Leicester City concluded the 2021/22 campaign with a 4-1 home victory over Southampton on Sunday afternoon that earned the hosts an eighth-place finish.
With nothing but semantics to contest, both sides attacked with plenty of enthusiasm but precious little end product. Timothy Castagne headed over from close range inside the opening ten minutes - a clear-cut chance that was tragically misrepresentative of a toothless first half from both clubs.
In a match plagued by lackadaisical errors, Leicester broke the deadlock thanks to a particularly calamitous gaffe from Southampton's Lyanco within five minutes of the restart. The Brazilian centre-back failed with a first header clear before meekly nodding it towards his goalkeeper. Ever alert, Jamie Vardy swooped in but fired straight at Alex McCarthy as James Maddison swept in the rebound.
Harvey Barnes' selfish streak prevented him squaring for Vardy as Leicester threatened to double their lead in rapid succession. However, the pair combined to belatedly make it 2-0 in the final 15 minutes. Barnes began a pitch-long zig-zag towards goal in his own half before Vardy jinked beyond the hapless Lyanco.
Stuart Armstrong engaged in some slaloming of his own to earn Southampton a penalty within five minutes of Leicester's second. James Ward-Prowse coolly converted a soft spot-kick Armstrong earned after tumbling over Youri Tielemans' outstretched leg.
Yet, a sedate King Power Stadium were treated to another strike during this second-half flurry. Substitute Ayoze Perez impressively controlled an awkward half-volley at the back post, fizzing in his first Premier League goal since March 2021. Perez barely had to wait 15 minutes before finding the scoresheet again, netting Leicester's fourth of a breezy afternoon in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
Ahead of the match, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admitted it “won’t be the most-watched game of the weekend”. Saints fans would have been best served following the majority.
Leicester vs Southampton player ratings
1. Leicester (4-3-3)
GK: Kasper Schmeichel - 5/10 - Not entirely commanding with the little work he had to carry out, particularly when forced off his line.
RB: Timothy Castagne - 6/10 - Desperately unlucky to not have a stunning curved delivery finished off by Vardy in the first half.
CB: Wesley Fofana - 6/10 - More often the centre-back that was tasked with applying pressure to the ball, Fofana's proactive approach paid off more often than not.
CB: Jonny Evans - 7/10 - Sweeping up any scraps, the only time Evans found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time earned him a bloody bandage around his head after clashing with Adam Armstrong.
LB: James Justin - 5/10 - Holding a deeper position than his opposite full-back, Justin's focus was on the defensive aspect of his role.
CM: Youri Tielemans - 4/10 - It wasn't the most devastating foul but Tielemans offered Armstrong an invitation he didn't need to with a lazy dangling leg.
CM: Nampalys Mendy - 6/10 - Played a disciplined role shuttling behind his fellow midfielders.
CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall - 5/10 - Pushing into the box to provide an extra body, the ball rarely found its way to Dewsbury-Hall's boots in those advanced areas.
RW: James Maddison - 7/10 - Leicester's Player of the Season constantly seemed in need of an extra touch but managed to pepper his performance with moments of incision despite a languid approach. Treated to a standing ovation with his early removal.
ST: Jamie Vardy - 8/10 - Scampering around the top of the pitch with his trademark pestering, Vardy was a brilliant nuisance throughout.
LW: Harvey Barnes - 5/10 - Will no doubt feel the wrath of Vardy for selfishly overlooking a square pass to his teammate.
SUB: Ayoze Perez (63' for Dewbury-Hall) - 8/10 - Showed far more skill and confidence than his 15-month goal drought may have suggested.
SUB: Ademola Lookman (77' for Barnes) - 5/10
SUB: Daniel Amartey (82' for Maddison) - N/A
2. Southampton (4-4-2)
GK: Alex McCarthy - 5/10 - Unfortunate to see his smothering save fall straight to the feet of Leicester's top scorer.
RB: Kyle Walker-Peters - 6/10 - Bounding forward at every opening, Walker-Peters forged an intriguing battle with Justin from the off.
CB: Jack Stephens - 4/10 - Unsettled whenever he was forced into a foot race, Stephens lagged behind Vardy with the same swiftness as he lumbered forward to take Southampton's long throws.
CB: Lyanco - 2/10 - It will take a while to live down the diabolical disaster-class that led to Leicester's opening. Didn't exactly cover himself in glory as he fell for Vardy's dummy with such gusto he slid off the pitch.
LB: Mohammed Salisu - 5/10 - A limited presence going forward, Salisu wasn't overly troubled going the other way.
RM: Stuart Armstrong - 6/10 - Jinked inside the box and bought the penalty cleverly.
CM: James Ward-Prowse - 5/10 - Converted his spot-kick confidently but failed to exert much influence on proceedings elsewhere.
CM: Oriol Romeu - 5/10 - Struggled to halt Leicester's sporadic surges up the pitch.
LM: Mohamed Elyounoussi - 5/10 - Much like his teammate on the other flank, Elyounoussi had licence to roam while Southampton were in possession but rarely took advantage of his freedom.
ST: Adam Armstrong - 4/10 - Cut an isolated figure for the hour he was on the pitch before departing with a gash above his eyebrow.
ST: Nathan Redmond - 6/10 - Ferreting around the top of the pitch, Redmond's endeavour helped bottleneck Leicester for large swathes of the match.
SUB: Che Adams (63' for A Armstrong) - 5/10
SUB: Moussa Djenepo (72' for Elyounoussi) - N/A
SUB: Will Smallbone (90+3' for Romeu) - N/A
Source : 90min