After a fifth consecutive Premier League victory at Newcastle, Youri Tielemans ensured Leicester remained in the title chase. After James Maddison’s opening goal (55th minute), Tielemans scored 18 minutes from time to hand the Foxes a 2-1 victory, benefiting from two uncommon quality features in an otherwise ordinary game that struggled to shine on wintry Tyneside.
James Maddison opened the scoring for Leicester (Michael Regan/PA) Newcastle momentarily raised expectations when replacement Andy Carroll scored his first goal for the club in more than 10 years in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late. Even Jamie Vardy was off his game as he was constantly adjudged to be offside, although it was his clever back pass that helped Maddison to score. From the beginning, the Foxes came into the game well, Maddison taking advantage of a clear path on the cover of Wilfred Ndidi and Tielemans to put the hosts on the defensive, and it was he who gave the early warning three minutes after a blocked shot, when he put a flick across goal. Seven minutes later, Tielemans and Vardy blended through the home side’s defense, but after a back pass, Tielemans opted instead of shooting to aim for Harvey Barnes and took the ball straight out of play. Seconds later, after expertly rounding goalkeeper Karl Darlow, Vardy had the ball in the net, but luckily it was from an off-side spot for the Magpies. As Steve Bruce’s men held possession for an extended time, culminating in Joelinton heading a Federico Fernandez cross straight at Kasper Schmeichel, the deficit sparked a late response. The higher pace of Newcastle made it difficult for Leicester to play out of safety, but in stoppage time they were relieved to see Wesley Fofana’s header from Maddison’s corner fly high over the target. In a messy opening period of the second half, neither side was able to find a decisive finish, half-chances came and went, with Vardy again unable to beat the offside trap of the Magpies and Miguel Almiron unable to find a gap in the backline of the Foxes as Callum Wilson burst into space. Andy Carroll ended his long wait for a goal for Newcastle (Lee Smith/PA) Ten minutes after the restart, however, Leicester managed to take the lead: Barnes played a fast pass to Vardy after Almiron lost the ball in midfield, who crossed inside and fed Maddison, who slid the ball past the helpless Darlow. Maddison and Barnes both struggled to defeat Darlow. Visitors felt their opportunity to settle the game and it looked possible when Marc Albrighton broke down the right, played in Tielemans and slotted home unchallenged on the edge of the area with 18 minutes left. Carroll momentarily threatened to ruin Leicester’s day when he scored his first Newcastle goal nine minutes from time since Boxing Day 2010, but the 2016 champions had no trouble g