Southampton 1-4 Leicester: Jamie Vardy scores after 21 seconds and Wilfred Ndidi slots home his third this season as Foxes return to top of the Championship… with Kamaldeen Sulemana sent off late on for hosts
Leicester are well at the top of the Championship after another clash at St Mary’s on Friday evening, which at times was reminiscent of the 9-0 win in 2019.
It would take some implosion for Southampton to match the farcical performance of almost four years ago, but Russell Martin’s side looked determined to give it a try as their defense was repeatedly sliced open by Enzo Maresca’s side. They have now conceded nine goals in two games.
They trailed after 21 seconds when Stephy Malvididi preyed on an unwieldy Shea Charles and played a one-two with Jamie Vardy, who scored from the edge of the penalty area.
Southampton had had a host of other chances before Will Smallbone lost possession and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall found Kasey McAteer free at the far post to make it 0-2. “We want nine” the end sang.
Not that Leicester’s defense looked much more solid. Southampton’s attackers, in particular Che Adams, found many gaps and he almost exploited Maresca’s defense as they nervously tried to play out from the back.
It was Harry Winks who lost the ball in his own penalty area, with Smallbone quickly finding Adams before Mads Hermansen made a brilliant last-ditch save.
Adams soon took advantage of another mistake when Callum Doyle lost his balance, allowing the Saints forward to find Sam Edozie who was thinking over Hermansen.
The home crowd responded and for a while it looked like the home team would score the equalizer. But Martin’s new defense dispersed again, allowing Winks to find Malvididi and in turn Wilfred Ndidi, who showed neat footwork to restore the Foxes cushion with two goals on the stroke of half-time.
With Southampton putting more and more players forward, Leicester put the match beyond doubt with a fourth goal.
Kamaldeen Sulemana lost possession to Mavididi just outside Leicester’s penalty area and the former Montpellier winger ran the length of the pitch to score in the bottom corner in front of the cheering away fans, leaving Leicester in pole position.
there was more misery for Southampton in the final seconds of stoppage time, who had Sulemana sent off for a late challenge on James Justin.