Winks slides dramatic 94th-minute winner to keep Leicester top

2 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Harry Winks scored a last-gasp winner as Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester beat West Brom 2-1 in a dramatic finish to give manager Enzo Maresca a winning first return to The Hawthorns.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s 72nd-minute header – his sixth goal of the season – gave Leicester the lead and the midfielder then set up Winks in the fourth minute of stoppage time after substitute Josh Maja looked like he had rescued a point.

Maresca, who started his professional career at West Brom and played 47 games there between 1998-2000, will have been relieved as there was little between the teams, who both hit the goal frame in the first half.

West Brom had a penalty claim turned down when Grady Diangana went down after it appeared he was pushed over in the box; VAR might have intervened if it was available.

Albion then failed to react quickly enough when goalkeeper Mads Hermansen played a poor pass out and it was intercepted, Brandon Thomas-Asante eventually having a shot blocked.

The home side went even closer in the 25th minute when Cedric Kipre stabbed against a post with the goalkeeper beaten after Matt Phillips’s corner had flicked off a couple of heads.

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Abdul Fatawu whips in a cross from the right wing to the back post for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall arriving to power home the header to put the league leaders in front

But Leicester returned fire to hit the goal frame themselves when Kelechi Iheanacho’s low angled drive was deflected onto the near post by Darnell Furlong’s lunge.

It looked like things might open up after the break when Diangana’s curling shot was deflected over the bar off Wout Faes.

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Josh Maja draws the game level by poking home from close-range after Leicester were just unable to clear their line

But instead it became very scrappy, with both teams guilty of giving the ball away in midfield and defences remained on top.

That almost changed when Wilfred Ndidi got on the end of a cross from substitute Abdul Fatawu, but his flicked header under pressure lacked the power to beat Alex Palmer, who fumbled before the ball was cleared.

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall leads the charge and moves through on goal, but he was never going to go alone and he squares for Harry Winks who finishes into an empty net

The Ndidi-Fatawu link-up combined again to devastating effect in the 72nd minute.

Fatawu spotted Ndidi’s run beyond the Albion midfield in the inside right position and the latter crossed for Dewsbury-Hall to nod the ball home ahead of Furlong from six yards out.

Albion equalised in very scrappy fashion. Furlong’s throw-in was headed away by Faes and, when the ball came back in, Kipre helped it on – a grounded Leicester defender could only tee up Maja to prod home his first goal since February 2022.

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Following Leicester City’s 2-1 victory over West Brom, Harry Winks says that his last-gasp winner means he can now ‘see why strikers get a buzz’.

But Leicester hit Albion on the counter when they broke on a long throw-in and Iheanacho passed from inside his own half to Dewsbury-Hall, who ran 40 yards with the ball before drawing Palmer and slipping in Winks for an open goal.

The managers

West Brom’s Carlos Corberan:

“We weren’t trying to defend the result – we were attacking how I think you need to attack, but prior to the throw-in we should have defended more calmly, not as aggressive so as not to give them the option to score. We attacked how we always attack. Sometimes to change something is negative. If I told my centre-backs not to go up (to join the attack), having scored a goal two minutes ago, at home, I’d have regretted this.

“There are many small aspects to correct – not just because we lost, but to not suffer transitions against opponents. The next time we have a throw-in, we must be prepared to not only try to score, but to try to score without the risk of suffering the transition. In the 93rd minute, sometimes you make mistakes because of the emotion, not even the emotion to attack, but the emotion to recover the ball, to help your team and to try to make a foul, to keep running. We are humans, this is why football is magic. These things happen.”

Leicester’s Enzo Maresca:

“It was a very difficult game because of them and because when you play Wednesday night and Saturday lunchtime it’s not easy, and they played Tuesday night, so they had 24 hours more to recover the energy. For me it’s unbelievable when you play Wednesday night and Saturday – both teams have to play together (at the same time), not one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday because the difference is huge.

“Wilfred (Ndidi) came back from a long-term injury, we gave him some rest on Wednesday night but you could see he wasn’t fresh. Wout Faes did a big effort to be there, and Jannik (Vestergaard), JJ (James Justin) the same.”

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