Leicester City 2 - 1 Cardiff City. Match Report

Last updated : 25 August 2023 By BBC Sport

Leicester City maintained their perfect start to the season in dramatic fashion as Cesare Casadei came off the bench to score an injury-time winner at home to Cardiff City.


Wanya Marcal-Madivadua fired the dominant hosts into a first-half lead with an emphatic first-time finish.

But against the run of play, Aaron Ramsey equalised before the break with a spectacular swerving strike from almost 35 yards.

That inspired a second-half revival from Cardiff, who wasted a fine chance to win as Yakou Meite shot wide, before Casadei - signed on loan from Chelsea on Tuesday - struck from close range to save Leicester.

Casadei's goal came as a relief for Leicester, finishing powerfully after fellow substitute Jamie Vardy appeared to be fouled in the penalty area to make it three wins from three under new manager Enzo Maresca.

As for Cardiff, this was another cruel late concession after they saw victory slip from their grasp in added time at Leeds United on the opening weekend. It also means Erol Bulut is still searching for his first league victory as Cardiff boss after a draw and two defeats.

The teams' contrast in early-season fortunes was evident in the opening exchanges at the King Power Stadium as Leicester started strongly, with goalkeeper Mads Hermansen strikingly positioned near the halfway line during long spells of possession for the home side.

They were quick to demonstrate their attacking threat as Kelechi Iheanacho's beautiful curling left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area beat Cardiff keeper Jak Alnwick but hit the post.

After Iheanacho saw another shot deflected narrowly wide and Stephy Mavididi had a penalty appeal rejected after tangling with Mahlon Romeo, Leicester's pressure eventually told as Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall's corner was not cleared and Marcal-Madivadua struck with a thumping first-time shot.

Cardiff could barely lay a glove on their opponents but then, in first-half injury time, they scored out of nowhere as Ramsey unleashed a stunning long-range shot which dipped and swerved into the far corner. 

Even if the Bluebirds had done little to suggest they could get back into this contest, it was a magnificent way for the Wales captain to score his first goal since returning to his boyhood club this summer. 

It seemed to rejuvenate Bulut's men, who came close to taking the lead early in the second half as Joe Ralls' low shot was palmed away by Hermansen. 

The game then started to open up with chances at both ends, Callum Doyle going close for Leicester with a shot which Alnwick did well to tip wide. 

The best chance of all fell to Cardiff substitute Meite. Romeo did superbly to dribble past three Leicester players before threading an excellent through ball to Meite but, one-on-one with Hermansen, the former Reading striker pulled his shot wide. 

That miss would prove costly as Leicester bundled in a late winner, initially appealing for a penalty as Vardy fell under a challenge but instantly turning those complaints into celebrations as Casadei fired in. 

Cardiff were crestfallen and their afternoon got even worse after that goal as Romeo was sent off for a second yellow card.


Leicester City: Hermansen, Ricardo, Faes, Vestergaard, Doyle, Winks, Ndidi (Casadei 61'), Dewsbury-Hall, Marçal (Albrighton 87'), Mavididi, Iheanacho (Vardy 76').


Subs not used: Ward, Justin, Choudhury, Thomas, Stolarczyk, Nelson.


Cardiff City: Alnwick, Romeo, McGuinness, Goutas (Simpson 77'), Collins, Wintle, Ralls (Siopis 61'), Ramsey (Robinson 77'), Bowler (Grant 66'), O'Dowda, Ugbo (Méïté 46').


Subs not used: Rúnarsson, Adams, Tanner, Etete.