Report and free highlights as Leicester's Jamie Vardy nets eighth goal of season with penalty before missing another with sixth consecutive win in all competitions to see off Wolves, who remain in eighth
Monday 9 November 2020 06:10, UK
Jamie Vardy scored one penalty and missed another as Leicester went top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Wolves at the King Power Stadium.
Vardy converted from the spot following a contentious call that Max Kilman had handled Dennis Praet's cross, which referee Anthony Taylor only awarded after checking the VAR review monitor.
A more clear-cut decision gave Vardy the chance to double Leicester's lead before half-time against an out-of-sorts Wolves when Rayan Ait-Nouri wiped out James Justin, but Rui Patricio guessed right to keep out his poor spot kick and keep the visitors in contention.
Their second-half performance showed more attacking threat with Pedro Neto and Ruben Neves testing Kasper Schmeichel, but the Foxes, who could have secured victory late on through Harvey Barnes, saw out the game to go top of the Premier League, at least until Liverpool took on Manchester City on Super Sunday.
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Fofana (8), Evans (7), Fuchs (7), Justin (7), Mendy (6), Tielemans (7), Thomas (5), Praet (7), Maddison (7), Vardy (7).
Subs: Albrighton (6), Barnes (6), Morgan (n/a).
Wolves: Patricio (7), Kilman (6), Coady (6), Boly (6), Semedo (6), Dendoncker (5), Neves (6), Ait-Nouri (5), Podence (6), Jimenez (6), Neto (6).
Subs: Traore (6), Marcal (6), Silva (6).
Man of the match: Wesley Fofana.
Eyebrows may have been raised when Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo claimed Wolves were not in 'great form' despite a run of 10 points from four games - but his side looked nothing like a team with the wind in their sails at the King Power Stadium.
They remained resolute defensively, at least, up until Kilman was harshly ruled to have handled Praet's cross when Taylor checked the VAR monitor, allowing Vardy to smash the ball beyond Patricio from 12 yards. But the visitors struggled to hold onto possession and saw barely five per cent of the ball in the Leicester third before the break.
Even so, for all the Foxes' territory, their only two shots on target before half-time both came from the spot, with Ait-Nouri's ill-judged lunge on Justin after the Wolves defender's poor touch giving Vardy the chance to step up from 12 yards again. This time, he went the other way, with Patricio guessing right to keep out a poor spot kick.
Wolves were stung into life by that reprieve for the final six minutes of the first period, albeit without testing Kasper Schmeichel, and left Leicester - who looked likely to enjoy a two-goal cushion only minutes earlier - relieved to hear the half-time whistle.
The visitors' habit of second-half revivals was again realised following a Santo team talk, but not before Youri Tielemans had nodded a presentable chance wide within a minute of the restart, and Vardy had seen a dipping effort from wide palmed over.
Leicester then needed a superb sliding block from Wesley Fofana to deny Daniel Podence a chance to tap home an equaliser when Nelson Semedo found space on the wing, before Neto powered an effort straight at Kasper Schmeichel, who did well to hold it at the first attempt.
Wolves still struggled to create clear chances until Leander Dendoncker volleyed just wide from Marcal's raking pass, before Neves - searching for his first league goal in more than a year - was kept out by a superb Schmeichel stop.
Still Leicester carried a threat and nearly sealed three points when substitute Harvey Barnes' goalbound effort was deflected over by Kilman's vital block, and despite some late pressure from Wolves, the hosts' hopes of going top were never seriously threatened.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: "I think it's the best win of the three this week. With so many players out and such a tough schedule, it was an incredible performance. We had to show a different side to the team today. I thought first half we were very good in our football, some of the quality of combinations, how we got through Wolves and into dangerous areas was very good, and we should have been maybe more than 1-0 up.
On going top: "It's been an incredible start, I'm so happy for the players. It's important in any season your first steps are positives, and with all players available it would've been really good, but for the players we've had out for the guys to show that quality and resilience, it's what you want as a manager."
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo: "Leicester started better than us, that led to the situation of the penalties. As the game went by we improved, the second half we were much, much better. We caused situations, produced situations requiring better finishing.
"I haven't seen the images of the penalty. It's very hard to judge the work of the referees, VAR saw it, Anthony saw it on the screen, but inside it's difficult to coach a player and tell him he must put his arms away that will create unbalance. It's very hard, what we want from situations is good and fair decisions.
"Week in, week out we see different things. Until they get it right, we'll be talking about it over and over again, something we don't want. We have enough problems in football to be suspicious about anything, I don't want to think about that."
Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:
"Everything looks more obvious in slow motion, of course it does. IFAB seem to be making a mess of the handball rule now, and it's not taken into situations in a game with any context. There's definitely a big problem, not just with handball but with VAR in general. We all feel a lot happier this season because the referees are going to the monitor, but it's made absolutely no difference.
"Only one referee has stuck with his decision having been sent to a monitor, and that referee made an absolute mess of it. As soon as they get sent there, they always change the decision, so it's no different to whether the referee goes and has a look or VAR tells him he's made a mistake.
"One decision in how many? We must be close to 40 or 50 times now where a referee has gone to a monitor and only one time they've stuck with the decision. That doesn't feel right because the referees aren't then going and given their own opinions, they can't be."
Brendan Rodgers made clear he needed defensive reinforcements in the summer and in the shape of Wesley Fofana, it looks like he's got them.
It's still early days for the 19-year-old, but he looks mature beyond his years at the heart of Leicester's back three, and with three tackles, two interceptions - a Leicester high - and as many passes in the opposition half as wing-back James Justin across the 90 minutes, showed exactly what Rodgers wants.
"Today again he showed he's strong, aggressive, and has that class on the ball," he told his post-match press conference. "He made one recovery challenge which was unbelievable. He's a big talent, we're delighted with him, he's loved his start here. He's been very good."
Leicester travel to Liverpool after the international break on November 21; Kick-off at 3pm. If they win at Anfield, they will be guaranteed to end the weekend top of the Premier League.
Wolves' next game, at the same time, is at home to Southampton.