Leicester 1-0 Burnley: Demarai Gray secures Foxes another home win
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 02/12/17 9:05pm
Demarai Gray's early goal was enough for Leicester to pick up their second home win in a week with a 1-0 success over Burnley.
Leicester took the lead as early as the sixth minute as Gray, on his return to the side, bundled the ball home at the far post.
Burnley responded well, but couldn't create enough clear-cut chances of their own, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson wasting their best chance to score in the second half, denied by the legs of Kapser Schmeichel in the home goal.
Jamie Vardy, looking to become the first Leicester player to reach 50 Premier League goals, remains stuck on 49 after a fruitless afternoon where he posed very little threat. Leicester stay ninth despite victory, while Burnley drop to seventh.
Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Simpson (6), Chilwell (6), Morgan (7), Maguire (7), Iborra (6), Ndidi (6), Gray (7), Albrighton (6), Mahrez (8), Vardy (5).
Subs: Okazaki (N/A).
Burnley: Pope (6), Mee (7), Tarkowski (7), Ward (6), Bardsley (6), Gudmundsson (6), Hendrick (6), Cork (6), Brady (7), Defour (6), Wood (6).
Subs: Vokes (6), Barnes (6), Arfield (6).
Man of the match: Riyad Mahrez
Leicester started brightly, and were soon in front, after great work from the newly-blonde Mahrez. The Algeria international drifted wide, cut back onto his left, curled a delightful cross in the middle, which evaded everyone. However, Burnley stopper Nick Pope could only parry the ball onto the thigh of Gray, who steered the ball home from a tight angle.
Burnley responded really well, and bombarded the Leicester box with cross after cross. Schmeichel had to be alert to smother at the feet of Wood as the visitors pressed.
Robbie Brady, who was excellent for the first 30 minutes, then had to be withdrawn through injury, which seemed to disrupt Burnley's flow somewhat as Leicester cruised to the interval without being troubled any further.
Claude Puel made one change from the team that started the win against Tottenham, as Shinji Okazaki dropped to the bench, replaced in the starting line-up by Damarai Gray. Steven Defour passed a fitness test to start for Burnley.
After the break, Leicester stepped up a gear, and would have been in front but for two pieces of superb defending from Phil Bardsley, firstly to block Gray's goalbound effort, before clearing off the line after Morgan had prodded for goal.
Burnley still posed a threat on the break, and went really close on the hour mark, with Gudmundsson thwarted by Schmeichel after a swift Burnley counter attack.
Mahrez came close to making the victory more comfortable for Leicester with a long-range effort late on, which Pope beat away, but Leicester saw out the victory that continued Puel's Foxes improvement.
Man of the match - Riyad Mahrez
In a game when the quality in front of goal was conspicuous by its absence, Mahrez showed glimpses of his very best fleet-footed flamboyance, only to be denied by poor finishing, or lack of options ahead of him. Some of his passing was right out of the top drawer.
Claude Puel: "It has been a good week, but what was most important was that we continued our hard work. It was a difficult game against this team who were sixth in the table.
"I am very happy with our second half, for example. We had a lot of chances, but perhaps we needed to be more clinical."
Sean Dyche: "I thought we were excellent in the first half, but we conceded a very sloppy goal, which is very unlike us. Then, after that, we dominated the first half. From set pieces, we had some very good chances.
"In the second half, it became more of a ding-dong, which suited them really. Mixed bag really, but in our third game in a week, I was really pleased with the physicality of the players."
Leicester have lost just one of their last 10 games in all competitions (W5 D4 L1), losing 0-2 against Manchester City.
This is just the second time in their last 11 Premier League away games that Burnley have failed to score, also drawing a blank at Man City in October.
After three successive PL wins and clean sheets, the Clarets have conceded a goal in each of their last three, losing twice (W1).
Demarai Gray has found the net twice in 14 PL appearances this season, double the total the youngster had in 30 appearances last season (1).
Leicester head to the north east to take on Newcastle in next Saturday's late kick-off. Back to home comforts for Burnley next, as they take on a Watford side who average more than two goals per game away from home.
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