Leicester City vs Villarreal: Match Report
The Leicester City team return to play at the King Power Stadium | Credit: @LCFC

Leicester City triumphed 3-2 over Europa League winners Villarreal in the Foxes' final pre-season game at the King Power Stadium.

Goals from Caglar Soyuncu,  Harvey Barnes, and Ayoze Perez, were enough to defeat the Yellow Submarine in a tense atmosphere following a horrific injury to young Fox Wesley Fofana.

Brendan Rodgers' side had not played on Filbert Way since April, having spent their three previous pre-season fixtures away from home.

The Foxes made two changes from their starting eleven against QPR, as midfield maestro James Maddison returned to replace Boubakary Soumarewhilst Kasper Schmeichel started over Eldin Jakupovic in goal.

Early Attacking from Foxes

The home side pressured the Villarreal defence early on with full-backs Ryan Bertrand and Ricardo Pereira advancing down the Leicester wings.

Pushing for an opener, the Foxes came very close through Soyuncu in the 22nd minute. The Turkish defender managed to meet Maddison's clever freekick with a well-placed header, however, goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo was able to dismiss the danger and keep hold of the ball.

Rodgers' side came close once again through another Bertrand set-piece. The full-back's looping freekick was met by a towering header from Wilfred Ndidi, the midfielder lifted the ball over Asenjo and towards Perez who's effort was painstakingly just wide of the Villarreal goal in the 27th minute.

Jamie Vardy continued his search for a first pre-season goal with an inventive effort in the 30th minute. The forward attempted a clever backheel flick after meeting an accurate cross from Perez, his effort was comfortably saved in the end by Asenjo.

Harvey Barnes scores on his return to the <b><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://vavel.com/en/football/2021/05/22/leicester-city/1072254-the-key-quotes-from-brendan-rodgers-pre-match-press-conference-ahead-of-final-game-of-the-season.html' href='https://vavel.com/en/football/2021/05/22/leicester-city/1072254-the-key-quotes-from-brendan-rodgers-pre-match-press-conference-ahead-of-final-game-of-the-season.html'>King Power</a></b> | Credit: @LCFC
Harvey Barnes scores on his return to the King Power | Credit: @LCFC

The Foxes finally broke the deadlock in the 40th minute thanks to a powerful header from Soyuncu. The defender met a perfectly whipped free-kick from Bertrand to fire the ball past a helpless Asenjo and put his side 1-0 ahead.

Leicester were flying at this point and fired in a second goal just two minutes later through Barnes. The winger latched onto a well-weighted pass from Bertrand to blast a powerful strike past the goalkeeper and into the top corner in the 42 minute.

As the referee blew his whistle for half-time, Rodgers' side went into the break full of momentum and 2-0 up at the King Power.

Chances for new Foxes at the King Power

The Scotsman made four changes at halftime with Danny Ward, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Patson Daka, and Soumare replacing Schmeichel, Ndidi, Vardy, and Tielemans. 

Daka instantly tested the Villarreal defence, his left-footed strike from the edge of the box was forced wide from the goalkeeper in the 49th minute.

Leicester's third was fired in minutes later, this time through Perez in the 51st minute. Some clever footwork and a perfect pass across goal from Dewsbury-Hall allowed the Spaniard a simple tap into an almost empty net to make it 3-0.

The Foxes were dealt a heavy injury blow in the 60th minute after a horror challenge from Fer Niño saw Fofana stretchered off with a long-term injury. The 20-year-old defender will likely miss a big part of the upcoming season and will be missed by the squad and supporters alike.

Youngster Ben Nelson came on to replace Fofana whilst Daniel Amartey, Kelechi Iheanacho, Marc Albrighton, Dennis Praet, Luke Thomas, and Filip Benković were also brought on by Rodgers.

Brendan Rodgers talks tactics with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the 2nd half | Credit: @LCFC
Brendan Rodgers talks tactics with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the 2nd half | Credit: @LCFC

The Yellow Submarine pulled a goal back in the 76th minute, Niño managed to find space in the Leicester box and slot the ball past Ward to make it 3-1.

The away side found the net once again just minutes later, with substitute Álex Millán firing the ball past Ward to make it 3-2.

There were no chances of a late comeback however as the referee blew his whistle for full time. Leicester walked away the victors as the final score finished 3-2 to the Foxes.