Aston Villa 2-4 Leicester City: Tete scores on debut in Foxes win

Leicester have scored 20 first-half goals in 21 games, only Manchester City (23) have scored more in the Premier League this season

Brazilian winger Tete marked a sparkling debut with a goal as Leicester City edged away from the foot of the Premier League with an excellent win at Villa Park.

Brendan Rodgers’ side were 2-1 down in the first half but rallied to claim three vital points and stem Aston Villa’s fine start to life under Unai Emery.

Ollie Watkins steered the home side ahead after Emiliano Buendia hit the crossbar, only for fit-again James Maddison to immediately level.

Watkins then drove a shot in off another new Foxes signing, Harry Souttar, but Kelechi Iheanacho equalised again with a header before Tete rounded Emiliano Martinez to put Leicester ahead at the break.

Philippe Coutinho saw a goal ruled out for offside as Emery’s side piled on the pressure in the second half, but Rodgers saw his team seal the much-needed points when substitute Dennis Praet ran through to score.

Tete, a short-term signing from Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, impressed throughout and may prove the spark the Foxes need to avoid a scrap against relegation.

Leicester win first ‘cup final’

Before kick-off, Rodgers said his side faced “18 cup finals” to move away from peril at the foot of the table, and the man who guided Leicester to FA Cup glory in 2021 delivered success in this game too.

That did not appear too likely in the opening stages as the energetic hosts swept ahead.

Leicester needed a game changer and, after a productive transfer window, Rodgers now appears to have several in his squad. Maddison, making his first league start in two months, was a class act throughout and soon equalised after Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall robbed Boubacar Kamara, before Tete made his mark.

The Brazilian went close with two curling efforts after good runs down the right and stayed alert to round Martinez and score with style.

“He’s the winger we’ve been looking for,” Rodgers said after the game.

“Tete is direct, can take people on and score, he’s someone we’ve been looking for for a while. He was outstanding, we have been crying out for that balance.”

The unfortunate own goal aside, Souttar looked an imposing presence on his Premier League bow, and third new signing Victor Kristiansen also posed a threat from left-back.

The new faces held firm as Villa poured forward after the break, and a first win since the World Cup has seen Leicester rise up the table, with some tough tests ahead.

Errors cost improving Villa

Only league leaders Arsenal had won more points than Villa since the World Cup break going into the game, and Emery will be left scratching his head at how this one got away.

Individual errors were costly as Kamara was stripped of the ball inside his own penalty area for Maddison’s equaliser after collecting a pass from his goalkeeper under pressure, before he also lost the ball cheaply in the build-up to Tete’s strike.

Villa still managed 19 shots on goal in a busy attacking display, and had Watkins converted an open goal and had Buendia’s header looped in instead of hitting the crossbar in the first half, the result could easily have been different.

Praet capitalised on another error at the back to finally kill them off late on, but still, with just two defeats under the former Arsenal manager, Villa look well placed for a strong run-in with a European place within sight.

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