Late Dasilva header completes Brentford comeback
Castagne headed Leicester in front from Maddison corner
Dewsbury-Hall doubled the lead before Toney started the recovery
It all seemed so simple. Two goals ahead, 30 minutes left and cruising against a lacklustre Brentford, Leicester City seemed assured of three points. Alarm bells failed to clang when Ivan Toney pulled one back and then missed a simple headed chance.
Enter substitute Josh Dasilva, who had failed to score in an injury-ravaged season last time out. He collected a loose ball, cut in from the right on the edge of the penalty area, skipped over a couple of half-hearted challenges and curled a beautiful Brentford equaliser past Danny Ward.
Leicester could only blame themselves but, like a gaggle of red-and-white striped magicians, Brentford had created something from nothing.
“It was almost too much for Josh,” said Thomas Frank, the Brentford head coach, with a smile. “But he’s a fantastic person and he really deserved it. It was a massive moment and it brought us a massive, fully-deserved point. There were far more positives than negatives. Great teams are built on great mentality, but there’s a lot we have to do tactically and technically.”
Eighth and 13th places for Leicester and Brentford respectively, seemed about right last time out.
The summer could have gone better for both teams.
Toney stays for now, but Brentford’s attempts to cling on to Christian Eriksen ended in failure, when he headed off to Old Trafford, while Frank shored up his rickety defence with ex-Burnley captain Ben Mee and Scottish right-back Aaron Hickey. If they have less flair, as Sunday’s comeback hewn from the rock of defeat showed, they certainly have more steel.
Kasper Schmeichel’s abrupt departure left Leicester having to trust in World Cup-bound goalkeeper Ward, whose sole Premier League appearance at Watford last season was his first at that level since 2016, although early saves from Bryan Mbeumo and at Toney’s feet steadied everyone’s nerves.
“The goalkeeping situation is settled in my mind,” said Brendan Rodgers, the Leicester manager.
“I’ve always said Danny is a number one goalkeeper and he deserves this opportunity. He showed real presence and command. If we bring anyone in, it’ll be a number three goalkeeper behind Daniel Iversen.”
Elsewhere, Jamie Vardy will have had less turbulent rest periods and Ricardo Pereira is six months from getting back to full fitness.
Summer arrivals at Leicester, there were none, save Aston Villa youth Paul Appiah, so making eighth place looks like a tough target. For all of Sunday’s intermittent excellence, game management remains a problem.
“We were excellent for an hour,” Rodgers said. “Then we gave away two goals we could have avoided with better organisation and concentration. We can certainly manage games better.”
James Justin pushed high to prey upon Hickey, who may not have encountered such relentless pressure in Serie A with Bologna last season. Hickey, though, stood firm and when Leicester began to seek other avenues, David Raya made a camera-friendly flying save from Youri Tielemans after a fine ball from the dominant James Maddison. When the pair linked again, Maddison’s crafty header went inches wide.
Leicester dominated, but that situation was fragile without a goal. But, just after the half-hour, they had one. If the scorer was a surprise, its creator was not. Maddison lobbed in a corner from the left and, as Toney slumbered soundly, Timothy Castagne ghosted past him to head beyond Raya, the Belgian’s first goal since last season’s corresponding fixture.
Being ahead suited Leicester and before half-time, yet more interplay between Maddison and Tielemans ended with the latter firing a drive against Raya’s post.
Any hopes of resurrection Brentford may have harboured were seemingly quashed within a minute of the restart. Mee failed to cut out Wesley Fofana’s routine ball forward, and Vardy cleverly helped it into the path of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who walloped a low drive past Raya from 28 yards. Done and dusted? It appeared so.
Mee was soon withdrawn and, almost instantly, Brentford pulled a goal back, when Toney outmuscled and out-thought Daniel Amartey to collect Rico Henry’s ball, swivel and fire past Ward.
Initially, Toney’s goal wasn’t quite the catalyst it might have been. Fofana looped a header onto a post, but Brentford had a real chance of parity when Mbeumo crossed from the right. Unmarked at the back post, Toney ran in and nodded wide. As Toney lay on the pitch, a picture of desolation, any Brentford hope was surely gone. Enter Dasilva…
Leicester vs Brentford: As it happened. . .
Thanks for following
A decent game at the King Power. Leicester dominated the first half. Brentford took control in the second.
Both teams with positives and negatives to take away from the match. Relive the match below.
Post-match stats via Opta
Leicester City failed to win a Premier League home game in which they were 2+ goals ahead for the first time since August 2003 versus Southampton.
Leicester have scored at least two goals in nine of their last 10 league meetings with Brentford (25 in total); the exception being a goalless draw in September 1992 in the second tier.
Since the start of last season, Brentford have conceded more goals from outside the box than any other side in the Premier League (13).
Since Brendan Rodgers’ first Premier League game in charge of Leicester City in March 2019, only Man City (46) and Southampton (33) have scored more goals from outside the box in the competition than the Foxes (32).
FULL TIME: Leicester City 2 Brentford 2
All over at the King Power. Quite the comeback by Brentford. How on earth did Leicester let that slip?
Thomas Frank got his subs right in the second and the players delivered.
90+2mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 2
Tielemans is closed down by the Brentford defenders and shoots wide.
90mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 2
Brentford think they have won it when Henry puts the ball in but it is ruled out for offside.
We enter three minutes of stoppage time.
88mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 2
New season, same old defensive problems for Rodgers and Leicester.
86mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 2 GOAL Dasilva
Comeback complete! Leicester give Dasilva all the time in the world to drive forward and he punishes Leicester by running across the defence and curling a lovely left footed shot into the far post.
83mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1
Brentford make their final two changes: Wissa and Hickey off, Dervisoglu and Bech on.
80mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1
Leicester trying to take the intensity out of the game and keep the ball for themselves. After a long spell of possession, Maddison clips a ball into the box but it is too close to Raya.
77mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1
Brentford inches from an equaliser! They win the ball back from Amartey, Mbeumo curls a cross into the back post and Toney meets it but can only place the header past the post.
75mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1
Now it is Brentford enjoying the ball and applying pressure with Leicester looking to play on the counter attack.
A complete turnaround from the first half.
72mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1
Brentford make their third change: Baptiste comes on to replace Norgaard.
71mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1
First Leicester change: Dewsbury-Hall off, Daka on.
66mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1
Maddison whips in a free-kick and Fofana heads it goalwards, it beats Raya but not the inside of the far post.
64mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1
A lot more urgency from Brentford. That double change has had a major impact on their team.
61mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 1 GOAL Toney
Brentford win the ball high up the pitch. Henry clips a ball into the box to Toney, who shows get strength to hold off Amartey and shoot past Ward.
58mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 0
Double change for Brentford. Dasilva and Lewis-Potter on, Jensen and Mee off
55mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 0
Mbeumo nearly gives it to Brentford some hope. He picks up Janelt's pass, cuts inside but then curls his effort wide of the far post.
52mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 0
Although Vardy gets an assist for Dewsbury-Hall's goal, Leicester haven't really got him into the game.
The midfielders have bossed the game so far.
49mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 0
Worst possible start to the half by Brentford. Whatever Frank said clearly didn't work.
46mins: Leicester City 2 Brentford 0 GOAL Dewsbury-Hall
What a start to the half. 23 seconds after the break, the loose ball falls to Vardy. He lays it off to Dewsbury-Hall and the midfielder hits a thumping left-footed drive that goes in off the post.
Second half: Leicester City 1 Brentford 0
No changes at the break by either team.
13 - James Maddison has been directly involved in 13 Premier League goals for Leicester in 2022 (7 goals, 6 assists), only one Englishman has had a hand in more in this calendar year (Harry Kane – 21). Flying. pic.twitter.com/Pk8y07Vn8y
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 7, 2022
HALF TIME: Leicester City 1 Brentford 0
After one minute of stoppage time, Leicester go in at the break ahead. They have dominated the match but only have one goal to show for it.
44mins: Leicester City 1 Brentford 0
Thomas Frank will be frustrated with how his team have played so far. Lacking a creative spark, too workman like.
42mins: Leicester City 1 Brentford 0
Tielemans hits the post from just outside the box. Brentford are rocking at the moment
39mins: Leicester City 1 Brentford 0
Maddison shows great technique to hit a volley from the edge of the box but Raya makes a comfortable save.
36mins: Leicester City 1 Brentford 0
An immediate response from Brentford. Jensen frees Wissa down the left, he cuts inside but his pull back is deflected wide by Evans.
33mins: Leicester City 1 Brentford 0 GOAL Castagne
Breakthrough! Maddison whips in an inviting corner from the right. Castagne races in at the near post and flicks a header in.
A great set piece goal.
31mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Frustration for Maddison has he blasts over from distance.
28mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Leicester's best football is coming when the ball goes wide to Justin and Castagne. When they try to go central, moves break down.
Brentford making sure they don't give Vardy space to run in behind.
24mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Brentford are doing well to weather this attacking storm from the home side.
For all of Leicester's good play, they haven't got Vardy into the match yet.
20mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Maddison nods just past the post following a lovely cross by Tielemans. Leicester are upping the pressure.
18mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Toney burst through on goal after breaking the offside trap. His first touch is goal but his second is too close to Ward and the keeper collects.
17mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Brentford put at least six players in the box for a long throw that Leicester do well to clear. Set pieces are a major strength of the west London club.
13mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Tielemans tests Raya with a fierce shot from range.
10mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
First chance for the away side. Janelt clips a ball over the top to the right-side of the box. It falls to Mbeumo, who hits it on the volley from 15 yards out but Ward catches the shot easily.
8mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Leicester bossing possession here. Brentford look happy to sit deep and counter but they won't want to do that for the whole match.
5mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Mee is heavily involved in the early stages here. Firstly, he goes to ground in the box to halt Vardy's run into the box and then crunches into Maddison on the edge of the box to stop him getting a shot away.
3mins: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
Mee clatters into his team-mate Henry as he goes up for a header. New team-mates getting to know each other already!
Kick Off: Leicester City 0 Brentford 0
We're underway at the King Power!
Here come the teams
The players walk through the tunnel and onto the pitch. The home fans have flags which they are waving excitedly.
Pre-match Frank quotes
I'm very excited to see Aaron [Hickey] today. I think he's had a good pre-season and he adds that extra quality with the ball at the back and he's also a good defender.
Ben [Mee] obviously has loads of experience and defensive solidness.
I just spoke to him earlier and of course he is excited - a new season and a new club.
A reminder of the teams
Leicester: Ward, Fofana, Evans, Amartey, Castagne, Dewsbury-Hall, Ndidi, Tielemans, Justin, Maddison, Vardy.
Subs: Soyuncu, Albrighton, Iheanacho, Perez, Daka, Mendy, Praet, Iversen, Thomas.
Brentford: Raya, Hickey, Jansson, Mee, Henry, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa.
Subs: Dasilva, Strakosha, Onyeka, Dervisoglu, Lewis-Potter, Baptiste, Sorensen, Roerslev, Stevens.
Referee: Jarred Gillett (Australia)
Pre-match Rodgers quotes
My concentration is purely on the players we have. I think every coach in the league will tell you that they want to improve and we're no different, but if we can't then my concentration falls on the players that are here.
The ones that are here are absolutely brilliant so we arrive into today in a good place. The players are very focused and our spirit is very strong.
Pre-match stats via Opta
This is the first time that Leicester City will begin a league campaign against Brentford, with the Foxes unbeaten in their last six meetings against the Bees (W5 D1) since a 3-2 defeat at home in March 1953 in the second tier.
Brentford lost both Premier League fixtures against Leicester City last season, both by a 2-1 scoreline. The Bees had previously never lost a top-flight game against the Foxes coming into the 2021-22 campaign (W2 D2).
Leicester have won their opening Premier League match in their last two seasons, beating West Brom in 2020-21 and Wolves in 2021-22. They had only won their first league match in two of their first 14 Premier League seasons before this (D6 L6).
Brentford have won their opening top-flight league match in four of their six seasons at this level (D1 L1), scoring two goals in every victory, including last season’s 2-0 win over Arsenal.
Team news explained
Wesley Fofana starts for Leicester despite the transfer speculation surrounding him. Danny Ward starts in goal while Jamie Vardy leads the line.
New Brentford signings Ben Mee and Aaron Hickey are both in the starting XI. Ivan Toney will be supported by Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa in attack.
Brentford XI to play Leicester City
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) August 7, 2022
Leicester City XI to play Brentford
— Leicester City (@LCFC) August 7, 2022
Hello and welcome to coverage from the King Power as Leicester City host Brentford.
It has been a turbulent summer for Leicester with no new signings, losing captain and fan favourite Kasper Schmeichel and transfer speculation surrounding Wesley Fofana and James Maddison. Jonny Evans has been named as Schmeichel's replacement as captain and manager Brendan Rodgers says the defender is the "natural successor".
"Jonny represents the collective standards and values of these players and what they stand for," he said. "He's a player of huge experience.
"He has huge respect in the changing room for what he's achieved and how he behaves on a day-to-day basis. He's the natural guy to step forward now Kasper has left."
Former Manchester United centre-half Evans has made more than 100 league appearances for the Foxes since arriving from West Brom for £3.5million in 2018. With Schmeichel's exit, Danny Ward is set to start in goal and Rodgers confirmed Ward and Daniel Iversen will now challenge for the number one jersey.
Meanwhile, Thomas Frank says he does not believe Brentford will be struck down by second-season syndrome. Brentford's tally of 46 points last season was one more than the other two promoted teams - Watford (23) and Norwich (22) - combined as they finished a respectable 13th in their first Premier League campaign.
But in recent seasons, Huddersfield and Sheffield United have been relegated back to the Championship following impressive opening terms in the top flight. Leeds only avoided the drop on the final day of last season having finished ninth on their top-flight comeback.
Speaking ahead of today's match, Frank said: "In general, I don't believe too much in second-season syndrome. "It's a narrative that's been built. Our opponents on Sunday won the Premier League in their second season, so maybe that's the one we should go for.
"Huddersfield's underlying stats show that they were very lucky to stay in the league [in their first season], so I wasn't surprised that they struggled the next year.
"We were not lucky to stay in the league last year, so there is a foundation we can build on. That can change with injuries and lack of form, but hopefully the things we do every day ensure that we're in a constant fine place."