Leicester City 2 Swansea City 1: Vardy and Morgan give champions first win
Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan struck as champions Leicester City defeated Swansea City 2-1 to record their first victory of the new Premier League season.
England international Vardy powerfully opened the scoring in the first half and Morgan doubled the hosts’ advantage shortly after the break with a close-range volley.
Riyad Mahrez then had a penalty saved by Lukasz Fabianski, but Swansea rarely looked like preventing Claudio Ranieri’s 100th Premier League win as a manager, even though Leroy Fer’s late header briefly gave them hope.
Leicester’s first win in three games gets their title defence up and running, while Francesco Guidolin’s men have now suffered consecutive defeats since their win over Burnley on the opening day.
The Foxes face a tough trip to Liverpool after the international break, while Swansea are at home to Chelsea.
A quiet start to the match saw few clear opportunities created, other than Mahrez firing over from an excellent free-kick opportunity on the edge of the area and Gylfi Sigurdsson twice testing Kasper Schmeichel at the other end.
Leicester got their breakthrough in the 32nd minute when a neat passing sequence inside their own half resulted in Danny Drinkwater’s impressive pass catching out Swansea’s high defensive line and Vardy racing clear to blast a right-footed finish in off the near post.
Sigurdsson curled another effort just over at the other end as the visitors attempted to respond, while Leicester striker Shinji Okazaki forced Fabianski into action with a fierce strike just before the interval.
A dramatic four-minute period early in the second half saw Leicester score a second goal and then miss a spot-kick.
The 52nd-minute goal was a scrappy one, with a corner from the right bouncing off Robert Huth and landing at the feet of fellow centre-back Morgan six yards out. The captain made no mistake, instinctively smashing a volley past Fabianksi.
It looked like Leicester would extend their lead further when Jordi Amat fouled Okazaki as he charged into the box for a clear penalty.
Mahrez stepped up, but Fabianski got down impressively to deny him, before standing firm to also keep out Okazaki on the rebound.
Leicester lost goalkeeper Schmeichel to injury shortly after that spell, with Ron-Robert Zieler handed an unexpected debut as he came on to replace him.
Zieler was kept largely unoccupied until he was beaten 10 minutes before the end, with Fer’s superb header from eight yards finding the bottom corner after Modou Barrow’s cross.
But Swansea had failed to win on their previous 12 visits to Leicester and they could not fashion a chance to grab a late equaliser as the home side held on to extend that streak, with substitute Ahmed Musa spurning an excellent chance to add a third at the death.
Key Opta stats:
- Claudio Ranieri has secured his 100th Premier League win as a manager, becoming the 5th non-British/Irish manager to reach this landmark.
- Jamie Vardy has become the third Leicester player to score 30 Premier League goals, after Muzzy Izzet and Emile Heskey (both 33).
- Six of Danny Drinkwater’s eight Premier League assists have been for Vardy goals.
- Riyad Mahrez has missed three of his last four penalties in the Premier League.