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Aston Villa v Leicester City Live Commentary, 12/5/21

FT
2 - 1
AVL
LEI
E. Konsa (17)
E. Konsa (54)
H. Barnes (14)
Villa Park

Commentary

That's all from Villa Park today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
Villa have risen from 16th to 10th in the standings since Gerrard's arrival, and he will relish his new side's next engagement: Liverpool at Anfield. After another disappointing result - and a lacklustre second-half display - Leicester face a tough week ahead, as they next clash with Napoli in the Europa League, before the visit of rejuvenated Newcastle on Sunday.
Following a vastly improved second-half showing, Aston Villa get over the line to secure three points and move above Leicester in the Premier League table. Konsa was the unlikely source of both goals for the home side, who recovered well from their error-strewn first 45, when the Foxes were largely on top.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: ASTON VILLA 2-1 LEICESTER CITY
90' + 4' Chukwuemeka earns a foul in midfield and a free-kick is awarded to Villa, surely extinguishing Leicester's last hope of an equaliser.
90' + 2' Schmeichel is up inside the Villa box, hoping to emulate his father, who once found the net at Villa Park. He falls to the turf under a challenge by Mings, though, and then has to scramble back to his area.
90' + 1' Leicester pile into the attacking third and earn another corner in the second of four minutes of stoppage time.
J. Maddison
Yellow Card
Leicester City
90' Clearly frustrated, Maddison's cynical foul on Chukwuemeka earns him a yellow card.
89' Bundling through Leicester bodies in characteristic style, McGinn makes a surging run to the byline, but is ultimately stopped by the referee, who calls play back for a foul by the Scottish star.
87' Now Nakamba clears behind for Villa, as Leicester have another corner - this time from the right. However, an infringement from the set-piece means the referee's whistle stops any chance of the visitors applying pressure in the box.
86' Cutting the ball back from the right byline, Barnes almost picks out Vardy, but Mings intervenes with a header clear. Leicester have a corner.
K. Ịheanachọ
K. Dewsbury-Hall
Leicester City
85' Rodgers makes his final roll of the dice, as Dewsbury-Hall is replaced by Iheanacho for Leicester.
A. Tuanzebe
J. Ramsey
Aston Villa
83' Ramsey may have missed a great opportunity for a decisive third goal, but he has also got through a lot of good work for the home side today, and is now taken off. Tuanzebe comes on in his place as Villa look to hold on.
80' One of the substitutes makes an impact, as Chukwuemeka sets up Cash for a powerful shot from the right side of the box. However, a wayward effort by the full-back misses to the right.
Ayoze Pérez
P. Daka
Leicester City
78' Daka is removed by Rodgers, who opts to bring on Perez for the final few minutes in pursuit of an equaliser.
Carney Chukwuemeka
E. Buendía
Aston Villa
78' After intermittently sparkling in the second half, Buendia comes off and Chukwuemeka is on in his place.
M. Sanson
Douglas Luiz
Aston Villa
77' Villa make a couple of changes, and the first sees Luiz make way for Sanson in midfield.
74' SUPERB SAVE! A deflection off Daka helps the ball into Barnes' path in the centre of the area, and the Foxes forward loops a header towards the top-left corner. Somehow, Martinez stretches out his giant frame to tip the ball over the bar when it looked destined for the net! 
72' Villa have had seven shots on goal compared to Leicester's two during the second half, demonstrating how much they have improved after the break.
70' MISS! Buendia again slips through a series of challenges and finds Watkins on the right of the area. He moves it on to McGinn, who perfectly tees up Ramsey, but the young midfielder swipes wildly at the ball just in front of goal and it flies into the stands.
68' On for the final 25 minutes today, Vardy has scored five goals in his last five Premier League games against Aston Villa, so will certainly fancy his chances of netting an equaliser.
67' GOOD SAVE! Schmeichel spreads himself effectively to smother a Watkins shot from close range, after Villa sprang a quick counter-attack and McGinn played the England striker in.
J. Vardy
A. Lookman
Leicester City
65' Leicester make a change, as the quiet Lookman makes way for Vardy, who will add a new dimension to the Foxes' attack.
64' CLOSE! After receiving the ball from Dewsbury-Hall just outside the area, Maddison turns onto his left foot and curls a shot just over the crossbar from 20 yards. That was an excellent effort.
62' Martinez gathers comfortably at the near post, after an aimless cross into the box - Leicester's first real foray forward in the last few minutes.
60' Young’s cross falls to Cash, whose first touch is loose, and the Poland international's shot is blocked by a last-ditch challenge from Soyuncu in the six-yard box. Villa are looking increasingly likely to score again here!
59' Delightful play by Buendia just inside the Leicester half helps Villa get out of a tight spot, and Luiz subsequently earns a free-kick in a useful position.
57' One-on-one with Evans in a challenge for the ball, Watkins wriggles clear and turns to shoot into the bottom corner, but the referee had already whistled for a pull by the Villa striker on his Leicester counterpart.
M. Nakamba
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
55' After a clash of legs with Maddison in midfield, Nakamba is perhaps a little unfortunate to be the first man booked today.
J. McGinn
Assist
Aston Villa
54' A dangerous cross from the corner by McGinn found Konsa at the back post to head home.
E. Konsa
Goal
Aston Villa
54' VILLA GO IN FRONT! From the right-sided corner, Konsa rises highest at the back post to nod the ball forcefully past Schmeichel and into the net. After being denied by the VAR before the break, Villa now lead 2-1!
53' A delicate touch by Ramsey plays in the on-rushing Watkins, but his strike is deflected wide for a Villa corner.
51' Leicester have won five of their last seven league games against Aston Villa, losing just once. That's as many as they managed in the clubs' previous 22 league meetings.
49' Villa continue to pile forward, as Young now finds space out on the left and cuts inside to bend a 20-yard effort wide of Schmeichel's left-hand post.
48' Buendia is blocked out effectively by Evans and cannot get a touch after a dangerous ball fired low across the Leicester box by Cash.
47' A more sedate start to the second period has seen Villa mostly taking care of possession in their own defensive third. Yet Ramsey then breaks forward into the box, and it takes Evans to block out his volleyed attempt from 12 yards.
46' We are back under way in Birmingham!
Much scrutiny has fallen upon the managers before today's game, and while Gerrard has never lost consecutive league games as a manager, his former Liverpool boss Rodgers has won all six of his previous Premier League away games against Aston Villa - so something must give by the final whistle today. 
There has rarely been time to pause in a relentless first half at Villa Park, and the sides go in level despite Leicester having several further chances after their early goal. The hosts could even have taken the lead just before the interval, as Schmeichel was fortunate to get the VAR's call to cover his blushes. As it is, though, the second half is set up wonderfully!
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: ASTON VILLA 1-1 LEICESTER CITY
45' + 2' NO GOAL! Villa are denied a second goal by the VAR, as Ramsey's close-range strike is ruled out due to Schmeichel having control of the ball with his outstretched hand when it was turned in. It stays 1-1! 
45' GOAL? Luiz flips a high ball up to the far post for Cash, whose header down is only flapped at by Schmeichel, and Ramsey steers it home as the goalkeeper scrambles to recover. But did Leicester's captain still have a hand on the ball? The VAR will decide!
44' As the half draws to a close, Villa are creeping further up the pitch, giving some respite to an overworked defence.
42' An over-eager challenge by Lookman on Young sends the Villa full-back to the ground and offers Luiz a chance to whip in a free-kick from the left. However, it is not the Brazil midfielder's best effort and Leicester get the ball clear.
40' Martinez gets down low to make a routine save to his right, after Daka sets up Maddison for an attempt in the centre of the area. Leicester really need to capitalise on this current spell of dominance.
38' Played in neatly on the left side of the area, Thomas sends a shot at goal spiralling over the crossbar and turns away in frustration.
37' Konsa has to intervene, as Leicester ease through a flimsy home midfield once more, and Luiz eventually clears the ball away from the omnipresent Barnes just outside the six-yard box.
35' Ndidi is frustrated to be penalised for a high challenge on Buendia, who had miscontrolled the ball and could have put his side in more danger just inside his own half.
33' Finally, the pace has dropped a touch, as both sides take a breather following a frenetic first half-hour. Surely it won't last, though!
31' After his early strike today, Barnes has been involved in five goals in his last four matches against Aston Villa (four goals, one assist).
29' CLOSE! Leicester again waltz through the wide open midfield and a number of attackers are lining up to have a shot from the edge of the box. Ultimately, the ball breaks to Maddison, whose driven attempt is hacked away by the retreating Cash just in front of the goalline.
27' SHARP SAVE! Villa slice straight through the Leicester defence, and Cash finds himself in a great shooting position on the right of the area. His powerful low shot is kept out by an alert Schmeichel, who gets down low to save with his feet.
25' During a break in play, Evans takes a while to get up off the turf, with head bowed towards the ground. He is limping quite noticeably and may not last the pace.
23' Leicester are now without a clean sheet in their last 15 away Premier League games, since a goalless draw with Wolves in February. However, they have also scored in all 15, including today's.
21' WIDE! Buendia concedes possession, and Barnes takes advantage to get to the left byline and stand up an appetising cross for Dewsbury-Hall. The unmarked youngster gets his header all wrong though, and it flies wide of the Villa goal.
19' Dewsbury-Hall makes a good run down the left and earns a corner for the visitors. However, Maddison's corner is then comfortably gathered by Martinez in the six-yard box.
E. Buendía
Assist
Aston Villa
17' Buendia's header was given a final, important touch by Konsa.
E. Konsa
Goal
Aston Villa
17' VILLA ARE LEVEL! Soon after conceding the opener, the home side are back on equal terms, as Buendia looks to send a header past Schmeichel from inside the box. It looks as though Konsa got the faintest of touches as it went in! 1-1 at Villa Park... and it's officially Konsa's goal!
P. Daka
Assist
Leicester City
14' It took determination from Daka to scramble past a number of Villa bodies and slot the ball into Barnes' path to score.
H. Barnes
Goal
Leicester City
14' LEICESTER LEAD! Daka demonstrates great persistence to wriggle past Nakamba and Cash 25 yards from goal, and he slips in Barnes who joins the attack from the left-hand side. The once-capped England forward then takes a touch and slots the ball calmly inside Martinez's far post, and the ball nestles in the net. Leicester 1-0 Villa!
11' It has been an open start to a fast-moving game, but Villa see an opportunity to carve out a first chance lost when Ramsey's pass to Watkins is misplaced just outside the Leicester box.
9' Covering for an error in his chest control, Mings recovers to deny Daka a clear shot at goal on the break. The Leicester striker - prolific in the Europa League - has a point to prove in Vardy's place today.
8' Barnes evades Cash on the left, opening up space, then Maddison attempts a long-range shot which is charged down by a fast-closing Villa defence on the edge of the box.
6' The ball has been kicked out of play, as fans, players and coaches rise as one to applaud in memory of a local boy who recently died in tragic circumstances.
4' Schmeichel is forced to flail a fist at Luiz's dipping inswinger from the first corner of the game. Not convincingly, perhaps, but the ball is cleared away from danger. 
3' SAVE! An unusually slack pass by Young allows Lookman to escape down the right, and the wide man finds Daka just inside the area, from where his low, angled strike is parried by Martinez at his near post.
2' Thomas commits an early foul in central midfield, and McGinn goes down looking pained. The Scotland midfielder is soon back on his feet, though.
1' Leicester get us under way in the West Midlands!
The players are now out under the floodlights at a packed Villa Park, with kick-off just moments away!
Amid a hectic schedule, including next week's trip to Naples, Leicester have decided to drop Jamie Vardy to the bench; offering Patson Daka a first league start up front. Meanwhile, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall replaces Boubakary Soumare in midfield for the Foxes, who are today seeking their third consecutive win at Villa Park.
Villa recall versatile veteran Ashley Young and academy product Jacob Ramsey today, as Matt Targett and Leon Bailey both sustained injuries in midweek. Striker Danny Ings also remains out with a hamstring problem, so Ollie Watkins - who has scored 18 goals in 49 Premier League appearances for the club - once again leads the line. 
SUBS: Danny Ward, Hamza Choudhury, Kelechi Iheanacho, Marc Albrighton, Boubakary Soumare, Jannik Vestergaard, Ayoze Perez, Jamie Vardy, Vontae Daley-Campbell.
LEICESTER CITY (4-2-3-1): Kasper Schmeichel; Timothy Castagne, Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans, Luke Thomas; Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Wilfred Ndidi; Ademola Lookman, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes; Patson Daka. 
SUBS: Jed Steer, Axel Tuanzebe, Keinan Davis, Morgan Sanson, Kortney Hause, Jaden Philogene-Bidace, Anwar El Ghazi, Carney Chukwuemeka, Tim Iroegbunam.
ASTON VILLA (4-3-2-1): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Ashley Young; Marvelous Nakamba, John McGinn, Douglas Luiz; Jacob Ramsey, Emiliano Buendia; Ollie Watkins.
Following a 2-2 draw with Southampton on Wednesday night, when they twice came from behind, Leicester are stranded in mid-table obscurity - a far cry from their top-four challenges of recent seasons. Brendan Rodgers's side have failed to find any consistency so far, but have now lost just once in their last six matches, including two Europa League group games.  
Separated by three points and two places from their visitors today, Aston Villa will seek a third win from four games under the management of Steven Gerrard, with the former Liverpool captain winning his first two matches before a midweek defeat to Manchester City. If Villa win today, they will leap above Leicester and move two points behind midlands rivals Wolves.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Leicester City from Villa Park!