Leicester City 1-0 Newcastle United: Okazaki's wonder strike ruins Benitez's Newcastle debut

Leicester City 1-0 Newcastle United: Okazaki's wonder strike ruins Benitez's Newcastle debut
Photo: VAVEL UK/Jonny Walsh

A massive thanks to you all for joining me, Rhys Melhuish, for tonight's live coverage of Leicester City - Newcastle United. There will be plenty of post-match content coming your way from VAVEL.com, so make sure you don't miss it!

And that's it, Leicester City take the win to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League. Rafa Benitez's first game in charge of Newcastle United ends in a frustrating defeat. The game was a poor one altogether with both sides creating few chances. Shinji Okazaki's acrobatic effort in the first half was enough to seal the win. Benitez's Newcastle looked an improvement than what we've seen in recent weeks, but didn't do enough to take away any points. Their clash with Sunderland at the weekend is absolutely huge.


92: Chance for Leicester but Mahrez fires wide from 20 yards. Final whistle imminent...

90: Three minutes will be added on. Leicester looking happy to keep the ball in the corner.

87: Big chance for Leicester but Mahrez's shot is blocked again. The Newcastle defence have made a fair few blocks tonight!

Substitution for Newcastle, Seydou Doumbia is brought on. Final throw of the dice for Newcastle as he replaces Jonjo Shelvey.

83: Great move from Newcastle down the right-hand side but Janmaat's cross eventually comes to nothing.

81: There are appeals for a Newcastle penalty as Sissoko's strike hits Morgan's arm. Protests waved away.

80: 10 minutes to go at the King Power. Can Newcastle grab an equaliser?

Substitution for Leicester. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Marc Albrighton.

74: Ulloa is getting ready to come on...

Substitution for Newcastle. Siem De Jong makes his return from injury, replacing Ayoze Perez.

69: The corner is headed clear and Newcastle try to launch a counter...

68: Leicester looking threatening on the counter again. This time the ball finds its way to Schlupp, but his shot is blocked by Janmaat. Corner to Leicester.

Substitution for Leicester. Jeffrey Schlupp replaces Shinji Okazaki, whose fantastic strike currently separates the sides.

63: Sissoko fouls Mahrez again, the Frenchman is starting to look rather frustrated.

62: Newcastle have had 84% of the possession over the last five minutes, if only they could make a goal from it!

61: I'm not going to lie, I thought it was in. Perez drives an effort at goal from the edge of the box but it deflects into the side-netting. Close!

58: CHANCE! Sissoko pulls the ball back looking for Perez, it finds its way to Janmaat at the far post but his effort is blocked. The resulting corner comes to nothing.

Newcastle look to have gone 4-4-2, Perez has joined Mitrovic up front.

Substitution for Newcastle. Andros Townsend replaces Vurnon Anita.

53: Andros Townsend is getting ready to come on for Newcastle.

52: Let-off for Newcastle as it comes to nothing.

51: Reckless foul on the edge of the box from Janmaat, the Dutchman bringing down Vardy. Good chance for Leicester here...

49: In similar fashion to the first half, Newcastle have started the better side. Yet to create an opportunity though.

47: The ball is cleared away well by Lascelles.

46: Sissoko gives away a silly foul on the right-hand side. Free kick to Leicester.

The teams are back out on the field, Newcastle will get us underway.

Would you make any changes at half time? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter! @Newcastle_VAVEL

Newcastle have looked much improved tonight than in recent weeks, but they still find themselves behind after a fantastic acrobatic effort from Shinji Okazaki.

HT: Leicester City 1-0 Newcastle United

45: There will be one minute of added time.

44: Newcastle register their first shot on target tonight. Perez picks up the ball at the edge of the box and tries to curl one into the far corner, but his shot is straight at Schmeichel.

43: Game has quitened down. Leicester looking dangerous on the break but Newcastle are still well in this.

39: Janmaat tries one from distance. The less we say about that one, the better.

36: Good move from Leicester, Mahrez and Vardy run at the Newcastle defence but Taylor is there to block it again.

31: Newcastle almost create a great chance. Lovely pass from Wijnaldum but Mitrovic and Sissoko end up in each other's way.

29: Newcastle will need to ensure their heads don't drop, they've played well prior to that goal.

27: Very, very nearly a second goal for Leicester. Albrighton breaks at pace but bends his shot just past Elliot's left-hand post.

It's a stunning goal for Leicester. Vardy heads the ball on and Okazaki pulls off a brilliant bicycle kick to fire the Foxes into the lead. A cruel blow for Newcastle, who have arguably been the better side to this point.

24: GOAL FOR LEICESTER. Fantastic goal from Okazaki!

20: Half-chance for Newcastle. Mitrovic picks up the ball in the penalty area, he does well to hold off the defender but drags his cross-cum-shot wide of the far post.

17: Mahrez gets away Leicester's first shot of the match, but Taylor does well to head it behind. Huth heads over from the resulting corner.

16: Decent chance for Newcastle! Perez whips in a fantastic cross towards Sissoko at the back post, but the Frenchman doesn't meet the ball cleanly.

13: Craig Pawson waves away Leicester's penalty appeals after Janmaat brings down Vardy, correct decision.

10: Good run by Albrighton down the left, but Lascelles clears his cross.

7: Shelvey whips in a corner, but Sissoko is beaten to the ball. Leicester unable to get into the game so far.

4: Colback lashes one wide of the near post. Newcastle causing all of the pressure early on.

3: Good link-up play between Mitrovic and Wijnaldum sees the ball find its way to Perez in the box, but he can't direct his shot on target. Positive start for Newcastle!

1: Sissoko is almost played in after just 15 seconds, but Leicester clear their lines. What a start that would have been!


Leicester will get us underway, kicking left-to-right...

There's an incredible atmosphere at the King Power tonight, as is expected for suge a huge clash for both sides. We're just moments away from kick-off now!

Less than 10 minutes to go until kick-off! Make sure you stick right here for live commentary right through until the final whistle!

In the absence of Fabricio Coloccini, Jonjo Shelvey retains the captain's armband for Newcastle.

Happy with the teams? Let us know your thoughts @Newcastle_VAVEL

Newcastle United subs: Darlow, Sterry, Saivet, Townsend, De Jong, Riviere, Doumbia

Newcastle United starting XI: Elliot, Janmaat, Taylor, Lascelles, Colback, Sissoko, Anita, Shelvey, Perez, Wijnaldum, Mitrovic

Leicester City subs: Schwarzer, Wasilewski, Inler, Amartey, Schlupp, Gray, Ulloa

Leicester City starting XI: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Albrighton, Drinkwater, Kante, Mahrez, Okazaki, Vardy

We're an hour away from kick-off at the King Power Stadium, and the wait for Rafa Benitez's first line-up as Newcastle manager is over! Team news coming up!

Kick-off for tonight's game between Leicester City and Newcastle United is at 8:00pm. Be sure to stick with VAVEL for all the build-up, team news, and live coverage in a game which looks set to be huge for both ends of the league!

Paul Dummett will definitely miss the clash with a hamstring injury, with Jack Colback expected to slot in at left-back at the King Power Stadium. 

Benitez's Newcastle could welcome back Fabricio Coloccini and/or Andros Townsend, who have recently been sidelined with respective calf and hamstring injuries. 

Leicester have no new injury concerns. Riyad Mahrez has been declared fit to play after shaking off a knock picked up during last week's win at Watford

Perhaps worryingly for Newcastle, they have lost their last eight Monday night clashes, but Rafa will be desperate for positivity tonight in order to boost his players ahead of next weekend's huge Tyne-Wear derby.

Should Leicester win tonight's clash, it will be their fourth consecutive win over Newcastle in all competitions, the latest coming in a 3-0 triumph at St. James' Park earlier this seasonJamie Vardy scored in that game during his record-breaking streak of scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League games. 

Ranieri: "The league this year is crazy. We are fighting because it's a crazy league and anything could happen. I said there were five games (before the international break this month) and then I can say what we can do. Now I am focused on Newcastle. The three points are very important for us."

Claudio Ranieri and his Foxes have defied all the odds to mount a title challenge, and will be expecting to pick up another three points tonight as they host 19th-placed Newcastle – but with the arrival of Benitez sure to give United a lift, it may not be as straightforward as they were hoping.

Newcastle travel to the year's success story (by some distance) in Leicester City, who, quite incredibly, sit comfortably at the top of Premier League. 

Rafa Benitez faces a stern test in his first Newcastle fixture. | Photo: Newcastle United FC
Rafa Benitez faces a stern test in his first Newcastle fixture. | Photo: Newcastle United FC

Benitez had this to say of his players ahead of the game: "We need to give confidence to our players, to organise the team in the way that we want to do things, and I think we can do it."

After taking training with his new players over the weekend, Benitez heads to the dugout for the first time as Newcastle boss tonight – but his opening game couldn't be much tougher.

The appointment has certainly lifted the spirits of the Newcastle faithful, with the Champions League-winning Spaniard appearing to be a huge coup for the club. 

Friday afternoon finally saw the club make their move, dismissing McClaren and acting quickly to announce ex-LiverpoolChelsea and Real Madrid boss Benitez as their new manager. 

McClaren continued to take training as usual throughout the week, fuelling unrest among the Newcastle support who were desperate for change. 

The last week has been hectic to say the least on Tyneside. Last Saturday's home defeat to Bournemouth looked set to be the final nail in the coffin for Steve McClaren, who looked increasingly incapable of turning around United's dismal campaign. 

Good evening and welcome to VAVEL's live minute-by-minute coverage of Newcastle United's Premier League clash with Leicester CityRafa Benitez is all set to make his debut as manager of the Magpies, as they travel to the table-topping Foxes.