Brendan Rodgers says the admiration he has for his Leicester players “grows by the day” after they saw off Wolves to go into the international break top of the Premier League table.
Jamie Vardy’s highly contentious penalty – awarded after Dennis Praet’s cross struck Max Kilman on the hand – made it six straight domestic and European wins for the Foxes.
Despite injuries to midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, defenders Daniel Amartey and Ricardo Pereira, new £25m signing Timothy Castagne and Caglar Soyuncu, Leicester have bettered the start they made in 2015-16, when they won the title.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start,” said Rodgers, after a ninth win in 12 matches in all competitions this season.
“It’s going to be tough to sustain that with the injuries. With the injuries we’ve got, my admiration for the players grows by the day.”
Vardy took his tally for the season to nine goals after sending Rui Patricio the wrong way from the penalty spot, with Wolves’ players incensed it was given.
Wolves claimed Kilman had no time to move his hand out of the way of Praet’s cross but referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot after consulting the pitchside monitor.
Portugal keeper Patricio saved a second Vardy penalty with his leg before half-time – Leicester’s eighth Premier League spot-kick of the season – after Rayan Ait-Nouri brought down James Justin.
Wolves threatened an equaliser after half-time, 19-year-old Wesley Fofana producing an excellent challenge to deny Pedro Neto a certain goal, Kilman fired over from close range, while Kasper Schmeichel made an outstanding flying save to keep out Ruben Neves.
Leicester are one point clear of Tottenham, who beat West Brom earlier in the day to temporarily go top, and Liverpool, who they face at Anfield in their first game back after the international break on 21 November.
Perfect week for Foxes
Leicester had to dig deep in the second half as Wolves came back strongly but they head into the international break top of the Premier League – as well as Group G in the Europa League.
Three wins have come in the past week, the Foxes hammering Leeds last Monday and, in Europe, Sporting Braga on Thursday before Vardy scored for the fourth successive game to defeat Wolves.
Having qualified for the Europa League group stages by finishing fifth last season, Rodgers’ side are handling the busy workload of Thursday-Sunday football with aplomb.
They were hungry chasing the ball and intelligent when they had possession.
Christian Fuchs went close with a low drilled attempt, Vardy forced Patricio to tip his ferocious attempt over and substitute Harvey Barnes was denied a late goal by a deflection.
Schmeichel’s save to deny Neves was breathtaking.
Having turned 34 on Thursday, the Denmark keeper remains a key ingredient of this hard-working side and showed great agility to deny Wolves an equaliser.
Strong finish but no reward for Wolves
But for Schmeichel’s wonderful save, Wolves would have headed back to the Black Country with a point.
Neves’ shot from the edge of the penalty area was heading for the net before the Dane stuck out a strong hand to divert it away.
Wolves will be upset by the circumstances that led to Vardy scoring his ninth goal in eight games.
Their players surrounded Taylor after he awarded the penalty for Kilman’s handball after watching the incident on a screen.
“It’s very hard to judge the work of the referee, he saw it on the screen, but it’s difficult for us to coach a player and tell him he must put his arms away,” said Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
“What we expect from VAR is fair and simple decisions and this is not happening. Until they get it right we will talk about it over and over again.”
Wolves started sluggishly but sprung into life after Patricio kept out Vardy’s second penalty.
They have made a solid start to the season but the Wolves boss has much to ponder during the international break – not least his side’s lack of goals.
They have managed just eight in the top flight – only the bottom four have scored fewer.
‘We showed real resilience’ – what they said
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: “The first half we were very good without the football and in the second half we had to show real resilience.
“We have seen that this season, the players are developing and to show that mentality and desire is so pleasing.”
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo: “We will keep on improving. All the squad will now basically go for international duty and we hope they return healthy.
“We are always looking for improvements, the players are working very hard and it’s up to us to improve them and get them to fine levels of performance.”
Best Premier League start – the stats
- Leicester have won 18 points in their opening eight Premier League games, their best start to a top-flight season and best start to a season since winning 19 points in their first eight games in 2008-09 in League One.
- Wolves have won none of their four away Premier League matches against Leicester (D2 L2), failing to score in every match.
- Leicester have won their past six matches in all competitions, scoring 15 goals and conceding just twice.
- The Foxes have scored seven penalties in the Premier League this season, four more than any other side. They have been awarded eight so far in 2020-21, the earliest in a campaign a team has been awarded that many. The previous earliest was Manchester United last season (16th game).
- Rui Patricio has saved three of the 10 penalties he has faced in the Premier League.
Leicester’s first game back from the international break is against reigning champions Liverpool at Anfield on 21 November (15:00 GMT), while Wolves host in-form Southampton on the same day at the same time.
- 3FofanaBooked at 81mins
- 6EvansBooked at 63mins
- 33ThomasSubstituted forAlbrightonat 45′minutes
- 26PraetSubstituted forMorganat 80′minutes
- 10MaddisonSubstituted forBarnesat 72′minutes
- 11Rui Patrício
- 49KilmanBooked at 90mins
- 22Nélson Semedo
- 32DendonckerBooked at 41mins
- 8NevesBooked at 50mins
- 3Aït-NouriSubstituted forMarçal de Oliveiraat 76′minutes
- 7NetoSubstituted forSoares Silvaat 79′minutes
- 10Castelo PodenceSubstituted forTraoréat 60′minutes
- 5Marçal de Oliveira
- 17Soares Silva
- 28João Moutinho
Match ends, Leicester City 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.
Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.
Maximilian Kilman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Maximilian Kilman (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Foul by Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Fábio Silva (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Willy Boly.
Foul by Harvey Barnes (Leicester City).
Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Christian Fuchs (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Maximilian Kilman.
Attempt blocked. Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Justin.
Wesley Fofana (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Wesley Fofana (Leicester City).
Fábio Silva (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Leicester City. Wes Morgan replaces Dennis Praet.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Fábio Silva replaces Pedro Neto.
Attempt missed. Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Rúben Neves.
Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.
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