Leicester City moved up to second in the Premier League when they won a highly competitive encounter with Southampton’s top four hopefuls

at King Power Stadium

James Maddison shot from an acute angle after 37 minutes The Foxes midfielder instructed his teammates to back off as he held a socially distant celebration before Harvey Barnes took a second break in second-half stoppage time

The win puts Leicester one point ahead of leaders Manchester United, who will move to third-placed Liverpool on Sunday, while Southampton are eighth and three points outside the top 4

The Saints dominated the early stages, making for the first opening when Che Adams stretched central defense on the counter attack, while Leicester’s Barnes’ powerful drive forced Alex McCarthy to act with the first shot of the game after 19 minutes

The visitors, without the talisman Danny Ings, after the striker tested positive for Covid-19 last week, came close to a reaction from Ryan Bertrand and Will Smallbone on both sides of half-time, but could not find a way past Kasper Schmeichel

In an entertaining conclusion, Stuart Armstrong hit the Leicester crossbar with an excellent hit on the edge of the box while Jan Bednarek scored an excellent shot on goal to deny Barnes and the returning McCarthy, who was saved from Jamie Vardy as both sides urged a late target

Leicester took up to 95 Minute to seal the three points Barnes slipped past McCarthy during the break

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers urged his side to “disrupt the Premier League hierarchy” after a 2-1 win over Newcastle in their last league game kept their top four hopes alive

Rodgers’ side enjoyed their longest undefeated run of the season, their six-game run in all competitions since losing to Everton a month ago, and delivered an assured performance to stay firmly at the top of the competition

Despite their high mid-way position, Leicester has had a tough time at home this season – their four losses at King Power Stadium in 2020-21 are as many as in all of last season

Though Leicester was largely frustrated in the early exchanges when the visitors held the ball, the superior quality of attack ensured the record was improved as Maddison spun sharply to hit Youri Tielemans’ pass before going after Home bored

The form-strong Barnes impressed again and finally achieved the goal his performance deserved to achieve his best record of the season of 10 after just 24 games

Unlike the post-Christmas breakdown last season, the Foxes have yet to show signs of a waste Maddison, who has been involved in six of the last twelve league goals at Leicester, and Barnes are easing the pressure on Vardy to deliver every week and it the strength seems to lie in the depth to better cope with this challenge

The only worry for Rodgers at the end of a pleasant night was the sight of Vardy, who seemed to be limping as he was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho in the last few minutes

When Southampton won the related game last January, the 2-1 win was a remarkable short-term recovery from a record loss to the Foxes less than three months ago

A year later, this match was another reminder of how fast the Saints are advancing under Ralph Hasenhuttl

In the absence of frontman Ings, however, they were unable to set a record of seven straight away games without losing that, despite their relative freshness, was that they had not played for 12 days after the FA Cup game against Shrewsbury Town The League One club had been postponed last weekend due to a Covid-19 outbreak

After the impressive 1-0 win over Liverpool on 4 January, which left Hasenhuttl with tears in his eyes, Southampton again prevailed with commendable determination, but could not produce in the last third

Adams ran out of space on the sideline after breaking away from the center line at the first opening of the game, and neither Bertrand nor Smallbone could get past Schmeichel, whose hard work they might deserve, to compensate. p>
On the back, Bednarek brought up the heroics to keep his team in the game and full-back Kyle Walker-Peters made a regular exit on the right but Southampton, who named four teenagers on his bench due to an injury crisis , have now only scored once in five league games

This is an obvious concern for Hasenhuttl as he wants to make sure his squad doesn’t fade after their promising start

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers told BBC Sport: “It’s a very good win against a good team. We were too passive in the beginning, we took social distance from the letter and we didn’t get close to them. After that we had some sustained attacks and scored a brilliant goal

“At halftime we had to repeat the importance of the fight, you have to fight for every result and Southampton continues. We were great in the second half and should have scored more goals. We did the dirty work a lot better and Harvey Barnes showed again that he’s now a finisher “

At Maddison’s celebration: “I told them there was a lot of negatives, but see it as positive and be creative The fans still want the players to celebrate happiness, so be creative with it”

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “It’s never nice to lose a game, but we had chances, we hit the bar, we fought with everything we got, we are definitely a team that never gives up The quality of the opponent was better today than ours

“The first goal, you don’t score like that every day, it was fantastic by Maddison We had a good chance but couldn’t finish and that was the difference

“It’s not looking good right now, we have a lot of injuries and not many alternatives. The good news is we have 29 points and they are not taking us away. We did our best with the opportunities we have. We have nine Injured, but we fight for everything “

Both sides return to action on Tuesday Leicester will host Chelsea in the Premier League at 8:15 p.m. GMT, while Southampton Shrewsbury will play in the postponed third round of the FA Cup (8:00 p.m.) at St Mary’s greeted

goal! Leicester City 2, Southampton 0 Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) shot right foot from the center of the box into the center of the goal. Prepared by Youri Tielemans after a quick break

Attempt missed Stuart Armstrong’s (Southampton) right-footed shot from outside the box is up after a corner and far to the right

Attempt missed Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right-footed shot from outside the box is too high Assisted by Marc Albrighton

Attempt saved Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) tries a left footed shot from the center of the box, saved by the goalkeeper in the center of the box Assisted by James Justin

Attempt missed Daniel N’Lundulu (Southampton) header missed from the center of the box to the left. Assisted by Kyle Walker-Peters with a cross

Attempt blocked Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ayoze Pérez with a cross

Attempt missed James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from the center of the box goes up and wide to the right. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong

Leicester City v Southampton

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Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55598710