Leicester City are now defeated only once in 12 home games, after successive wins over Norwich and Burnley, Brentford.
Leicester City saw off Brentford with some comfort and a couple of memorable early goals from Timothy Castagne and James Maddison. Leicester are now defeated only once in 12 home games, deserved to hold out and, after successive wins over Norwich and Burnley, Brentford, eight points clear of the relegation zone, still have some work to do to be certain of retaining their status.
Leicester’s goals came from almost exactly the same spot but from vastly contrasting sources. Castagne produced such a brilliant right-footed shot from just outside the left corner of the penalty area, after receiving Harvey Barnes’s short pass, for only his third goal since joining from Atlanta in September 2020, that he ran away with his hands to his head, as if in disbelief. On his first start of the year, after a thigh injury, this was some way to mark his return.
That shot swerved powerfully into the far top corner, in the 20th minute, and 13 minutes later, David Raya, the Brentford goalkeeper, was picking the ball out of the other corner. Maddison picked himself up, having been fouled by Mathias Jensen, and bent his shot into the near top corner, for his 13th goal of the season in all competitions.
The visiting team had their first corner midway through the first half, it was instructive to see that Rodgers had come up with a plan. Three Leicester forwards promptly ran off to the halfway line, leaving Thomas Frank with a dilemma: to stick, with two defenders back, or twist, and bring sufficient cover back. The Brentford manager went with the latter, albeit with only three defenders, rather than with one man spare. The corner came to nothing anyway, and Leicester could breathe again.
Leicester repeated the trick in the second half, when Brentford were starting to work a way back into the game. Christian Nørgaard, Vitaly Janet and Rico Henry came back to mark Maddison, Kelechi Iheanacho and Barnes. From Jensen’s corner into a thinned-out crowd, Ethan Pinnock just got the better of Caglar Soyuncu but headed wide.
By this stage the game had drifted, pleasingly, with the ambience of an end-of-season affair. The sun was out, the team took it in turns to attack and the match became strung out. Iheanacho ran clear on to James Justin’s lofted pass, got away from the last man but then dinked his shot over Kasper Schmeichel and against the outside of the post.
At the other end, Brentford started to sense a way back into the game, and Schmeichel had to make two brilliant saves: first from Pontus Jansson’s header, following Kristoffer Ajer’s right-wing centre; then from Bryan Mbeumo’s effort after Ivan Toney’s centre from the same area.