Leicester City battled to a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday evening, lifting themselves into second place in the Premier League table.
The Foxes came under some pressure in the first half, but they broke the deadlock on 37 minutes, when James Maddison slipped his marker, charged into the box and fired a vicious shot beyond Alex McCarthy.
Southampton pressed Leicester in the second half, but the hosts defended well and kept the Saints quiet for long periods of the game.
The visitors could not find a way through the Foxes’ stubborn backline, and a late Harvey Barnes strike meant that a 2-0 win propelled Brendan Rodgers’ men into second place in the Premier League table.
Let’s check out the player ratings from a gritty evening at the King Power Stadium.
Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – 8/10 – Couple of nervy moments with the ball at his feet. Got a good hand to a fierce Bertrand shot, even if he got a touch lucky that it sailed over the bar. Solid.
James Justin (RB) – 8/10 – Impressed in front of the watching England boss, hardly putting a foot wrong in any of his duties. Gareth Southgate must have been satisfied.
Wesley Fofana (CB) – 7/10 – Pretty solid but picked up a yellow and looked destined for a red throughout his tussles with Adams and Walcott. Substituted early in the second half – potentially took a knock.
Jonny Evans (CB) – 8/10 – The sensible, steady head alongside the aggressive and front foot defending Fofana. Kept his calm, even in the hairier moments of the game.
Timothy Castagne (LB) – 7/10 – Got stuck in and did an excellent job at nullifying Saints’ wide players, stopping crosses and supporting his wingers.
Wilfred Ndidi (CM) – 7/10 – Leicester always look so much better with Ndidi in the side. Helped the Foxes get a foothold and stopped the combative Diallo from pulling Saints up the pitch.
Youri Tielemans (CM) – 8/10 – Slipped the ball through to Maddison with great timing and weight. So classy in possession and rarely wastes a pass. Got the assist for the second, too. A lovely player.
James Maddison (CM) – 8/10 – Great run and powerful finish from an acute angle to open the scoring. Had a couple of other cracks at goal, too. Just what Leicester needed.
Mark Albrighton (RW) – 7/10 – Provided his usual industry at both ends of the pitch. Picked up a yellow for a naughty challenge at the end of the first half.
Jamie Vardy (ST) – 7/10 – Made plenty of darting runs in behind as Leicester looked to counter against tiring legs. The chances never quite fell for the wily fox, though. Next time…
Harvey Barnes (LW) – 8/10 – A constant threat throughout. Ran his marker ragged, and managed to get plenty of crosses in, even when marked extremely tightly. Killed the game in injury time with a calm finish.
Çağlar Söyüncü (CB) – 7/10
Ayoze Perez (CM) – 6/10
Yan Valery (RM) – N/A
Alex McCarthy (GK) – 6/10 – Will be disappointed to have been beaten at his near post by Maddison’s strike, but it was expertly struck. Exposed for the second.
Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) – 6/10 – Endured a tough afternoon against Barnes on that flank, but did as best as he could to reduce the pacy winger’s damage.
Jan Bednarek (CB) – 7/10 – Defended well, and headed brilliantly off the line to deny Barnes in the latter stages, keeping Southampton in the contest.
Jack Stephens (CB) – 5/10 – At fault for Maddison’s opener, allowing the midfielder to turn and wriggle free of his grip in the penalty area. Can’t be letting that happen.
Ryan Bertrand (LB) – 7/10 – Almost brought Southampton level with a thunderous strike at goal, but Schmeichel just about kept it out.
Will Smallbone (RM) – 6/10 – Hit a curler which tested the Leicester keeper. Forced off through injury midway through the second half. Fingers crossed it’s nothing serious.
Ibrahima Diallo (CM) – 6/10 – Felt he was fouled in the buildup to Leicester’s first-half strike, but his pleas were ignored. He probably had a point. Lucky not to get a second yellow for another bookable offence in the second half.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) – 7/10 – Put in some wicked deliveries from set-pieces. Kept Saints ticking over in midfield, rarely gave the ball away and used his time in possession wisely. Becoming a master of the art.
Stuart Armstrong (LM) – 7/10 – Thundered a tremendous shot against the crossbar as Southampton began to create chances late on.
Theo Walcott (ST) – 6/10 – Missed a difficult chance on the rebound, but couldn’t quite adjust his feet in time.
Che Adams (ST) – 6/10 – Busy, as always. Darted around, pressed and put his body on the line. Final decision making just not quite there at crucial times, however.
Dan N’Lundulu (ST) – 6/10
Shane Long (ST) – 6/10
Kelechi Iheanacho (ST) – N/A