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Aston Villa remains perfect as Barkley beauty downs Leicester

Leicester City - Aston Villa

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Ross Barkley of Aston Villa celebrates with teammate Bertrand Traore after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Aston Villa at The King Power Stadium on October 18, 2020 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images)

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Leicester City - Aston Villa: Perhaps the most surprising thing that can happen in this wacky Premier League season is nothing, and that’s almost what we saw Sunday when Aston Villa stayed perfect with a 1-0 win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley scored a wonderful stoppage-time goal to move Villa to 4-0, one point back of leaders Everton and holding a match-in-hand.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

The hosts were without Jamie Vardy and James Maddison but still would’ve expected better in dropping four points off the top of the table.

Leicester City - Aston Villa saw the league’s second- and third-place sides battle at the KP.

Three things we learned from Leicester City - Aston Villa

1. Foxes, Villans cue Macbeth... until stoppage time: The match actually was pretty entertaining, albeit without that certain substance of final third interest. Call up Shakespeare -- William, not former Foxes and current Villa assistant Craig -- because the frenetic attacks of both teams were “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Perhaps Vardy would’ve been the difference here. Maybe it’s likely he would’ve. But instead it was Ross Barkley who snatched something out of nothing when given some space to let fly a vicious hit from outside the 18.

2. Goodness, is Grealish exciting?!? Every time Jack Grealish gets the ball, you’ve got hope that something special is going to happen for the occasion. He was all action, with three key passes, four fouls given, and five drawn. Grealish also got stuck into 22 duels. He only won 12, but that’s not bad for an attacker. Villa just couldn’t find bounces like it did against Liverpool.

Leicester City - Aston Villa

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish (left) and Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. (Photo by Jon Super/PA Images via Getty Images)

PA Images via Getty Images

3. Fofana impresses on debut: Not even 20 years old, Wesley Fofana started his first Premier League match and boy, oh boy, was he very good. The Saint-Etienne product was faced with Grealish’s side of the pitch and etched his name on the Man of the Match Award with a laundry list of audacious stats (read on). Credit to veteran Jonny Evans for helping the youngster in a big spot.

Man of the Match

Here are Fofana’s numbers (via SofaScore. Remember that he’s 19):

  • Nine clearances
  • Six interceptions
  • Three tackles
  • 12-of-16 duels won
  • 83 percent passing

Yup. The real deal on debut.

Leicester City - Aston Villa recap

The chances were at a premium early, a 22nd-minute moment from Kelechi Iheanacho to Timothy Castaigne forcing a good intervention in tight from Villa.

At that point there had been a whopping two shot attempts, both from Leicester City.

Trezeguet missed by a yard after John McGinn and Jack Grealish cued up a prime but challenged chance in the heart of the box.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The second half also failed to produce much, a fortunate Youri Tielemans free kick caught by Emiliano Martinez in the 64th minute giving hope of some life in the contest.

Villa looked the better money to deliver a late goal but the Foxes stood firm through Fofana and Evans and in front of Kasper Schmeichel.