Brazilian winger Tete scored a sparkling debut with a goal as Leicester City slipped away from the Premier League with an excellent victory at Villa Park.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were down 2-1 in the first half but rallied to claim three vital points and stem Aston Villa’s strong start to life under Unai Emery.
Ollie Watkins steered the home side forward after Emiliano Buendia hit the crossbar, only for the in-form James Maddison to equalize immediately.
Watkins then fired a shot at another new Foxes signing, Harry Souttar, but Kelechi Iheanacho equalized again with a header before Tete rounded Emiliano Martinez to put Leicester ahead at the break.
Philippe Coutinho saw a goal ruled out for offside as Emery’s side put on the pressure in the second half, but Rodgers saw his side seal the much-needed points when substitute Dennis Praet scored.
Head, a short-term signing of Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, impressed throughout and can prove the spark the Foxes need to avoid a relegation tussle.
Leicester win their first ‘cup final’
Before kick-off, Rodgers said his side faced “18 cup finals” to get away from peril at the foot of the table, and the man who guided Leicester to FA Cup glory in 2021 delivered success in this game too.
It didn’t seem too likely in the early stages as the energetic hosts raced ahead.
Leicester needed a game-changer and, after a productive transfer window, Rodgers now appear to have several in their squad. Maddison, making his first league start in two months, was a class act throughout and quickly equalized after Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall robbed Boubacar Kamara, before Tete made his mark.
The Brazilian closed in with two curling efforts after good runs down the right and stayed alert to round Martinez and score in style.
Apart from the unfortunate own goal, Souttar looked an imposing presence on his Premier League arc, and third new signing Victor Kristiansen also posed a threat from left-back.
The new faces held firm as Villa advanced after the break, and a first win since the World Cup saw Leicester climb up the table, with tough tests ahead.
- Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever – here’s all you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment