Premier League
Leicester4Sunderland2

Leicester City 4-2 Sunderland

Jamie Vardy scores
Since the start of April, Leicester have won 25 points which is more than any other Premier League side.

Claudio Ranieri's tenure as Leicester City manager began with a magnificent opening-day victory against Sunderland.

The hosts scored three goals in the first 30 minutes, with a deft Jamie Vardy header starting the scoring.

Riyad Mahrez then headed home before scoring from the spot after a Lee Cattermole foul on the Algerian.

Jermain Defoe gave the Black Cats hope but, after Marc Albrighton had struck for the Foxes, Steven Fletcher's late header was mere consolation.

Sunderland's defence falters

The ease with which Leicester scored will worry Sunderland fans, their team seeming to have carried last season's defensive failings into this new campaign.

They began with new recruit Younes Kaboul partnering Sebastian Coates - who made his loan move from Liverpool permanent during the close season - in the centre of defence but the new-look partnership failed on the opening day.

"We clearly weren't at it," said Kaboul. "We were late for every ball. We conceded a lot and we were not sharp enough."

Sunderland conceded two sloppy goals early on, allowing Marc Albrighton's crosses from the left to find two of the smallest players on the pitch. From then on, Leicester gained confidence and Sunderland failed to cope with the home side's quick, crisp movement.

Lee Cattermole
Lee Cattermole clumsily fouled Riyad Mahrez inside the box and was substituted in the 30th minute

'The Tinkerman' returns

Claudio Ranieri made a winning return to the Premier League, 11 years after being sacked as Chelsea manager by owner Roman Abramovich.

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Ranieri salutes 'outstanding' Leicester

The Leicester boss, known as 'the Tinkerman' for his constant changing of his starting line-ups, was a surprise replacement for Nigel Pearson in the summer but, should his new team continue to perform with such attacking verve, his first season with the Foxes will be trouble free - although the ease in which Sunderland scored twice is a note of caution.

Ranieri described his side's performance as "outstanding" and, indeed, they could have scored more, with Shinji Okazaki missing one glorious chance in the second half. Mahrez, too, hit the woodwork after the break and forced a fine save Costel Pantilimon.

The coach chose to rely on the players who secured top-flight survival last term by winning win seven of their last nine games to finish 14th, with only one summer signing - Okazaki - in his starting line-up,

Of the familiar Leicester faces, it was striker Vardy and winger Mahrez who particularly excelled, their creativity and pace causing Sunderland problems.

Leicester attack down the wings

Riyad Mahrez's
How Leicester's players combined for Riyad Mahrez opening goal

Sunderland were fragile on the right side of their defence and 42.2% of Leicester's attacks came from that flank. Marc Albrighton caused damage in the first half with his crosses from the left wing and combined well with Jeff Schlupp and Okazaki for the second goal, which Mahrez scored.

'I told players to be warriors'

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri: "It was a very good start and I am very happy with my players in the first match, which is so important in front of our fans. I told my players to be the warriors for them.

"The performance was outstanding from the beginning. Okazaki played very well but I don't like to just say that because the whole team played well."

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Sunderland need changes - Advocaat

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat: "After 10 minutes there were three crosses and three goals. At this level this cannot happen.

"You have to show every minute away from home and we didn't see that in the first half. We have to wait [for new players]. We struggled again. Everybody can see that we need more."

Leicester winger Marc Albrighton: "Claudio Ranieri has come in with fresh ideas to add to the way we were playing. He didn't want to change too much but he has new ideas and we are taking them on board."

Man of the match

Riyad Mahrez's pace and invention posed havoc all afternoon and the Algeria international could have had a hat-trick before receiving a deserved standing ovation from the Leicester fans as he was substituted towards the end of the match.

The stats you need to know

  • Since the start of April, Leicester have won more points than any other Premier League side (25).
  • The Foxes have won six and lost just one of their last seven league games at the King Power Stadium.
  • Jamie Vardy has five goals and four assists in his last 11 league appearances.
  • Jermain Defoe has now scored in 15 different Premier League seasons, and has 129 goals in total.
  • Marc Albrighton ended last season with three assists but already has two after the opening game of 2015-16.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2de LaetSubstituted forBenalouaneat 75'minutes
  • 6Huth
  • 5Morgan
  • 15SchluppBooked at 90mins
  • 11Albrighton
  • 10King
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forFuchsat 77'minutes
  • 20Okazaki
  • 9VardyBooked at 49minsSubstituted forKantéat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Hammond
  • 14Kanté
  • 19Kramaric
  • 23Ulloa
  • 28Fuchs
  • 29Benalouane
  • 32Schwarzer

Sunderland

  • 1Pantilimon
  • 2JonesBooked at 42minsSubstituted forMatthewsat 54'minutes
  • 22CoatesBooked at 85mins
  • 15KaboulBooked at 73mins
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 6CattermoleSubstituted forFletcherat 30'minutes
  • 11Johnson
  • 7Larsson
  • 8RodwellBooked at 17mins
  • 17Lens
  • 18Defoe

Substitutes

  • 4Bridcutt
  • 12Matthews
  • 16O'Shea
  • 19Graham
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 25Mannone
  • 26Fletcher
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
32,242

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home20
Away11
Shots on Target
Home8
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 4, Sunderland 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 4, Sunderland 2.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Sebastián Coates.

Adam Johnson (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Younes Kaboul.

Attempt blocked. Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by N'Golo Kanté.

Foul by Jack Rodwell (Sunderland).

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Sebastián Coates (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Sebastián Coates (Sunderland).

Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Jeremain Lens (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Yohan Benalouane (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. N'Golo Kanté replaces Jamie Vardy.

Attempt blocked. Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Rodwell.

Foul by Sebastián Coates (Sunderland).

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Andy King (Leicester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Christian Fuchs replaces Riyad Mahrez.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Yohan Benalouane replaces Ritchie de Laet because of an injury.

Delay in match Ritchie de Laet (Leicester City) because of an injury.

Booking

Younes Kaboul (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Younes Kaboul (Sunderland).

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 4, Sunderland 2. Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jeremain Lens.

Attempt missed. Jeremain Lens (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Adam Johnson with a cross.

Younes Kaboul (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 4, Sunderland 1. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Foul by Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland).

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Johnson with a headed pass.

Attempt missed. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Daniel Drinkwater.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 3, Sunderland 1. Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Johnson with a through ball.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Costel Pantilimon.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester11004223
2Crystal Palace11003123
3Aston Villa11001013
4Man Utd11001013
5Chelsea10102201
6Everton10102201
7Swansea10102201
8Watford10102201
9Arsenal00000000
10Liverpool00000000
11Man City00000000
12Newcastle00000000
13Southampton00000000
14Stoke00000000
15West Brom00000000
16West Ham00000000
17Bournemouth100101-10
18Tottenham100101-10
19Sunderland100124-20
20Norwich100113-20
View full Premier League table

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