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Leicester City 4-2 Sunderland: Mahrez Brace Beats Black Cats

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The Black Cats were defeated at the King Power Stadium as an embarrassing first half display cost them dearly.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Two goals from Riyad Mahrez and an inspired display from Mark Albrighton helped Leicester defeat Sunderland on the opening day.

Leicester dominated possession early on but it was Sunderland who had the first opportunity to break the deadlock on 5 mins. Seb Larsson found Lens inside the box who found Defoe, but the England international saw his shot deflect out for a corner. From the resulting corner, Schmeichel kept the score level after he produced a double save to deny Kaboul and Rodwell.

After Sunderland spurned three chances in the opening minutes it was Leicester who opened on the scoring on 11 mins. Mark Albrighton’s free kick was met by Vardy whose glancing header found the far corner.

Sunderland were on the verge of capitulating as Leicester made it two on 18 mins. Albrighton’s cross from the left found Mahrez who similarly to Vardy glanced his header past Pantilimon.

It looked like the same old Sunderland as Leicester made it three on 25 mins with a penalty from Mahrez. Cattermole foolishly slid in on Mahrez giving the referee no other option but to award a penalty which Mahrez stuck away.

It should’ve been four soon after as a mistake from Coates let Vardy through on goal but Pantilimon stood up well to deny a fourth goal.

Pantilimon had to save well from Drinkwater on the stroke of half time to keep the score down to three as the whistle blew on an embarrassing first half display from Sunderland.

Leicester started the second half exactly like the first and they had a couple of chances to extend their lead. Vardy got away from Coates down the left but he saw his chip over Pantilimon go narrowly past the post. Moments later Mahrez nearly got his hat-trick as he weaved through the Sunderland defence only for his shot to go inches wide.

But just as Leicester looked like making this a cricket score Sunderland pulled a goal back on 60 mins. A neat exchange on the edge of the box between Rodwell and Johnson set up Defoe to slide the ball past Schmeichel.

Sunderland looked a different team after scoring and possibly should have had Leicester down to ten men on 65 mins. Fletcher flicked the ball past Morgan and just as he was about to bear down on goal the centre hauled him down, but Lee Mason played on.

But any hopes of a comeback looked increasingly unlikely as Leicester restored their three goal lead on 66 mins. Static defending from Kaboul and Matthews allowed Albrighton to turn and shoot and the Englishman obliged as he found the bottom corner.

The game was end to end now and Sunderland kept themselves in it by scoring again on 71 mins. Lens got free down the right and he set up Fletcher who nodded in at the back post to get the Black Cats back within two.

The game petered out towards the end as Leicester brought their defenders on which nullified any Sunderland attempts at getting back into the game.

Leicester City (4-3-3): Schmeichel, Morgan, De Laet (Benalouane 75’), Huth, Schlupp, Albrighton, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez (Fuchs 77’), Okazaki, Vardy (Kante 82’).

Subs: Schwarzer, Hammond, Fuchs, Benalouane, Kante, Kramaric, Ulloa.

Goals: Vardy (11’) Mahrez (18’, 25’) Albrighton (66’)

Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Van Aanholt, Jones (Matthews 54’), Coates, Kaboul, Cattermole (c) (Fletcher 30’), Larsson, Rodwell, Johnson, Lens, Defoe.

Subs: Mannone, Matthews, O’Shea, Bridcutt, Giaccherini, Graham, Fletcher.

Goals: Defoe (60’) Fletcher (71’)