EFL

James Justin’s first-half header earns Leicester victory over Sunderland

By Sports Desk October 24, 2023

Leicester recorded an eighth successive victory in the league to move eight points clear at the top of the table with a 1-0 win against Sunderland as James Justin’s first-half header proved decisive.

Justin rose highest to head home Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s corner after 12 minutes and secure the points as the full-back scored his first league goal for the club in over two years.

The Foxes hit a post twice in the first half and missed a number of chances to double their lead throughout but did enough to secure a 12th win from 13 league matches to continue their stunning start to the season.

Sunderland have now lost their last three league matches and should have equalised at the death only for Abdoullah Ba to fire over from close range as Tony Mowbray’s side struggled to penetrate the league’s meanest defence.

The Black Cats had the game’s first chance when a cross from the right ran through to Jack Clarke at the back past only for the midfielder to see his shot turned away by the legs of Leicester goalkeeper Mads Hermansen.

However, Leicester broke the deadlock in the 12th minute with their first meaningful effort on goal as Justin leapt unmarked at the near post to head in Dewsbury-Hall’s excellent corner from the left.

The home side went close to a second goal soon after as Foxes winger Stephy Mavididi jinked his way into the box and saw a low shot superbly flicked onto a post by the boot of Sunderland keeper Anthony Patterson.

Leicester hit the woodwork again towards the end of the first half as Kelechi Iheanacho blasted a shot against a post after Wout Faes clipped a delightful pass into Cesare Casadei who in turn nodded the ball into the path of the striker.

Chelsea loanee Casadei then spurned a couple of chances to double Leicester’s lead after the break, first shooting straight at Patterson after the ball fell kindly to him in the box before seeing a low shot tipped behind by the Sunderland keeper soon after.

Casadei turned provider a few minutes later, teeing up Iheanacho for a shot on goal only for the Nigerian to curl an effort a couple of yards wide when one-on-one with Patterson.

Sunderland enjoyed their best spell of the game in the final 20 minutes as Dan Neil curled wide after pouncing on an error from Harry Winks despite having time and space to pick his spot.

The visitors wasted another opening shortly after as Dennis Cirkin fired over from the left edge of the penalty area after some excellent build-up play to create a shooting chance.

However, the Black Cats’ best chance to draw level came in the final few minutes as substitute Ba somehow fired over the crossbar from inside the box with the goal at his mercy and Foxes goalkeeper Hermansen on the floor.

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