The Warm Down: Leicester City run riot against Sheffield United as Kelechi Iheanacho gets a hat-trick
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: Kelechi Iheanacho (L) of Leicester City celebrates with team mates after scoring their side's third goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Sheffield United at The King Power Stadium on March 14, 2021 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City collected a big three points at the weekend as they thrashed Sheffield United

Kelechi Iheanacho scored his first Premier League hat-trick against the Blades with the Nigerian looking unstoppable in the East-Midlands, taking his chances well. 

Paul Heckingbottom’s side never really threatened the Leicester City goal or in fact their box, taking one shot, not on goal. The Blades struggled to get out their own half, and found it hard at times to withstand the constant Leicester pressure if truth be told. 

  • Leicester make a statement

Leicester hit a worrying patch of form recently, losing to Arsenal and Slavia Prague but the Foxes are in full flow now as Rodgers’ Leicester look to end the season strongly. 

After the East-Midlander’s dominant performance against Sheffield United in the East-Midlands on Sunday, the Foxes have sent out a statement to the surrounding clubs to say that they are not messing around. 

Brendan Rodgers’ men hit five past the Blades and were completely dominant all afternoon, putting Heckingbottom’s side to misery. Four goals in the second half from the Blues has not only moved them into second place in the league, but has also increased their goal difference. In such a tight race for a top four spot this Premier League campaign, it may come down to the fine margins of goal difference. 

With pressure around the Foxes, with the likes of Chelsea, Everton, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, it’s crucial that Leicester are beating sides that are lower down the table. 

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  • Vardy and Iheanacho a deadly duo

In recent games for Leicester, the striker partnering of Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho has worked a treat with the duo causing issues all game for sides. 

Iheanacho scored a hat-trick against the Blades, with two of his goals being set-up by his fellow striker, Vardy. Both of Vardy’s assist were played across goal to the Nigerian who did the rest. 

The striker himself actually came close on numerous occasions to ending his goal drought, with one of his efforts being cleared off the line. Vardy was the main cause of Ethan Ampadu’s own goal in the 80th minute, after his shot drilled across goal was deflected in by the Welsh international. 

With no James Maddison and no Harvey Barnes in the Leicester side due to injuries, Iheanacho in particular has stepped up to the role to get balls in the back of the net for the Foxes. The pair have been brilliant together, complementing each other in the final third. 

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  • Ayoze Perez back and scoring

Ayoze Perez was restored to the team this weekend after being absent for a number of weeks, suffering with an injury. The Spaniard looked to be involved in the Leicester counter-attacks, being influential in most. 

He came close to finding the opener in the 12th minute, glancing a header from Timothy Castagne cross. It looked to be nestling into the bottom corner, but the fingertip of Aaron Ramsdale came to the rescue for the Blades, as he tipped it onto the post. 

Perez managed to find his first goal since January, as he was given space outside the box before unleashing a wonderful strike which bounced into the far corner to claim Leicester’s second of the afternoon. The former Newcastle United man has a wonderful record of scoring versus the South-Yorkshire side, netting his third in three appearances against the Blades

Overall, Perez displayed a fantastic performance against Sheffield United. Although the man of the match award was given to Iheanacho, Perez had a great game returning from his injury.