Leicester hand out Premier League reality check to Leeds

In-form Leicester gave Leeds a Premier League reality check as they went second with an impressive 4-1 win at Elland Road.

First-half goals from Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans, bookended by two poor Patrick Bamford misses, had the Foxes in complete control on a sodden Yorkshire night.

Stuart Dallas gave Leeds hope immediately after the break and the home side hit the bar and pressed hard before City ran out comfortable winners thanks to Jamie Vardy’s strike and a Tielemans penalty.

Leeds have earned many plaudits since their top-flight return and in their previous losses, to Liverpool and Wolves, there were arguments to be made for them deserving something, though the same could not be said here.

Jamie Vardy celebrates the clincher
Jamie Vardy celebrates the clincher

Bamford’s wastefulness was surprising given the recent form which has seen some talk of an England call-up, and it was after his first error that Leicester went ahead two minutes in.

Helder Costa’s cross was cushioned to Bamford six yards out by Jack Harrison but, with no one around him, he nodded tamely into Kasper Schmeichel’s hands.

Leicester cleared their lines down the left and were in front immediately.

Robin Koch’s backpass to keeper Illan Meslier was off target before it held up on the sodden turf and Vardy was smart enough to step in, draw Meslier and square for Barnes who was never missing an open goal.

It was a tough night for Patrick Bamford
It was a tough night for Patrick Bamford

Barnes then worked Meslier from the edge of the box, before more Vardy brilliance led to a second Leicester goal 21 minutes in.

Brendan Rodgers talked up the “world class” striker on the eve of the game and he did superbly well to drop Koch and get to Marc Albrighton’s cross first, with Tielemans on hand to convert after Meslier saved Vardy’s diving header.

The post then saved Meslier as he shelled another Albrighton cross, but his side should have gone in at the break 2-1 down, Bamford again off colour as he failed to control Luke Ayling’s pass which put him clean through 12 yards out.

Dallas had Leeds up and running two minutes after the restart, his floated cross evading everyone and dropping in, while Pablo Hernandez went close to making it 2-2 shortly after when his delightful 20-yarder cracked the bar.

It was a good night's work for Brendan Rodgers
It was a good night's work for Brendan Rodgers

Leicester hearts were beating fast again as Bamford ran after an Ayling long ball, with only Schmeichel’s alertness getting him there first.

Christian Fuchs then did well to avoid making contact with Ayling as the United right-back broke into the box at pace, and his smart play was rewarded as Vardy nabbed the clincher.

Substitute James Maddison sent fellow replacement Cengiz Under clear and he had the presence of mind to stand up a pass for Vardy who did the rest from close to the penalty spot.

Vardy’s performance had been so commanding that it was a surprise to see him skew wide when he got clear with seven minutes left, but it mattered little, especially when Tielemans fired in a last-minute penalty, given by VAR after a Mateusz Klich foul on Maddison.