Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes Could Inspire Another Leicester European Charge

03 November 2020 01:20

Brendan Rodgers must have missed the announcement that his bubble had burst.

The dip that followed Leicester's stunning win at the Etihad was supposed to have sent them tumbling back towards mid-table mediocrity, but Monday's comprehensive 4-1 victory at Elland Road was their fourth win on the bounce in all competitions, and left them in second place in the Premier League.

Manchester City, Arsenal and Leeds are, on paper, three of the toughest away games the 2020/21 Premier League has to offer, yet Leicester have beaten them all in just over a month, scoring ten times in the process.

They might not be as good as they were when they were tipped to challenge Liverpool for the title this time a year ago, but on Monday's evidence, they're not a million miles from it.

They outsmarted Leeds at every turn, standing firm in front of the ball and letting their hosts, coached by the uncompromising Marcelo Bielsa, have it. Lining up with a 5-4-1, they camped in front of the ball, their midfield line often on the edge of their own third.yet still looked the more likely of the two sides to score throughout a comfortable first half.

They could do that because of the man leading their attacking line, and the player who is fast becoming Robin to his Batman.

Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes are developing an understanding that looks lethal. When Vardy ran onto Robin Koch's brain fart of a back-pass and took it round Illan Meslier, there wasn't a second thought in his mind about where the ball was going next; straight into the space Barnes was about to occupy for a simple opening goal.

It was a constant theme throughout the first 45 minutes, Vardy occupying the central defenders and Barnes, given license to roam from his role on the left of their midfield four, charging inside to support him. Tactically it was simple, but the duo were too decisive and incisive on the break for Leeds to handle.

The second was a slightly different story. As Leeds got their act together and chased the game, both of Leicester's dynamic duo found themselves increasingly isolated. Barnes was withdrawn, as was the functional Dennis Praet, but it turns out it doesn't hurt to have a bench with James Maddison and Cengiz Under on it.

They weathered the Leeds storm, and courtesy of further goals from Vardy and Youri Tielemans, they made sure of a comfortable victory that put them second in the Premier League table.

They were disappointed not to make the Champions League last term, but if Vardy, Barnes and the rest of the supporting cast can keep these kinds of performances coming, then in one of the strangest Premier League seasons in memory, you wouldn't bet against them putting that right.

Source: 90min