High winds and high drama.
Leicester, down to 10 men after Harry Maguire was dismissed after just four minutes were hanging on grimly for a point as the final whistle neared against a fired-up Burnley at a blustery, drenched Turf Moor.
Then – on a rare foray forward – Brendan Rodgers men snatched victory when old stager Wes Morgan, brought on following Maguire’s red, nodded the brilliant Youri Tielemans cross in for the winner.
Substitute Wes Morgan celebrates with Ben Chilwell after scoring a 90th minute winning goal as Leicester beat Burnley
Morgan rose highest to bean James Tarkowski in the air; heading into the bottom corner and giving Tom Heaton no chance
19-year-old winger Dwight McNeil’s low finish levelled the score on 38 minutes in the Premier League fixture
James Maddison’s curling free-kick put Leicester into a surprise lead on 33 minutes at a windswept Turf Moor
Keeper Tom Heaton was unable to repel Maddison’s effort as Burnley were unable to take advantage of Maguire’s dismissal
MATCH FACTS, LIVE LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
BURNLEY (4-4-2): Heaton 6; Bardsley 6, Tarkowski 6, Mee 6.5, Taylor 7; Berg Gudmundsson 7 (Brady 81), Westwood 6.5, Cork 6.5, McNeil 7 (Vydra 90); Wood 6 (Crouch 70, 6), Barnes 6
SUBS NOT USED: Lowton, Gibson, Hart, Vydra, Hendrick,
SCORERS: McNeil (38)
MANAGER: Sean Dyche 6
LEICESTER (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel 6; Ricardo 6.5, Evans 6.5, Maguire 3 (OFF 4), Chilwell 6.5; Ndidi 6; Gray 4 (Morgan 6, 7), Tielemans 7.5, Maddison 7 (Fuchs 63, 6), Barnes 6 (Mendy 76, 5); Vardy 6
SUBS NOT USED: Iheanacho, Ward, Okazaki, Ghezzal
SCORERS: Maddison (33)
SENT OFF: Harry Maguire (4)
MANAGER: Brendan Rodgers 7
REFEREE: Michael Oliver 7
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It may well have been their only effort of the half, but it was enough for a second win in three under the former Celtic manager.
The visitors had taken the lead when, despite the red, the impressive James Maddison curled in a free-kick but were pegged back by Dwight McNeil’s leveller and looked to be well-satisfied with a point. They got three.
Conditions were dreadful. Earlier in the afternoon the nearby M66 was closed after a river burst its bank, flooding both carriageways while Rochdale’s town centre was placed on flood alert.
Both teams acquitted themselves well.
Maddison was booked for removing his shirt in celebration; revealing a top which read: ‘RIP Sophie, I love you’
Leicester’s Harry Maguire was dismissed after just three minutes and 11 seconds for a foul on Johann Berg Gudmundsson
Maguire looked despondent as referee Michael Oliver raised the red card on the edge of the penalty area
New Leicester was forced into an early change after Maguire’s dismissal; replacing Demarai Gray with Wes Morgan
Leicester had actually started well and should have gone in front when a sliding Jamie Vardy narrowly avoided connecting with a Demarai Gray low cross at the far post.
Then came Maguire’s red which, after just three minutes and 11 seconds, represented the quickest Premier League dismissal for four years. It came after Jack Cork released Johann Berg Gudmundsson behind the England man and while he may argue there was no intent, there was contact. Referee Michael Oliver had little option other than to send him off.
It certainly seemed needless and out of character from Maguire. Perhaps he still had his mind on former club Sheffield United’s win at Leeds, which had finished moments before this one kicked off, or perhaps he was still adjusting to the blustery conditions.
Regardless, Burnley were quick in their efforts to make their advantage pay. From the resulting free-kick Gudmundsson saw his deflected effort tipped against the bar by Leicester captain Kasper Schmeichel before Rodgers brought off Gray, who had touched the ball five times, and replaced him with defender Wes Morgan. At least he could go and get dry.
The Claret surge, however, did not emerge, despite the cajoling of an animated Sean Dyche. Leicester adapted well and looked the more dangerous. Their supporters, who travelled in numbers, took to teasing the home fans. ‘Have you ever seen Burnley win the league?’ they asked. You would imagine that some of the freezing Lancastrians present may well have been here in 1960.
On 33 minutes the deadlock was broken thanks in part to another questionable act from an England defender. Burnley’s James Tarkowski hassled but was then turned by a lively Maddison on the edge of the area and reacted by bringing him down.
Chris Wood headed narrowly wide on 11 minutes as Burnley looked to make their numerical advantage count
Jack Cork goes for goal from the edge of the area in a game of few chances as Burnley struggled to break down Leicester
The playmaker, not selected by Gareth Southgate for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers then curled a delicious effort into Tom Heaton’s top corner. Maddison lifted his shirt to reveal a touching tribute to Sophie Taylor, a five-year-old supporter of his former club Norwich City who tragically passed away after suffering from cancer in January.
With chants of ‘we’ve only got 10 men’ barely belted out of a delighted away end, Burnley were level. There appeared to be little threat when full back Charlie Taylor found Dwight McNeil on the left of the Foxes area.
The winger, in the midst of a breakthrough season, drilled a fine, first-time drive into Schmeichel’s far corner to create another highlight. McNeil signed a new contract earlier this year and was last week selected for England Under 20s. The future for the 19-year-old Dwight would appear to be bright.
At half-time the Burnley DJ, seemingly with their tongue-in-cheek, went for Rihanna’s Umbrella and Travis’ Why Does it Always Rain on Me?, with the heavens continuing to empty.
Following the break, the home side almost went in front when Jack Cork fired over from inside the area after being teed up by Ashley Barnes before Ashley Westwood hit a low effort into the side-netting.
Chris Wood missed a glaring opportunity to give Burnley the lead; poking Dwight McNeil’s cross over the bar from close range
Charlie Taylor goes down in the penalty area under the challenge of Wilfred Ndidi as Burnley push for a winner
Again, Leicester regrouped, forcing Dyche to turn to Peter Crouch. Almost immediately, the hosts screamed for a penalty when Taylor went down in the area apparently under a challenge from Wilfred Ndidi. Replays suggested there was little, if any contact. Another shout was turned down when Crouch’s header appeared to hit the arm of Ndidi, before McNeill volleyed a Cork cross over.
By this stage it was attack versus defence. McNeil stopped the ball from going out of play then made his way to the edge of the box before clipping a fine shot narrowly wide. Then came Morgan’s moment, rising above Tarkowski to grab victory, and another airing for the ’10 men’ chant.
For Burnley this is four defeats in a row. Deserved or not, it is a trend which needs to change.
Heaton runs out of his goal to attack a corner with defender Ben Mee as Burnley try to salvage a draw in stoppage time
Youri Tielemans celebrates with goalscoring captain Morgan after the full-time whistle blows at a sodden Turf Moor