Premier League
LeicesterLeicester City3Aston VillaAston Villa2

Leicester City 3-2 Aston Villa

By Andy CryerBBC Sport
Nathan Dyer
Nathan Dyer, who is on loan from Swansea, scored with his only attempt on goal for the Foxes.

Unbeaten Leicester City produced a thrilling second-half comeback to recover from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa and move second in the table.

Jack Grealish curled in a deserved opener from 20 yards, his first goal, for a dominant Villa early on and Carles Gil swept in a second.

Ritchie de Laet volleyed the hosts a lifeline and Jamie Vardy prodded Leicester level.

Nathan Dyer scored the winner with a brave late header on his debut.

The winger had only signed from Swansea on loan on deadline day but made himself an instant hero and left Villa with just one win from five matches.

He just beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan to a chipped pass from the impressive Riyad Mahrez before taking a blow to the head and staying down injured as the ball rolled into the net.

Can Mahrez keep firing the Foxes?

Algerian winger Mahrez proved the inspiration behind Leicester's second-half recovery as he continued his impressive start to the season.

He had scored four goals already this season to help the Foxes to an unbeaten start, but a poor first half was mirrored by his side as they were dominated by Villa.

He came to life after the break with a stunning display of pace and skill, having a hand in all three of rejuvenated Leicester's second-half goals.

His improvement, and his side's, came when they switched to a 4-2-3-1 from a 4-4-2, as the Foxes took the game to Villa.

They were well on top when Gil doubled Villa's lead but, with Mahrez's corner flicked home by De Laet, Leicester continued to push and got the goals their second-half display deserved.

Touches
Riyad Mahrez had the third most touches of any player but it was after the break (right), when he played more centrally, that he was more of a threat on Villa's goal as shown by his touch graphic for each half

Fantastic Foxes

Leicester City 3-2 Aston Villa: Ranieri only thinking about survival

Leicester City have now gone nine Premier League games unbeaten, winning six, and are joint level with Manchester City as the Premier League's form team since 4 April.

Leicester have picked up 33 points from 14 matches and, with the exception of top scorers Manchester City, have scored at least 11 more goals than any other team in this period.

There were fears for their top-flight safety after the sacking of manager Nigel Pearson in the summer but, under former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri, they have continued where they left off.

Who will Grealish choose?

Villa had to cope with the summer losses of Fabian Delph, Ron Vlaar and Christian Benteke down the spine of their team, making their slow start to the season no surprise.

But 20-year-old Villa academy product Grealish helped his side control the first half, in just his second league appearance this season, and thoroughly deserved his first goal.

He struggled to repeat his influence after the break though as Villa were undone by a vibrant Leicester.

With the Republic of Ireland and England wanting him to commit his international future to them, repeats of Sunday's first-half performance will increase the interest in the talented midfielder.

Man of the match: Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez had a hand in all three of Leicester's goals as he sparked a second-half comeback

'I've never felt this bad'

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri told BBC Sport: "It was a fantastic second half. We know they played better early on but after 2-0 we started to play with our spirit and it was a very fantastic match.

"We scored a good first goal that gave confidence to everybody and maybe Villa players were wondering what could happen now."

Tim Sherwood says he has 'never felt this bad'

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood told BBC Sport: "I've never felt this bad. Ever. There was a lot of bad play there in the last half hour. The only way you can stop the momentum is to stop the opposition. We turned it over stupidly.

"What can I say? I'm gutted for everyone who's associated with the football club. We have to stop letting in soft goals. Who cares if we played well? We lost. Totally lost."

The stats you need to know

  • Jack Grealish is the youngest player to score for Aston Villa in the Premier League since Nathan Delfouneso in November 2010
  • Leicester have lost only one of 10 Premier League home games against Aston Villa
  • Carles Gil has scored his first ever Premier League goal for Aston Villa
  • Mahrez has had a hand in nine Leicester goals in his last eight Premier League games (Six goals, one assist)
  • Villa have conceded a total of 14 goals in their last five away league games
  • Jamie Vardy has been directly involved in a goal in five of his last six Premier League appearances for the Foxes

Who's up next?

Leicester travel to second bottom side Stoke on Saturday in the Premier League, while Villa entertain West Brom on the same day.

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2de Laet
  • 6Huth
  • 5Morgan
  • 15Schlupp
  • 26Mahrez
  • 33InlerSubstituted forKantéat 64'minutes
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 11AlbrightonBooked at 45minsSubstituted forUlloaat 64'minutes
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forDyerat 45'minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 10King
  • 14Kanté
  • 17Simpson
  • 19Kramaric
  • 23Ulloa
  • 24Dyer
  • 32Schwarzer

Aston Villa

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Guzan
  • 7BacunaSubstituted forHuttonat 86'minutes
  • 4Richards
  • 16Lescott
  • 23AmaviBooked at 81mins
  • 24C Sánchez
  • 15Westwood
  • 25GilSubstituted forJ Ayewat 66'minutes
  • 40Grealish
  • 9Sinclair
  • 11AgbonlahorSubstituted forGestedeat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Clark
  • 17Veretout
  • 18Richardson
  • 19J Ayew
  • 21Hutton
  • 31Bunn
  • 39Gestede
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
31,733

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home21
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leicester City 3, Aston Villa 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leicester City 3, Aston Villa 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa).

  5. Post update

    Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  9. Post update

    Delay in match Nathan Dyer (Leicester City) because of an injury.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Leicester City 3, Aston Villa 2. Nathan Dyer (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a through ball.

  11. Post update

    Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Robert Huth (Leicester City).

  13. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Ashley Westwood tries a through ball, but Scott Sinclair is caught offside.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Alan Hutton replaces Leandro Bacuna.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

  16. Post update

    Nathan Dyer (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Robert Huth.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Leicester City 2, Aston Villa 2. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Drinkwater.

  20. Booking

    Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City55001101115
2Leicester5320117411
3Man Utd531163310
4Arsenal531153210
5Crystal Palace53028629
6Everton52218538
7Swansea52217528
8Norwich521289-17
9Liverpool521236-37
10West Ham42029636
11Southampton51315506
12Tottenham51314406
13Watford513134-16
14West Brom512236-35
15Aston Villa511368-24
16Bournemouth511369-34
17Chelsea5113712-54
18Newcastle402225-32
19Stoke502337-42
20Sunderland5023611-52
View full Premier League table

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