LEICESTER: Leicester City’s James Maddison scored two first half goals as they crushed Nottingham Forest 4-0 yesterday to move off the bottom of the table with their first Premier League win of the season.
The home victory in the East Midlands derby lifted some of the pressure off Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers and piled more on Forest’s Steve Cooper, whose promoted side are now last after a fifth straight defeat.
The Foxes, who had taken one point from their first seven games and were the only winless side in the top flight, moved ahead of Forest on goal difference.
The visitors could have taken the lead against the run of play in the 22nd minute when a Taiwo Awoniyi shot bounced back off the post, but Leicester were 2-0 up with the King Power crowd roaring five minutes later.
Maddison broke the ice with the first in the 25th minute, his shot from just outside the box deflected in off the arm of Forest defender Scott McKenna, and Harvey Barnes doubled the lead two minutes later.
Forest goalkeeper Dean Henderson’s nightmare evening continued when Maddison bagged his second with a perfectly flighted free kick in the 35th that flew over the wall and clipped the inside of the post as it went in.
Substitute Patson Daka, who came on for former England striker Jamie Vardy in the 62nd, wrapped up the scoring in the 73rd with a stunning backheel from a Maddison cross.
The win, watched by the club’s Thai chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, was Leicester’s first clean sheet in the league this season.
“It’s been too long to be honest,” said Rodgers. “We should have won before now and we’ve had some tough games. But I thought we were excellent tonight with our intensity in the game and our pressing.
“It’s a great night for the players and it’s brilliant for the supporters. I said beforehand that it was a season-changing game if we could get a result here and push on.”
The manager said he had used video of Leicester’s 4-1 defeat to Forest in the FA Cup fourth round last February as pre-match motivation for his players and Maddison said it worked a treat.
“It was the perfect game for us tonight, everything felt right about it; the build-up, the preparation this week, the manager’s team talk before. It just felt right and it was a great night for the club,” he told Sky Sports.
Cooper refused to criticise a team of recently signed players who have yet to gel but said Forest had given Leicester too much space and squandered the chances they did have.
“I’m not thinking about my job,” he added. “I’m doing my job. The worry in my mind is not my personal situation, its Nottingham Forest has lost another football match.” - Reuters