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Rodgers praises 10-man Leicester's mental strength after late win at Burnley

By Jay FreemanBBC Sport
Wes Morgan (centre) has scored three goals in his past four matches for Leicester City
Wes Morgan (centre) has scored three goals in his past four matches for Leicester City

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said his team played an "outstanding mental game" after they snatched a late win at Burnley despite playing much of the match with 10 men.

The Foxes had Harry Maguire sent off within four minutes for bringing down Johann Berg Gudmundsson when he was clean through on goal.

Despite their one-man disadvantage, Leicester took the lead from a James Maddison free-kick after he was brought down by James Tarkowski, while Dwight McNeil levelled soon after.

But the visitors left it late and scored against the run of play when substitute Wes Morgan headed home from Youri Tielemans' cross.

Rodgers said: "It was an outstanding mental game, especially when you lose a player early. Jonny [Evans] and Wes were incredible, and the guys worked together as a team. We took our chances well."

The result means Burnley remain in 17th place in the Premier League and keep their two-point cushion over 18th-placed Cardiff City, but Sean Dyche's side have played one game more than the Bluebirds.

Leicester, meanwhile, are in 10th place and have crossed the 40-point mark with seven games of the season remaining.

It looked to be a long afternoon for the visitors after Maguire's early dismissal and Burnley seemed more likely to find a winner in a wet and windy second half.

But it was Leicester who picked up the points in a stunning finale after Burnley failed to clear a last-ditch Foxes corner and an unmarked Tielemans was allowed to cross for Morgan's winner.

"We stayed calm," the Leicester manager said. "When we were down to 10 men it was about having that energy and positive attitude. I was pleased with them at half time, they carried it out tactically very well with 10 men. We have the resilience and spirit in this squad.

"Wes epitomises the humble attitude of the group. He was a player I wanted to keep, he is a wonderful symbol of the changing room. He's a really, really good guy. I am so happy for him and he got a round of applause in the changing room after, which he deserved as it was a fantastic header."

An assured visiting performance

Rodgers hails Leicester resilience

Since Brendan Rodgers was appointed by Leicester City on 26 February, they have won three out of four Premier League games, more than they had in their final eight games under Claude Puel.

However, when Maguire was sent off so soon into the game, it looked like it would be a tough task to seal another victory, this time away from home against a side who are battling to stay in the division.

Going into the game, Leicester had conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes than any other side in the Premier League this season, so it looked likely that they might struggle. But Rodgers' side remained composed.

A central midfield pairing of Maddison and Tielemans enabled them to press on the counter while a resolute backline kept the hosts pressed back despite the fact Burnley had 62% of possession.

It was yet another win for Rodgers against Burnley - he has now masterminded victories against the Clarets with four teams. And this was a stylish performance while under pressure.

Burnley's slide continues

Burnley boss Sean Dyche (right) walks to the dressing room after their defeat by Leicester
Only Fulham (68) have conceded more than Burnley's 59 goals in the Premier League this season

As the late season run-in approaches, this defeat could have deep implications for Sean Dyche's side as they failed to exert pressure on relegation rivals Cardiff City and Southampton, who are not playing this weekend.

With the game finely poised in the second half, Burnley looked likely to add to McNeil's first-half goal and were denied a penalty when Charlie Taylor appeared to have been brought down by Wilfried Ndidi.

Burnley have conceded nine goals after the 90th minute this season and their defensive frailties were shown again when Morgan headed in his dramatic late winner.

Not so long ago, Burnley went on an eight-game unbeaten run - their longest in the Premier League - but since beating Tottenham on 23 February they have lost four matches in a row.

In their next three games, the Clarets face Wolves, Bournemouth and Cardiff, and desperately need to pick up points to pull away from the relegation places, especially as they face a formidable final four matches against Chelsea, Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal.

Ultimately, they slipped to yet another defeat from a winnable game, as their alarming slide towards the relegation zone continued.

Man of the match - James Maddison

From his fine curling free-kick to a dominant display in midfield, Maddison showed class and composure in the first half and was a big reason Leicester did not panic. Despite missing out on England selection for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers this week, his performance showed why he was knocking on the door for a call-up.
From his fine curling free-kick to a dominant display in midfield, Maddison showed class and composure in the first half and was a big reason Leicester did not panic. Despite missing out on England selection for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, his performance showed why he was knocking on the door for a call-up.

'We are in a tough spell'

Burnley lacked tempo - Dyche

Burnley manager Sean Dyche speaking to Match of the Day: "It can play with you psychologically when someone gets sent off so early, and we didn't get to grips with the game in the first half.

"You cannot go on about conditions, both teams have to deal with it. You are always wary of a set piece when it's a tight game and they have 10 men, but they stayed resolute, kept it hard as a unit and we didn't find a way of breaking it down.

"You need results, we are in a tough spell now and you want to come away with something especially against 10 but it is no 'gimme'. We did a lot right, but you have to score goals, simple as that. We created enough chances to at least nick a goal but that wasn't to be."

Burnley's lack of form laid out - the stats

  • Brendan Rodgers has won five of his six league meetings with Burnley (L1), beating them with four different teams (Watford, Swansea, Liverpool, Leicester). The Clarets are the first side Rodgers has beaten with four different teams.
  • Burnley have conceded a league-high 14 goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season.
  • Burnley's games have seen more injury-time goals than those involving any other side in the Premier League this season (13), with the Clarets shipping a league-high 10 times in the 90th minute or later.
  • Burnley have kept just two clean sheets in their last 12 Premier League games at Turf Moor.
  • Burnley's Dwight McNeil has had a hand in six Premier League goals this season (two goals, four assists), the second highest total for a teenager this term after Ryan Sessegnon (two goals, five assists).
  • James Maddison is the first Leicester player to score two direct free-kick goals in a single Premier League season.
  • Leicester City have been shown more red cards than any other Premier League team this season (five).
  • Harry Maguire's red card after 3 mins 11 seconds is the fastest in the Premier League since Gareth McAuley for West Brom vs Manchester City in March 2015 (1 min 29 secs).

What's next?

Burnley face Wolves at Turf Moor after the international break on 30 March (15:00 GMT), while Leicester welcome Bournemouth to the King Power Stadium at the same time.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Heaton
  • 26BardsleyBooked at 36mins
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 6Mee
  • 3Taylor
  • 7Berg GudmundssonSubstituted forBradyat 79'minutes
  • 18Westwood
  • 4Cork
  • 31McNeilSubstituted forVydraat 90+1'minutes
  • 11WoodSubstituted forCrouchat 70'minutes
  • 10Barnes


  • 2Lowton
  • 12Brady
  • 13Hendrick
  • 14Gibson
  • 15Crouch
  • 20Hart
  • 27Vydra


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 14Ricardo Pereira
  • 6Evans
  • 15MaguireBooked at 4mins
  • 3Chilwell
  • 25Ndidi
  • 7GraySubstituted forMorganat 6'minutes
  • 21Tielemans
  • 10MaddisonBooked at 34minsSubstituted forFuchsat 64'minutes
  • 19BarnesSubstituted forMendyat 77'minutes
  • 9Vardy


  • 5Morgan
  • 8Iheanacho
  • 12Ward
  • 20Okazaki
  • 24Mendy
  • 28Fuchs
  • 31Ghezzal
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamBurnleyAway TeamLeicester
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Burnley 1, Leicester City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Burnley 1, Leicester City 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Peter Crouch (Burnley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tom Heaton (Burnley) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ashley Westwood with a cross following a corner.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Matej Vydra (Burnley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ashley Barnes.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Burnley. Matej Vydra replaces Dwight McNeil.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Burnley 1, Leicester City 2. Wes Morgan (Leicester City) header from very close range to the top left corner following a corner.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ben Mee.

  10. Post update

    Dwight McNeil (Burnley) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dwight McNeil (Burnley) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  13. Post update

    Dwight McNeil (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Peter Crouch (Burnley).

  16. Post update

    Christian Fuchs (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    James Tarkowski (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dwight McNeil (Burnley) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jack Cork with a cross.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Burnley. Robbie Brady replaces Johann Gudmundsson.


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