Skip to content

Aston Villa 2-4 Leicester: Foxes punish Villa errors to win first Premier League game since November

Report and free match highlights as Kelechi Iheanacho scored one and assisted two of Leicester's goals; James Maddison cancelled out Ollie Watkins' early opener; Harry Souttar scored an own goal, with Tete and Dennis Praet also on the scoresheet for the Foxes in a thrilling game

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Leicester

Leicester punished Aston Villa for a string of errors as they won a thrilling encounter 4-2, registering their first Premier League victory since November.

A ferocious, end-to-end pace was set early on as Ollie Watkins (9) fired home for Villa after Emiliano Buendia's shot clattered against the crossbar.

An error from Boubacar Kamara saw James Maddison (12) equalise soon after, but a nightmare moment for Leicester's Deadline Day signing Harry Souttar on his debut saw him deflect Watkins' cross home.

That would prove to be Aston Villa's last goal of the game, despite registering 63 per cent possession and 19 shots.

Kelechi Iheanacho (41) followed up his FA Cup goal against Walsall with Leicester's second equaliser, left unmarked to head home. Another January signing, Tete (45+2), then unexpectedly fired the Foxes ahead with the final kick of the first half.

Aston Villa played some brilliant attacking football throughout and largely dominated the second half, but another error saw Leicester add their fourth late on. Alex Moreno's poor control allowed Dennis Praet through (79) to finish past Emi Martinez.

It was a first Premier League victory since before the World Cup break for Leicester, who move into 13th place on 21 points. They are now three points clear of the relegation places. Aston Villa remain in 11th place on 28 points.

Also See:

How the Foxes pounced on Villa errors

Leicester players celebrate Dennis Praet's goal at Villa Park
Image: Leicester players celebrate Dennis Praet's goal at Villa Park

Watkins made it the perfect start for Aston Villa. Leon Bailey drove down the right wing before cutting the ball to Buendia at the top. His curling effort clattered onto the crossbar, but Watkins was alert and lifted the rebound over Danny Ward.

But Aston Villa created their own problems as Leicester equalised three minutes later. Boubacar Kamara was instantly harried by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall after collecting Emiliano Martinez's short pass.

The ball was nicked from his feet with Iheanacho there to collect before picking out Maddison on his left. The England international kept his cool as Martinez and Ezri Konsa closed in, before slotting home.

Team news

  • Aston Villa made one change after their 1-0 win at Southampton. Alex Moreno dropped to the bench with Lucas Digne back in the starting XI after recovering from a shoulder injury. John McGinn was also fit again, but was named as a sub.
  • Leicester made five changes after their 2-2 draw with Brighton. Daniel Amartey was not in the matchday squad, with Luke Thomas, Dennis Praet, Mendy and Jamie Vardy all dropping to the bench.
  • Harry Souttar, Tete and Victor Kristiansen all make their first Leicester starts – and debuts for the former two – after their January moves. Kelechi Iheanacho and James Maddison also came back into the XI.

Aston Villa then had three huge chances for a second. Watkins was unable to turn home after Buendia's flashed pass, before Bailey forced a stunning save from Ward after firing from range. Buendia then hit the post again.

It was a slice of luck that saw Villa go ahead a second time. Lucas Digne found Watkins just inside the area. He flashed the ball through the six-yard box, but Souttar's outstretched foot saw directed it into his own net.

Leicester then equalised for a second time as the pendulum shifted once again. Harvey Barnes sent in a fizzing cross from the left - having been picked out by new Leicester signing Victor Kristiansen - and an unmarked Iheanacho was waiting with a diving header.

Ollie Watkins fires Aston Villa in front against Leicester
Image: Ollie Watkins fires Aston Villa in front against Leicester

With the last kick of an enthralling first half, Tete fired Leicester in front. It was a superb throughball from Iheanacho to pick out the Shakhtar Donetsk loanee, who managed to bypass the oncoming Martinez to send the ball home.

The intensity did not let up after the break, even if the goals did not flow as freely. Inside mere seconds, Aston Villa had already given the ball away. But despite being one-on-one with the goalkeeper, Iheanacho saw his shot wide.

The chances continued to fall for either side. Ward made a superb stop early on in the second half before Watkins just glances the ball wide. Tete's goal filled him with confidence too, but two fine efforts went wide.

Player ratings

Aston Villa: Martinez (5), Young (6), Konsa (6), Mings (6), Digne (7), Ramsey (5), Luiz (6), Kamara (4), Buendia (7), Bailey (6), Watkins (7).

Subs: Moreno (5), Coutinho (6), Cash (6), Dendoncker (n/a), Duran (n/a).

Leicester: Ward (6), Castagne (7), Souttar (6), Faes (7), Kristiansen (7), Tielemans (7), Maddison (7), Barnes (7), Dewsbury-Hall (6), Tete (7), Iheanacho (8).

Subs: Praet (7), Mendy (6), Vardy (5), Thomas (n/a), Soyuncu (n/a).

Player of the match: Kelechi Iheanacho.

Half-time substitute Philippe Coutinho thought he had equalised for Aston Villa in the 71st minute, but it was ruled out for offside. Leicester cleared the initial corner, but Douglas Luiz picked up the loose ball. In a busy area, he somehow found Coutinho, who smuggled the ball home. However, the flag was up against Luiz.

But for all of Aston Villa's neat attacking play - which was impressively defended by Leicester in the second half - it was another poor mistake that allowed the Foxes to add their fourth.

Barnes' forward pass should have been an easy interception for Moreno, but the full-back failed to control properly. Praet was lurking to burst into the area and send the ball around Martinez.

How did the January signings do?

Tete celebrates with Kelechi Iheanacho after giving Leicester a 3-2 lead at Aston Villa
Image: Tete celebrates with Kelechi Iheanacho after giving Leicester a 3-2 lead at Aston Villa

Leicester started all three of their January signings. Tete started quietly, but after his goal, it filled him with confidence. He was brilliant after the break and had another few shots, but was unable to find the net.

Harry Souttar will have been disappointed with his own goal, but he was vital as Leicester defended valiantly after half-time. He made some good clearances and should be pleased overall with his debut.

Victor Kristiansen was also impressive. Bailey made a number of bursting runs down the right wing in the opening 15 minutes of the game, but he was soon reined in by the full-back. He also picked out Barnes for Iheanacho's equaliser, and delivered some dangerous set-pieces.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said of his new signings: "Harry is a great presence for us. He can play football and he's dominant. He was unfortunate with the cross that hits off him for the own goal, but I thought he was excellent.

"Victor's really refreshing. He's that young player that can serve the ball, he's aggressive, but he wants to go forward and join in. He's settled in very well.

"I thought Tete was outstanding. We've been crying out for a right-winger, left footed, that's got balance and can be good in one versus ones, can make a pass, make runs and he was all of that today.

"All three contributed very well."

19-year-old Jhon Duran made his Aston Villa debut in the 82nd minute, but did not have enough time to show the best of his abilities.

Rodgers: An outstanding result

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Brendan Rodgers praised the spirit of his players in their 4-2 win against Aston Villa and was particularly pleased with the impact of his new signings, Harry Souttar, Victor Kristiansen and Tete

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers to Sky Sports:

"I thought we thoroughly deserved to win the game. We were very dangerous going forward and I thought it was an outstanding result for us.

"The spirit in the team is really good. Any Premier League game, especially away from home, you know what's going to happen. You're going to come under pressure or go behind, there's periods you don't have the ball so just stay calm.

"We're unfortunate that Youri goes down in the build-up to the first goal and when the shot comes in, it's where he is on the floor. The second one, we have to recover quicker, but it's still unfortunate for the own-goal.

"But our four goals were fantastic. We were very creative, we had other opportunities to get in. Our overall game was excellent.

"It's really only about ourselves [in any potential relegation battle]. We needed a freshness and we got that in, you saw it in the team today with some of the football.

"Once the new guys come in and build more relationships and we get some players back, then hopefully we can push on and finish the season strong.

"But today was an important victory for us… For us to play to that level, I was really pleased."

Emery: We lost confidence after first mistake

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Unai Emery felt Aston Villa got punished for the mistakes they made in their 4-2 defeat to Leicester City at Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery to Sky Sports:

"Today was the reality. At home, we are sometimes winning, sometimes drawing and sometimes losing, as we did today. But to build possession with the ball and to try and control the game against the opposite side, like Leicester, who have good players and good organisation, it's not easy.

"That's the step up and the more difficult [challenges] we will have in front.

"We can be disappointed of course, at home with our supporters, we want to win and show that our best performances, but we are not doing 100 per cent.

"We are doing matches where we are defensively strong, being disciplined, being compact and we are doing well in some moments. But we have to improve and continue our process, to be calm in the moments like today.

"We had mistakes… I want to improve, continue in really working, improving with our style. I'm not going to stop, but we have to be very demanding with how we can improve.

"The players are committed. They are very focused about the tactical way we want to play. Sometimes, we want to be one step ahead and we are pushing to take more responsibility. But sometimes the players need time to take confidence, and they need good results to do it.

"We were really excited after 1-0 because we started to take control of the game, with good positions, good possession and we have chances to score.

"But when we did a big mistake and they equalised, we lost the confidence and I think that's normal. We are going to make mistakes, but we want to reduce those mistakes to be stronger in our process.

"We conceded more chances than we created. We created a lot of chances as well and we have the opportunity to draw the second half and maybe change the match.

"But we didn't do that. We conceded some chances that were very easy and they scored the third goal, which was the moment the match was finished.

"But I want to be calm myself, analyse the match, share with the players next week the circumstances that happened in the match and try to be positive."

Player of the match - Kelechi Iheanacho

A goal and two assists marks a superb afternoon's work for Iheanacho. He is not always a nailed-on starter, but he reminded us of his talent at Villa Park.

FPL stats - Aston Villa 2-4 Leicester

FPL Stats: Aston Villa vs Leicester

Goals Watkins, Maddison, Souttar (OG), Iheanacho, Tete, Praet
Assists Iheanacho (2), Barnes (2), Buendia, Watkins.
Bonus points Iheanacho (3), Watkins (2), Tete (1)

Opta stats - Goalfest at Villa Park

  • Aston Villa versus Leicester (2-3 at half-time) was only the second Premier League match this season to see five goals scored in the first half, after Liverpool versus Bournemouth in August (5-0 at half-time).
  • Leicester defender Harry Souttar became the first player to score an own-goal on his Premier League debut since Issa Diop for West Ham versus Arsenal in August 2018.
  • Leicester City's James Maddison has scored eight Premier League goals this season; only in 2021-22 (12) has he netted more in a top-flight campaign.
  • Leicester strike Kelechi Iheanacho provided two assists in a Premier League game for just the second time in his career, also doing against Man City in December 2021.

What's next?

Aston Villa head to Manchester City on Sunday February 12, live on Sky Sports Super Sunday. Kick-off is at 4.30pm.

Leicester will host top-four hopefuls Tottenham on Saturday February 11 at 3pm.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!
Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Super 6 is back, bigger and better than ever with a £250,000 jackpot. Play for free.

Around Sky