Fulham 0-2 Leicester: Kelechi Iheanacho, James Justin goals secure win while hosts toil again

Report and free highlights as Leicester City move third in Premier League table following sixth game undefeated on the road; first-half Kelechi Iheanacho and James Justin goals earn victory; Fulham have still not won a home league match since November 22

Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates after scoring the opening goal (AP)
Image: Kelechi Iheanacho's goal was his first in the Premier League since July

Two fine first-half goals from Kelechi Iheanacho and James Justin put Leicester third with a 2-0 victory at third-bottom Fulham, who are now without a win in 11 games.

Iheanacho powered home his first Premier League goal of the season by meeting James Maddison's excellent cross 17 minutes in and beating Alphonse Areola from close-range.

Maddison then turned provider again as he recorded two assists in the same game for the first time, teeing up Justin to round Areola and slot in a second moments before half-time as Leicester's clinical touch returned after their poor defeat by Leeds on Saturday.

Fulham always looked competitive but rarely tested Kasper Schmeichel besides a Tosin Adarabioyo header moments before Justin's goal, and remain rooted seven points adrift from safety, having now lost their game in hand on the two sides directly above them.

Player ratings

Fulham: Areola (6), Tete (6), Aina (6), Andersen (5), Adarabioyo (5), Robinson (6), Reed (6), Anguissa (6), Lookman (6), Mitrovic (5), Loftus-Cheek (6).

Subs: Cavaleiro (6), Lemina (5), Decordova-Reid (7).

Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Pereira (7), Soyuncu (7), Evans (7), Justin (8), Choudhury (7), Tielemans (6), Maddison (8), Perez (5), Barnes (5), Iheanacho (7).

Subs: Albrighton (6), Mendy (6), Armartey (6).

Man of the match: James Maddison

Leicester outfox Fulham to return to winning ways

Leicester needed little time to show why they have found life so much easier on the road than at home, moving ahead with 17 minutes gone as Iheanacho powered home Maddison's delicious cross following a quick free-kick.

Fulham's shortcomings were just as plain to see as their tidy approach play was snuffed out before it could cause any real danger, and with one rare clear-cut chance, Aleksandar Mitrovic sidefooted Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa's square ball straight at Justin with the goal at his mercy.

The hosts remained in the game and would have gone in level had Tosin beaten Schmeichel with a bullet header from a corner. But they were immediately caught out by a silky Leicester counter, with a lovely Iheanacho turn feeding Maddison to tee up Justin, who rounded Areola and doubled the lead moments before half-time.

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James Justin celebrates with team-mates after doubling Leicester's lead (AP)
Image: James Justin's goal was his first away strike in the Premier League

Scott Parker boldly responded at the break with two changes which immediately galvanised Fulham, but not to the extent of threatening a comeback.

Indeed, while Leicester were twice denied a third when the offside flag penalised Iheanacho and then Ricardo Pereira, neither side registered a legitimate shot on target throughout the second period.

That allowed Leicester to see out victory in relative comfort, with Justin's block on substitute Bobby Decordova-Reid's goalbound effort, typical of his night's work, their only moment of concern as the Foxes jumped back ahead of Brendan Rodgers' former employers Liverpool, who have played a game less.

What the managers said...

Fulham manager Scott Parker (PA) 0:40
Relegation strugglers Fulham produced another creditable display in their 2-0 loss to Leicester but boss Scott Parker admits it is wins that are needed from now on

Fulham boss Scott Parker: "I see a team in my team who can win football matches. People might think I'm a little bit mad saying that, we've won two games all year. 17 games left of this season and a lot of football to be played, we've seen in a short space of time what a couple of results can do.

"Am I looking at a team here who are wilting away to a slow death? Not at all. We're at a point now where we need to win games, and let's try to do that. We want to give ourselves a fighting chance of staying in this division; we've progressed and moved forward extremely well, we've fixed certain problems."

James Maddison celebrates scoring against Southampton 0:34
Brendan Rodgers says it is a joy to have James Maddison in his team

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: "It was an excellent win for us. You only need to look at Fulham's record over the last 10 games or so, how hard they have been to beat, especially in some of the big games they've played. It was about a mixture between pressing the game and closing the lines."

Man of the match - James Maddison

It somewhat beggars belief that it has taken Maddison 87 Premier League appearances to register more than one assist in the same game, given the number of chances he has created since his move from Norwich in 2018.

If anything, the quality of chances he created against Fulham only went to strengthen that surprise. His brilliant cross for Iheanacho's opener and his light feet to hold off two defenders before unselfishly feeding Justin for the second showed the range of assets in his game.

Opta facts

  • Fulham have lost their first four home games in 2021 in all competitions - the first time they've lost their first four home games in a calendar year as a Football League side.
  • Leicester City have won 26 away points in the Premier League this season - their second highest such total in a Premier League campaign after their 2015-16 title success (39).
  • Only Manchester United (27) have won more points in away games in the Premier League this season than Leicester City (26).
  • Fulham have gone 11 games without a win in the Premier League (D7 L4) - the current longest such streak in the competition.
  • Fulham have won only two of their 21 Premier League games this season - before this season, 13 of the 15 previous Premier League sides to win two games or fewer after 21 were relegated at the end of the season, although one of the sides to survive were Fulham in 2007-08.
  • Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho scored his first Premier League goal in 15 games since netting against Crystal Palace in July 2020.
  • James Maddison has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions for Leicester City (6 goals, 6 assists).
  • Leicester City's James Maddison assisted two goals in a single Premier League game for the first time in his career (87th app).

What's next?

Both sides are live on Sky Sports this weekend; Fulham host West Ham in a London derby at Craven Cottage on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off at 5.30pm.

There's another derby at Molineux on Sunday as Midlands rivals Leicester and Wolves face-off, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm; kick-off at 2pm.

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