Home Sports News Aston Villa 1 – 2 Leicester City

Aston Villa 1 – 2 Leicester City

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James Maddison and Harvey Barnes scored as Leicester City edged out an Aston Villa side missing the injured Jack Grealish.

Maddison found the net inside the opening 20 minutes, side-footing the ball into the far corner.

Moments later, Barnes was on hand to strike home a rebound, giving the Foxes a deserved two-goal lead.

Villa lacked creativity without captain Grealish – who has a leg injury that is set to keep him out for around a month – but were given a lifeline when Bertrand Traore volleyed home a loose ball.

The hosts struggled to create further openings as Leicester held on to go second in the Premier League, three points clear of Manchester United, who host Newcastle later on Sunday (19:00 GMT).

With England manager Gareth Southgate watching on, English duo Maddison and Barnes barely put a foot wrong for Leicester in the first half.

Maddison, 24, had been involved in eight goals in his past nine league appearances coming into this fixture, and it took him just 19 minutes to curl Leicester in front after a lay-off from Barnes.

And Barnes was then in the right place moments later, tapping in after Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez parried a close-range Jamie Vardy effort.

Maddison was substituted midway through the second half after a minor knock to his hip.

But Barnes continued to orchestrate from midfield, playing through Vardy who fired a dangerous effort across the face of goal late on.

For the first time since November 2019, club captain Jack Grealish was not in the Aston Villa squad for a Premier League match.

“He had some discomfort in training this week. At the end of the week, we decided he wasn’t right to play,” Villa boss Dean Smith told Sky Sports before the game.

Nobody has been involved in more Villa goals than Grealish this season, and without their captain, Smith’s side looked a shadow of their usual selves in the first half.

Forward Traore halved the deficit three minutes after the restart, pouncing on a loose ball after Matt Targett’s cross was flicked on by John McGinn.

But Leicester easily wrestled back control, with a late Tyrone Mings header the only other chance of note for the hosts.

Grealish had started Villa’s previous 48 league fixtures – but they must learn to adapt to life without him for the next few games.

-BBC

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