James Maddison had the last laugh after he was targeted by the Brentford crowd as his first goal since February made it three wins in eight days for Leicester.
The midfielder was taunted with chants of ‘You’ll never play for England’ – not strictly true as Maddison did win a solitary cap two years ago – and celebrated in provocative fashion when he scored his side’s second goal in the 74th minute.
Youri Tielemans had given Leicester the lead with a brilliant 14th-minute volley but with the Foxes’ top scorer Jamie Vardy taken off at half-time, Brentford levelled on the hour when Matthias Jorgensen headed home.
They looked the likelier winners until Maddison finished off a merciless Leicester break and the visitors’ defence – superbly organised by Jonny Evans – saw them through. Vardy emerged at full-time with strapping on his right knee.
James Maddison was the matchwinner as Leicester defeated Brentford on Sunday afternoon
The English playmaker was picked out by Patson Daka to score his first goal since February
Earlier Youri Tielemans (right) scored a sensational goal to put Leicester into an early lead
The Belgian midfielder has a habit of spectacular goals and he picked his spot from long range
Leicester’s travelling support were left in awe at Tielemans strike and left happy in the end
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
Brentford (3-5-2): Raya 6.5; Jorgensen 6.5, Jansson 6, Pinnock 6.5 (Ajer 46, 6); Canos 6.5, Onyeka 6.5 (Ghoddos 77), Norgaard 7, Jensen 7.5, Henry 7; Mbeumo 5.5 (Forss 57, 6), Toney 7.
Subs not used: Fernandez, Goode, Bidstrup, Roerslev, Maghoma, Stevens.
Scorers: Jorgensen 60
Manager: Thomas Frank 6.5
Leicester (3-4-1-2): Schmeichel 7; Amartey 6, Evans 8, Soyuncu 5 (Vestergaard 68, 6); Pereira 6.5, Tielemans 7, Soumare 6, Castagne 6; Maddison 6.5 (Perez 79); Iheanacho 6.5, Vardy 6 (Daka 46, 6).
Subs not used: Ward, Bertrand, Barnes, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall, Lookman.
Scorers: Tielemans 14, Maddison 74
Manager: Brendan Rodgers 6.5
Leicester were wobbling when they headed into the international break but have now added this win to victories over Manchester United and Spartak Moscow. For Brentford, it was the second narrow home defeat in succession after Chelsea won 1-0 here last Saturday.
Despite his historic four-goal haul in Leicester’s 4-3 win at Spartak Moscow last Thursday, Patson Daka returned to the bench as Brendan Rodgers’ named the same XI that started the 4-2 victory over Manchester United. Brentford boss Thomas Frank also stuck with an unchanged side and the Bees started at a blistering pace.
Ethan Pinnock flicked on Jorgensen’s long-throw and Kasper Schmeichel did very well to push away Christian Norgaard’s hooked effort. Moments later, Leicester failed to deal with a corner and Pontus Jansson headed over from close range and took a blow to the face from Schmeichel, who was trying to punch clear.
Ivan Toney had the ball in the net in the seventh minute from Rico Henry’s cross, though Bryan Mbeumo was ruled offside in the centre the moment the ball was crossed.
Toney was causing Daniel Amartey problems with his movement and he guided Sergi Canos’ lofted pass into the path of Bryan Mbeumo, who fired wide.
Leicester were struggling to test Brentford at this stage but when their chance came in the 14th moment, they took it
Maddison’s free-kick from the right was met by a poor clearing header from Rico Henry and Tielemans glided towards the bouncing ball and struck it first time from 25 yards beyond David Raya – a fabulous blend of power and technique.
The Belgium midfielder was full of confidence and after breaking up a Brentford attack moments later, he found Maddison with a clever reverse pass. Maddison advanced on goal only to curl wide from just outside the box.
Brentford reacted well to going behind and levelled through Mathias Jorgensen’s header
Jorgensen (left) was all smiles as he celebrated his goal with team-mates after making it 1-1
Brentford felt they could then go on and win the game but their efforts proved to be in vein
Though Leicester found it difficult to play through Brentford’s high press and conceded cheap set pieces near their goal, Brentford carved out only one more clear chance before the break.
Toney started a move that ended with him drifting away from Amartey and meeting Frank Onyeka’s cross with a header that Schmeichel did well to tip over.
Daka’s chance to repeat his Russian heroics came earlier than he might have expected as he replaced Vardy soon after half-time. Within seconds, Raya saved Maddison’s effort from distance but Daka could not control the rebound.
In the 48th minute, Tielemans presented the ball straight to Mbeumo only for Toney to head his cross straight at Schmeichel.
At the other end, Raya pushed Boubakary Soumare’s drive over before Brentford got the equaliser their high-tempo football deserved.
The impressive Mathias Jensen sent over the corner and Jorgensen sneaked it front of Daka and Jonny Evans at the near post to glance the ball beyond Schmeichel.
The worry for Leicester despite the win was striker Jamie Vardy having to come off at half-time
Three wins in eight days will have Brendan Rodgers happy following a rocky start this season
Brentford’s confidence was growing as they forced Leicester into errors at the back.
Rodgers brought off the increasingly frantic Caglar Soyuncu and both Soumare and Maddison were hurried into giving the ball away. Maddison’s error led to a corner that the unmarked Pontus Jansson headed wide.
In the 74th minute, Brentford paid for that mistake as Leicester swept the length of the field to regain the lead. Kelechi Iheanacho laid off Schmeichel’s delivery to Tielemans, whose sublime pass undid Brentford’s high line and sent Daka racing clear. With Maddison to his left, Daka unselfishly played the ball square, giving his team-mate a tap in.
Maddison had been taking stick from the Brentford crowd all afternoon and he wasn’t going to let it slide. With his finger to his lips, the playmaker ran in front of the Brentford fans behind the goal and when he was substituted moments later, he sarcastically applauded them. That reaction prompted Toney to say his piece and he and Maddison exchanged words before the latter left the field.