Leicester City emerged victorious in the opening clash of 2024 against Huddersfield Town at the King Power Stadium, securing a comprehensive win with three second-half goals.
The first half displayed a closely contested encounter, with just one goal separating the sides at halftime. However, Leicester’s second goal within the initial 90 seconds of the second half set the tone for the remainder of the game.
Despite a glimmer of hope with Michał Helik’s seventh-season goal, bringing the score to 3-1, a late comeback was not to be.
In response to the previous defeat against Middlesbrough, manager Darren Moore made two alterations to the lineup. Lee Nicholls returned from injury to replace Jacob Chapman in goal, while illness forced Jonathan Hogg out, making way for Rarmani Edmonds-Green.
Facing the league leaders, Huddersfield Town demonstrated a resilient defensive organization against Leicester’s possession. Yet, they exhibited promising counter-attacks, a consistent theme in recent weeks thanks to the dynamic front duo of Sorba Thomas and Josh Koroma.
As early as the third minute, Jack Rudoni provided a low cross into the area for Koroma, whose lob towards the back post was thwarted by Ricardo Pereira’s volleyed clearance. Town’s defence held firm, but a blow came in the 30th minute when Jaheim Headley suffered an ankle injury, leading to his replacement by 20-year-old Frenchman Loick Ayina.
Five minutes before halftime, Leicester seized the lead with Tom Cannon’s powerful shot following a cross from James Justin. Despite Nicholls’ efforts, the ball found its way into the net.
The second half mirrored a previous scenario against Norwich City, as Leicester quickly scored their crucial second goal. James Justin’s cross to the back post was headed in by Pereira, doubling their lead.
Despite some spirited play from Huddersfield, Leicester secured their third goal when Cannon netted after receiving Winks’ pass. Town responded with a goal in the 63rd minute, with Michał Helik converting from Thomas’ deep corner.
A brief resurgence from Town saw notable attempts, but Leicester sealed the match with a free-kick goal from Mavididi after Ayina fouled him on the right edge of the area.
In the dying moments, Sorba Thomas’s powerful shot rattled the crossbar, but it wasn’t enough to alter the outcome. Huddersfield Town now faces the challenge of regrouping for their upcoming fixtures.