As Leicester City scored a 2-1 win away to Aston Villa to go second in the Premier League table, James Maddison and Harvey Barnes scored quickfire first-half goals, with Manchester United third-placed to face Newcastle United later on Sunday.

When playmaker and captain Jack Grealish was ruled out with a leg injury, Villa suffered a blow before kickoff, and Leicester was swift to exploit his absence.

Maddison put Leicester into the lead in the 19th minute with England manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands, picking up a pass from Barnes before curling a short, bouncing shot into the bottom corner.

Four minutes later, Barnes made it 2-0, responding quickly to lash a rebound from a Jamie Vardy shot high into the net.

“It was part of the strategy for our game. We knew we would have a chance if we could get shots in and around the box,” Barnes told Sky Sports.

In my game, I have added goals and I’m very pleased with that. It’s down to faith.

Three minutes into the second half, Villa hit back as John McGinn assisted Matt Targett’s cross. Bertrand Traore was on hand to drill the ball into the net.

In the 64th minute, Maddison left the field with what appeared to be a hip injury, but Leicester managed to build opportunities. Vardy was unfortunate not to score with a shot that flew high and across the target’s face.

Without Grealish, as the visitors kept on comfortably to win, Villa had nothing to give in the attack.

The win sees Leicester climb past Manchester United and on 49 points to second, seven behind Manchester City’s leaders and three ahead of United. On 36 points, Aston Villa is eighth.


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