and in the air, which was one of the main components to Leicester’s superb start as that was helping to pin Villa into their own half resulting in the two early goals.
Luke Thomas 8Embed from Getty Images
By far his best performance in the very young career of the academy prospect, he was extremely efficient all afternoon defensively as well as going forward. He won all of his one on one duels with Traore who can be such a threat, but he was nullified by Thomas expertly. He also fed Barnes numerous times leading to a lot of Leicester’s attacks.
Wilfred Ndidi 7Embed from Getty Images
Very solid from Ndidi, in the first half showed some great progressive passing as well as his unique ability to break down passages of play in lucrative areas leading to many counter-attacks. It was much more of a conserved effort in the second period but it was an excellent show of game management and Ndidi was at the heart of that.
Youri Tielemans 7 (88)Embed from Getty Images
The Belgian was stupendous in the first half popping the ball around with Maddison and Pereira. His balls in between the lines were cutting the Villa midfield apart and with Ndidi in the side in gives him the opportunity to enter passages of play on the oppositions 18-yard box more often where he caused carnage. Much like the rest of the side, the second half was a much more conservative outlook making sure they secured the important three points.
James Maddison 7 (64)Embed from Getty Images
Absolutely key to Leicester’s first-half dominance, Maddison took advantage of the lack of defensive cover from Villa’s midfield and exploited it. There may not be a more dangerous player shooting from outside the box in the entire league and statistics would support that theory with today being exhibit A. A fantastic on the edge of the box that too most would be a half chance but with Maddison playing with such supreme confidence you think it’s going in every time he takes aim from that distance.
Ricardo Pereira 7 (76)Embed from Getty Images
A different role for Pereira today perhaps an attempt to thwart the offensive talents of Targett and Grealish but with the latter not in the side it really freed up Pereira to go and express himself going forward. He was part of some really quick high tempo football on the edge of the Villa box on numerous occasions and actually seems to be a more dynamic option than Cengiz Under or Ayoze Perez. So with Castagne back in the side, this could be a more common role.
Harvey Barnes 8Embed from Getty Images
He provided an assist and a goal and was a menace to the Villa defence all afternoon. Barnes has really developed into a match-winner, even in the second period when Leicester were committing fewer bodies forward Barnes still looked like a massive threat, highlighted by an excellent ball in behind to Vardy with the outside of his foot. A man of the match performance.
Jamie Vardy 6Embed from Getty Images
Despite not scoring or having many opportunities to do so his frontline pressing was excellent and his constant runs in behind created the space for Barnes and Maddison to operate in front of the Villa back four. He did have one half-chance in the second half, a difficult one on his left taking it first time which in reality he wouldn’t be expected to score.
Namplys Mendy 5 (64)
Brought on due to knock on Maddison and did a good job at providing defensive cover alongside Ndidi.
Daniel Amartey 5 (76)
Again brought on to manage the game until its finish and did so fairly well, he won a couple of aerial duels but didn’t have a major impact on the outcome, thus a five is given.
Hamza Choudhary 5 (88)
Really not enough time to make any sort of contribution to the game so a five is given.
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