James Maddison's double helped Leicester City on their way to securing their first Premier League victory of the season, as the Foxes thrashed Nottingham Forest 4-0 at the King Power Stadium to take the bragging rights in the East Midlands derby.
The home side, who started the evening bottom of the table and one place below Forest, made a lightning quick start in front of a buoyant crowd.
However, it was Steve Cooper’s Forest who had the best chance of the opening exchanges, Taiwo Awoniyi seeing his effort from inside the area cannon back off the foot of the upright in the 22nd minute.
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The visitors came to regret that rare gilt-edged chance, as Leicester took the lead just three minutes later. Maddison’s shot from outside the penalty area took a wicked deflection off the arm of Scott McKenna and found its way past Dean Henderson and into the net.
The Foxes then had their second of the evening in quick succession, as Harvey Barnes curled a low, powerful strike into the far corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Forest’s night then went from bad to worse just after the half-hour mark, as Maddison had his second of the match. The Leicester playmaker expertly struck a free-kick over the wall and into the far corner of the net, with the ball taking a touch off the post on its way in.
The rout was well and truly completed with just over 15 minutes to play, as substitute Patson Daka got in on the act with a sublime backheel finish from inside the area to give Leicester their first win over their fierce rivals since May 2013.
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Under-fire Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers will be breathing a sigh of relief, with everything finally clicking into gear for his side.
It was a dominant performance from start to finish, and the biggest positive of the match for the Foxes was that the defence held firm and were able to secure a priceless clean sheet - their first of the season in the league.
Rodgers will be hoping his team can kick on and move up the table, with some big upcoming matches on the horizon against teams in and around them, such as Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH - James Maddison
Leicester's James Maddison
Image credit: Getty Images
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder produced a faultless performance in what was a must-win game for Leicester. Two goals and an assist in this match takes his tally for direct goal contributions to 27 from the beginning of last season, with the only other English player ahead of him being Harry Kane (34).
Maddison was deployed on the right flank, but Leicester's fluidity in their system also saw him come central on occasion and lurk at the edge of the box. That positional awareness helped him for the opening goal, as he found a pocket of space to hit a long-range shot, which found its way in with the help of a deflection.
In total, Maddison made four key passes and had a pass success rate of 91%. Nottingham Forest left-back Renan Lodi may have a sleepless night this evening thinking about how many times the Leicester man got past him during the game.
Leicester City: Ward 7, Castagne 7, Evans 7, Faes 7, Justin 7, Maddison 10, Tielemans 6, Ndidi 7, Dewsbury-Hall 7, Barnes 8, Vardy 7. Subs: Albrighton 6, Daka 7, Soumare 6, Praet 6.
Nottingham Forest: Henderson 5, Williams 6, Cook 5, McKenna 5, Lodi 6, O'Brien 6, Kouyate 5, Johnson 6, Gibbs-White 7, Lingard 5, Awoniyi 6. Subs: Aurier 6, Yates 6, Freuler 6, Dennis 6, Mangala.
22’ - OFF THE POST! - What a huge chance for Steve Cooper's side! They manage to cut open the Leicester back-line, and Awoniyi is through on goal after a beautiful through pass by Gibbs-White to feed him in, but the Nigerian's shot cannons back off the bottom of the post!
25’ - GOAL! (James Maddison) - The Foxes have taken the lead in the derby! Maddison makes the breakthrough! The home side work the ball really well around the penalty area, before Maddison's shot from the D takes a huge deflection off the arm of McKenna and goes into the back of the net! Scenes as the stands erupt!
27’ - GOAL! (Harvey Barnes) - A two-minute double salvo for Leicester City! Harvey Barnes does his trademark cut inside from just outside the box on the left-hand side, and he beautifully bends a fantastic strike into the bottom far corner!
33’ - GOAL! (James Maddison) - What a goal from James Maddison! He bends his direct free-kick from just outside the area over the wall and into the far corner of the net, with a little touch off the far post on its way in, as Henderson could only watch it fly past him.. A brilliant strike.
73’ - GOAL! (Patson Daka) - That is a sensational finish from the Zambian! Maddison's low cross towards the near post from the right-edge of the box is beautifully flicked into the net by Daka with a fantastic backheel! What a goal that is and it will do wonders for his confidence.
- Since the start of last season, James Maddison has been directly involved in 27 Premier League goals (17 goals, 10 assists), the second-most of any English player in the that time (Harry Kane on 34).
- Leicester City secure their first win of the Premier League season at their eighth attempt, and it is also their first success over Nottingham Forest since May 2013.
- Leicester are just the fifth side in Premier League history to score 3+ goals from outside the box in the first half of a Premier League game and are the first team to do so since Man Utd vs Watford in November 2017.
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